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A Dark and Stormy Night (Dorothy Martin Mysteries) Hardcover – April 1, 2011


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Product Details

  • Series: Dorothy Martin Mysteries
  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Severn House Publishers; Reprint edition (April 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0727869833
  • ISBN-13: 978-0727869838
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 5.8 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #655,027 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Dorothy Martin, with her recent knee replacements, doesn't move as fast as she used to in Dams's stately 10th mystery to feature the retired American schoolteacher living in England (after 2004's Winter of Discontent). Dorothy and her retired chief constable husband, Alan Nesbit, join friends at a restored Kent abbey, now a country house with all the modern conveniences, to celebrate Guy Fawkes Day. Unfortunately, a major storm casts a pall on the house party—and blows over an oak tree that reveals a human skeleton tangled in its roots. The discovery in a secret room of a mummy—a desiccated female body whose clothes date from the mid–20th century—adds to the intrigue. Fans of traditional English mysteries should be satisfied. (Apr.)
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Review

A country-house weekend provides the perfect setting for an Agatha Christie homage. Retired Chief Constable Alan Nesbit and his American wife Dorothy Martin have been invited to Branston Abbey for a bang-up Guy Fawkes celebration by their expat friends Lynn and Tom Anderson. The Abbey has been lovingly restored by the Andersons' acquaintances Joyce and Jim Moynihan. Fellow house guests include the former owner of Branston, Laurence Upshawe; famous photographer Ed Walinski; ballet dancer Michael Leonev; and Joyce's often inebriated sister and brother-in-law, Julie and Dave Harrison. They're joined for dinner, cooked and served by the talented Mr. and Mrs. Bates, by stunning solicitor Pat Heseltine and Paul Leatherbury, the local vicar. All is well, except for the drunken relatives, until a storm severely damages the house and grounds. In the light of day, Dorothy discovers a skeleton entwined in an uprooted oak. With no electricity or phone service and the house cut off by flood waters, Dorothy feels as if she's stepped into "Ten Little Indians," especially when Upshawe is found unconscious; Dave Harrison goes missing; and a mummified body turns up in what was perhaps a priest's hole. It takes fortitude just to manage without the trappings of modern life, but Dorothy and Alan still can't resist sleuthing while they await the police. As in so many classic English mysteries, the answer may be found in the past. Dams (Winter of Discontent, 2004, etc.) provides several pleasing twists along with an easily spotted killer. --Kirkus Reviews, February 15, 2011

American expat Dorothy Martin, married to retired Chief Constable Alan Nesbitt, finds herself in the middle of a classic Agatha Christie plot when she and her husband are invited to spend the weekend at a restored country mansion. Expecting to enjoy the Guy Fawkes Day festivities and the company of friends, they instead get caught in a terrible storm that destroys the estate's gardens and traps everyone at the house, without power or communication. While trying to clean up and reconnect with the world, Dorothy and Alan manage to find several bodies in varying states of decomposition. They realize that the murderer is probably one of the guests and that they must preserve the evidence and protect everyone until the police can arrive. Fans of Agatha Christie and Dorothy L. Sayers will enjoy this very traditional British cozy, complete with an eccentric group of guests and some devoted servants. --Booklist, March 1, 2011

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Customer Reviews

I just don't know why so many years went by since her last one!!
Joanne
Albeit a somewhat stereotypical book it is an engaging read and interesting plotting with interesting characters.
Ginny
The title alone should give readers a clue that Dams is going to have a good time with this mystery.
PJ Coldren

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on January 30, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Jeanne has done it again - great traditional British cozy !

Dorothy Martin is a modern day Miss Marple, can't leave things be is always
investigating.

Major Difference is Dorothy is an American who moved to England - widowed, she
makes friends, has the nice cottage she and her husband has planned on retiring to

Dorothy is re-married in the last few books to Alan Nesbitt, retired Chief Constable

Jeanne writes a very good cozy, keeps your attention, but her books are not "suspense"
It is very nice to know when you pick up one of her books it will be a cozy.

Yes there are murders, but it is the investigations and day to day life that make up her books and you
want to go back for more

Hope Jeanne has more books to come !!

