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Anthem for Doomed Youth: A Daisy Dalrymple Mystery (Daisy Dalrymple Mysteries) Paperback – January 31, 2012
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From Publishers Weekly
Set in 1926, Dunn's enjoyable 19th Daisy Dalrymple mystery (after 2009's Sheer Folly) will please fans of traditional English whodunits. When the graves of three men turn up in Epping Forest, once a royal hunting preserve just outside London, Det. Chief Insp. Alec Fletcher, the lead investigator, is relieved that his wife, Daisy, along with her friends Melanie and Sakari, are away at their daughters' school for the weekend, so she won't be able to nose her way into the case. Later, Melanie's daughter discovers a dead teacher while lost in the medieval maze of Bridge End Garden. Leave it to clever Daisy to figure out that all the bodies are related to the Great War. The aristocratic but very modern Daisy makes a formidable amateur sleuth as she acts to stop more murders and get justice for the victims. (Apr.)
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“Set in 1926, Dunn's enjoyable 19th Daisy Dalrymple mystery ... will please fans of traditional English whodunits.” ―Publishers Weekly
“Amusing and sprightly, and as evocative of the period as ever.” ―Kirkus Reviews
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Chief Inspector Alex Fletcher of Scotland Yard is called in to investigate three dead men found buried in Epping Forest. (One delight of this series is that it encourages me to look up and learn more about historic places in England). While Alec is investigating these murders, his wife Daisy is attending a sports day at her stepdaughter's Quaker school in Saffron Waldon (another fascinating historic locale). Here, while sightseeing in a seventeenth-century maze, she encounters the dead body of the games master. She quickly plunges into speculations about who might have murdered him.
Alec's officers are likable and a bit quirky, and the banter among them is entertaining. Daisy hangs out with mothers from her bourgeois social circle (although her antecedents are aristocratic), and their conversations are amusing. One of her friends is a high-caste Indian woman (Sakari) who has a mischievous sense of humor and loves to discuss murder cases with Daisy. Sakari is convinced that it's Daisy's Karma to bring killers to justice. Perhaps Daisy was a murder in a past life?! Anyway, all these friendly relationships are interesting and add zest to the story.
The there are amusing minor characters -- the bumbling local inspector who resents Alec for taking the Epping Forest murders case away from him, the taciturn old gardener of the Maze who resents having his dinner delayed by a murder, the ebullient widow who is delighted to hear that her tyrannical husband has been murdered...
I always resort to this series when I want to relax with a light mystery. The period is England in the nineteen twenties, and the author captures the spirit of the era nicely.
In the meanwhile, Daisy and her friends, Sakaria and Melanie, are attending their daughters' school sports weekend. And, once more, Daisy stumbles into a murder. The physical education teacher, Mr. Harriman, is found dead in a maze near the school, and Daisy must try to protect the teachers whom she suspects of his murder. Do her husband's dead bodies and hers have any connection? The reader will certainly be challenged to discover the truth in this highly interesting mystery.
This is another well written novel by Carola Dunn: interesting characters, twisty plot, and enjoyable portraits of English life and its countryside.