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Dandy Gilver and the Proper Treatment of Bloodstains Hardcover – August 16, 2011


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; 1ST edition (August 16, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312654189
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312654184
  • Product Dimensions: 1.1 x 6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,719,634 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“A dandy series opener from a Scottish-born author; wit, humor, clues, and red herrings abound.”

--The Boston Globe

“A great choice for Jacqueline Winspear, Carola Dunn, and Amy Patricia Meade fans…A real contender for the Agathas!”
--Library Journal (starred)

“If you haven’t met Dandy Gilver yet, I encourage you to do so now…You can’t help but enjoy her new adventure as she goes undercover to foil a murder plot.”
--RT Book Reviews (four stars)

“Agatha Christie meets Upstairs, Downstairs.”
--Publishers Weekly

“The upstairs-downstairs milieu of 1926 Scotland provides a delightful backdrop for this entertaining cozy.”
--Booklist

“Proves that it’s still possible to write compelling crime fiction capable of showing us the Golden Age from a new perspective… Dandy herself holds the series together with a fluent and likeable narrative voice – it’s a pleasure to spend three hundred pages in her company.”
--Mystery Scene

“McPherson’s charmingly witty heroine once again keeps you guessing while you enjoy the historical tidbits.”
--Kirkus

About the Author

CATRIONA MCPHERSON was born in in Scotland in 1965.  Formerly an academic, she has now been a full-time fiction writer for ten years.  Until 2010, Catriona lived on a farm in a beautiful valley in Galloway. She now lives on a farm in a beautiful valley in northern California with her scientist husband and two black cats.


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By J. Lesley TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 3, 2010
Format: Hardcover
When Dandelion Dahlia Leston Gilver (Dandy to her friends and family) gets a letter from a woman stating that she knows her husband is going to kill her the only way Dandy can talk to her is by pretending to apply for the job of lady's maid. Lollie Balfour says that her husband of five years is having her followed, someone is listening in on her phone conversations and her mail is being steamed open. Naturally Dandy gets a crash course from her own lady's maid on how to be a lady's maid and arrives at 31 Heriot Row, Edinburgh ready to put all her detection skills to work to find why Mr. Balfour has decided to get rid of his wife.

This was a thoroughly enjoyable reading experience for me. This is my first Dandy Gilver mystery and there is some information from the previous books which would have been nice to know (for instance the fact that Dandy is approximately 40 years old), but since each case seems to be completely self contained within it's own book I soon caught up with Dandy, her extremely understanding husband Hugh, and her partner in investigations Alec Osborne. There is a deep friendship between Dandy and Alec, but not any whisper of a romance. The almost invisible Hugh stays home and his wife goes off to be Miss Rossiter, the new lady's maid, and investigate the household from the vantage point of below stairs. The cast includes all twelve of the servants, plus a real poppet of a policeman. Against the background of the general strike of May 1926, we get to watch Miss Rossiter untangle the very twisted threads of a murder which takes place.

I was exceedingly pleased when this author began to place twists and turns within the plot which kept me very much on my toes.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jill on August 13, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm hooked on the Dandy Gilver books and hope there will be many more. I find that the author captures the feeling and "voice" of the period spot-on. A lot of new mysteries set in the 1920s or 1930s are ruined for me in giving the characters modern (21st century) values. Dandy seems true to life for the `20s, with strict adherence to class differences and the prejudices of the time as well. McPherson also makes her very likable and funny.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By tme on May 16, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I adore this mystery series and am completely attached to Dandy Gilver. I usually find this genre tiresome, but Catriona McPherson's writing seems to get better and better. Dandy is plucky, but not annoyingly so, and clever, but not unrealistically so as in so many other mystery novels of this sort. The pace is just right, the characters funny and warm. I do wish she'd write a little faster, it always seems ages until the next installment, but I guess that's why the quality is still so high. Bravo!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on September 30, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This story is set in Edinburgh, in 1926, and has a wonderful Upstairs-Downstairs feel to it. Plus, it's really fun to see the differences between Scotland and England; the latter being where more of these types of stories are set.

The writer is great at giving you a sense of personalities and place -- you'll feel like you're there. Dandy, the main character, is smart and engaging.

The mystery is gripping. It's been a while since I couldn't wait to find out what was behind a mystery.

Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. B. Hoyos VINE VOICE on December 7, 2011
Format: Hardcover
In 1926's Edinburg, England, the aristocratic, sleuthing Dandy Gilver masquerades as Fanny Rossiter. She goes undercover as a ladies maid to the wealthy Lollie Balfour of 31 Heriot Row. Lollie claims her evil, philandering husband, Pip Balfour, wants to murder her. On Dandy's first night in the mansion, someone fatally stabs Pip in the neck. 31 Heriot Row was locked up tight as a submarine; therefore, all suspicion falls on Lollie and the multitude of servants living in the subbasement. Because of a coalminers' strike, only Superintendent Hardy can thoroughly investigate Pip's murder; he must rely heavily upon Dandy's help. When a servant is later murdered, Dandy realizes a malevolent serial killer is dwelling among them.

I was delighted to discover that critics and fans were correct upon stating that Catriona McPherson's "Dandy Gilver and the Proper Treatment of Bloodstains" reads like an Agatha Christie novel. Christie was an expert at planting red herrings; exuding a creepy, deceptive atmosphere; creating strange, peculiar characters; and plotting multiple murders that led to a chilling, unsuspected revelation. The bizarre, atrocious stabbing of Pip Balfour mesmerized me from beginning to end. Everyone seemed happy and relieved that he was dead. No one wanted the killer brought to justice. Each servant had a horrid tale about how Pip abused him/her. However, as Dandy investigates, she discovers discrepancies that make her doubt the truthfulness of those around her.

"Dandy Gilver and the Proper Treatment of Bloodstains" reads like a period piece. McPherson must have spent a great deal of time studying British history, especially that which pertains to pre-World War II. The novel reminded me of the classics I read during my high school and university years.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on August 16, 2011
Format: Hardcover
In 1926 in Edinburgh, aristocratic private detective Dandy Gilver is the lead sleuth while Alec Osborne is her sidekick. Walburga Balfour sends her a note: "My husband is going to kill me, and I would rather he didn't." She also requests Dandy come to her home masquerading as a woman seeking downstairs employment as a maid. Dandy does and accepts a servant's position in order to protect her client.

However in a strange twist, a murder occurs, but instead of Walburga being the victim, her husband Phillips is dead in a locked room. With the cops spread out dealing with labor unrest and a transit strike, Police Superintendent Hardy by omission allows Dandy to investigate.

Historical mystery readers will enjoy the latest Gilver whodunit (see The Winter Ground) as Catriona McPherson provides a strong sense of time and place starting with the strike inside of a strong locked room murder investigation. The story line is fast-paced, filled with dry humor and somewhat twisting. With a nod to Kerry Greenwood's between the World Wars' aristocratic sleuth, Phryne Fisher, sub-genre fans will relish this entertaining detective story.

Harriet Klausner
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