[...]
Mar
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Kai Roberts on April 3, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The newest edition of the Dorothy Martin series is certainly enjoyable. The author takes the classic English cozy and reworks it from the perspective of an aging American ex-pat (dodgy knees and all) and her English second husband, a retired Chief Constable. All the traditional stock elements are present here: the disparate collection of weekend guests at a country house, the fierce storm that cuts them off from the rest of civilization, the tensions and suspicions that make each guest suspect the others of "murder most foul," and the scattering of bodies that strew the house and grounds of the estate. Dams delivers charm, atmosphere, a few frissons, and some mildly intriguing characters. There's nothing too surprising here. As such, one is left feeling that this book has been read before (and possibly several times before). Given the parameters of the cozy genre, it is a perfectly good (but not brilliant) rendering. I'm reminded of taking a good quality but out-moded skirt and re-cutting it to bring it more into line with today's fashion. There's nothing wrong with that, even though you know it's still an old skirt. If classic and gentle mysteries are your thing, then this book is for you. If you want more inventive or outre plots, probing psychological characterizations, or edge-of-your-seat thrills, then pass on this particular cup of tea.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Reality tourist on April 24, 2011
Format: Hardcover
After a long absence on the scene, due to the death of her husband,( my sincere condolences Ms. Dams) this fun mystery series is back.
This time Dorothy and her husband head to the country to enjoy what they think is a great holiday with an american couple friends of Dorothy.
A horrible storm- not unlike the devistation we experience in Texas- occurs and subsequently old skeltons pop up - really- and a real time death as well. coping with the less than stellar conditions in a manor house cut off by felled trees, the mystery commences.
I thoroughly enjoyed the novel and frankly didn't try to figure out "who did it" as i usually do, the descriptions Ms. Dams provided of the house and grounds kept me engrossed.
It's a fun book to read on a "dark and stormy" night!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By JerseyGirl VINE VOICE on June 18, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Dorothy Martin and her husband, Alan, a retired Chief Constable are invited to an English country house to enjoy a lovely weekend with fellow American expatriates. The house party is interrupted by a storm of the century and several murders, some that occur during the visit, and others many years prior.

Dorothy and her husband are hot on the trail of the murderers while attempting to stay alive during the terrible storm and flooding that has rendered the country home where they are staying incommunicado from the rest of England.

The story is an easy read and several macabre scenes make for great spooky reading. It's a good light read and if you enjoy reading about England, as I do, then it is worth your while.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By PJ Coldren VINE VOICE on May 23, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Fans of traditional Golden-Age mysteries will be delighted with this newest entry in the Dorothy Martin series. Dorothy and Alan are at a thirteenth-century renovated Abbey for Guy Fawkes Day. The mother bear of storms hits England, and particularly Kent, where Branston Abbey is located. Nobody can get out. Uprooted trees block all the roads. The land-link on one side is totally flooded, and not a quiet, serene flood. We're talking raging river flooding. All the power is out. Cell phones don't work. This might make for an amusing story sometime in the future until a body is found. It's not a new body. One of the ancient oak trees topples and the body is found entangled in the root system. So it's been there for a few decades, for sure.

Dams continues to take some of the grandest cliches of the Golden Age and bring them up to speed. People disappear. Bodies are found. Is the very old body connected to the very new body? If the body in the oak is who they think it is, does this mess up the ownership of the Abbey? Who can be trusted? Who benefits? The title alone should give readers a clue that Dams is going to have a good time with this mystery. And she does. So did I.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. Hanahan on March 16, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Sixtyish expat American, Dorothy Martin, and her British retired Constable husband, Alan, are invited to a remote stately restored English manor for what was to be an enjoyable chance to experience a country house weekend and some "R&R" time after knee surgery. "Anyone who has ever read a Traditional English Mystery ought to remember that a country house weekend can be, as Pogo used to say, faught," Dorothy so aptly opined about the invitation. Shortly after arrival, a storm of the century hits the house and countryside, revealing mysteries from the past, along with a present day death. Dorothy and all the guests find themselves cut off from the world with no electricity and no outside communication and involved in an Agatha Christie mystery of sorts. If you enjoy cozy traditional English manor type mysteries, this will not disappoint. As an aside, something I find helpful is a list of characters at the beginning of the book and the author, Jeanne M Dams, has included this as well. In this she reveals, with fondness, that one of the characters included is based upon her husband, who unexpectedly died prior to the publication of this title.
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