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Death At Wentwater Court: The First Daisy Dalrymple Mystery (Daisy Dalrymple Mysteries) Paperback – March 17, 2015
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From Publishers Weekly
This lively mystery debut introduces the Honorable Daisy Dalrymple, who has taken a job to ensure her independence--an unusual step for the daughter of a viscount in 1922. Her first assignment for Town and Country takes her to Wentwater Court at Christmastime to write about the Wentwater family. Her visit is disrupted by unwelcome guest and--according to Lady Josephine--"utter cad" Lord Stephen Astwick. When Astwick's body is found floating under the ice in the estate's lake, attractive Scotland Yard Chief Inspector Alec Fletcher arrives on the scene. Daisy's photos of the victim, showing ax marks in the ice, suggest the death is murder and prompt Fletcher to enlist her as his stenographer during his investigations. With the entire family, from the earl to his grandchildren, under suspicion, Daisy takes on the role of liaison between landed and working classes. Astwick's indiscretions come to light and disclose more motives for murder at Wentwater Court. Inquisitive and sympathetic, Daisy identifies the murderer, suggests a solution pleasing to most of the family and secures the possibility of romance in her future.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“A charming cozy featuring an intelligent, strong woman. A treat for Daisy's fans as well as those who enjoy Jacqueline Winspear's Maisie Dobbs.” ―Booklist on Gone West
“Delicious…pleasantly reminiscent of the old fashioned English mysteries of a of a bygone era.” ―The Denver Post on Gunpowder Plot
“Dunn adds another winner to a long string of charming mysteries evocative of the period between the Great Wars.” ―Kirkus Reviews (starred) on Gone West
“Dunn and Daisy are at the top of their game in the entertaining, old-school story of drawing room manners mixed with murder.” ―Booklist on Sheer Folly
“Cunnning...appropriate historical detail and witty dialogue are the finishing touches on this engaging 1920s period piece.” ―Publishers Weekly on The Bloody Tower
“Dunn writes enchantingly of 1920s England: its period accoutrements of cars, cocktails, and the always delightful Daisy.” ―Mystery Scene on Sheer Folly
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Top Customer Reviews
It is in her role as a writer of articles for Town and Country Magazine that she finds herself at Wentwater Court not long after the new year of 1923. The atmosphere is strange, however, because an offensive man, Lord Stephen Astwick, is the guest of Wilfred, second son of the Earl of Wentwater. In residence also is the earl's sister, Josephine and her husband; the eldest son James, Lord Beddowe; the daughter Lady Marjorie; the youngest son, Geoffrey; the earl's young second wife, Annabel; and Daisy's friend Philip Petrie and his sister, who is engaged to Lord Beddowe.
The plot becomes tangled as Lord Stephen relentlessly pursues Annabel right under her husband's nose. When he is found drowned in the iced pond early the second morning of Daisy's stay, no one seems unhappy or concerned. However, as Daisy develops the pictures of the death scene in case the police want to see the site, she realizes that the death was not an accident as all supposed. Now, she must persuade Mr. Fletcher from Scotland Yard that it's murder most foul.
The mystery is intriguing; the characters are interesting and dynamic; the possibility of a future connection between Miss Dalrymple and Mr. Fletcher worms its way into the reader's hopes; and for neophyte readers, the thought there will be more mysteries for this "cuddlesome" modern woman to solve thrills. Once met, not forgotten -- that's the measure of the ability of Carola Dunn to grab the interest of the reader. There are 22 novels so far in the series. Enjoy them all beginning with this one.
The deceased, found drowned in a lake, floating in a hole in the ice, was a though-going scoundrel, his presence tolerated purely because of his family connections. Half the guests and residents at Wentwater Court had good reason to feel relief at his demise.
The death looked accidental, except to Daisy Dalrymple. Daisy is in the house writing a story for Town and Country. Police arrive on the scene, and Daisy makes herself useful to them. She’s quite taken with the good-looking Detective Inspector Alec Fletcher. Against his better judgment, he finds himself partnering with her in the investigation.
Few people can resist confiding in Daisy, even total strangers. There's something about her clear blue eyes and open face that's strangely simpatico.
As the investigation unfolds, secrets bubble to the surface, tempers flair, tears flow. The characters are engaging and convincing; the sleuthing fun. I especially enjoyed the proliferation of twenties slang among the young people. Expletives like "spiffing!" and "pip-pip" and "topping!" abound.
I'm going to read more books in this series. Daisy puts me at my ease, as she does everyone around her.
This is an engaging mystery with numerous twists and turns--and an unexpected role for Daisy. Give it a shot; you won't Be disappointed.