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Heirs of the Body: A Daisy Dalrymple Mystery (Daisy Dalrymple Mysteries) Paperback – May 12, 2015
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The long-running Daisy Dalrymple series, set in England in the late 1920s, adds another smart, engaging title. Daisy is charged with helping her cousin Edgar and his wife sort through a convoluted and gap-filled family history to discover who is his rightful heir. Inquiries from Daisy’s attorney brother bring forth some interesting candidates from the family lines throughout the world, but as time passes, the issue becomes still murkier as proposed heirs, gathered at a party, become victims first of accidents and then murder. Daisy and her Scotland Yard detective husband, Alec, disagree over her involvement in the crime, but Daisy’s clever and loving approach to finding answers helps assuage the tension. Slow pacing and complicated family story lines impede the narrative flow a bit, but the immersive period details, appealing main characters, and surprising plot turns generate enough momentum to take readers to the satisfying finish. Fans of Rhys Bowen and Jacqueline Winspear will find the same depth and feisty female characters here. --Amy Alessio --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“Dunn's forebears are writers such as Agatha Christie and Dorothy L. Sayers. They set the standard for classic cozy puzzles, and Heirs of the Body's unfussy prose and straightforward plot lend themselves well to this venerable tradition.” ―Seattle Times
“[The] affable heroine is lively and engaging. . . Dunn offers a strong sense of place, tight and suspenseful plotting, and well-defined motives, [which] serve to enrich the entertaining puzzle at the heart of the story.” ―Shelf Awareness
“A witty historical cozy series.” ―Library Journal
“Entertaining… Fans of Downton Abbey will be delighted.” ―Publishers Weekly
“A treat for Daisy's fans as well as those who enjoy Jacqueline Winspear's Maisie Dobbs.” ―Booklist on Gone West
“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
“A cozy replete with the amenities of English country life.” ―Publishers Weekly on Gone West
“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
The puzzle of who will be the next Lord is complicated by the fact that the other branch of the family moved to the Bahamas (and other places). Soon it turns out that there are multiple claimants, who are all to come to Fairacres to find out who will inherit. Then an odd pattern of accidents begins and soon everyone is worried and searching for the villain. And a great adventure begins.
This is a fine book from this series--well done, indeed.
She is involved in determining the real heir to her family estate so we get to met a cast of interesting characters who likewise don't seem to have to worry about making a living. (They all have "jobs" and responsibilities that can be easily worked around).
Their world is good but murder and conspiracy set the plot moving well to a good resolution. Good guys make out well, bad guys turn out to be really bad so all ends happily.
Daisy's world is a good escape that is well written and plotted.
Daisy and her husband DCI Alec Fletcher are invited to the house-party and when accidents start happening to some of the prospective heirs her curiosity and Alec’s professional instincts are aroused. An unexplained death soon has Alec in the middle of a busman’s holiday as he is asked to investigate. I enjoyed this mystery and found myself struggling to work out who was the guilty party and who was the real heir.
Daisy is a likeable character though I am less keen on her husband who can be a little irascible at times. I like the way the children – Belinda, Daisy’s step-daughter, and her nephew Derek – are part of the story and I felt the author really brings the children to life.
This book could be read as a standalone novel but it is also part of the Daisy Dalrymple series in which Daisy’s insatiable curiosity frequently lands her in the middle of a murder investigation.
Soon after everyone has arrived, potentially dangerous accidents start to happen. Falling branches, rampaging donkeys - nothing that couldn't be a genuine accident, but it's enough to arouse Daisy's suspicions, especially since some of the accidents involve her daughter and her friends. And sure enough, one of the potential heirs is soon found dead. Daisy and her husband band together to find the murderer and prevent further mischief.
What I liked:
This is a very nice example of a British country house mystery. You have a closed circle of suspects, all with a well-defined character, means and motive. The pace is a little bit slow, but if you enjoy this kind of mystery, then you will like this book, too.
The characters are well-written and interesting. Watching the interplay between such different persons as the dowager Lady Dalrymple, a wealthy diamond merchant, and a common sailor (and bootlegger) from Jamaica, makes for some entertaining reading. Some of the characters are very likable and tug on your heartstrings, and some of the others you will heartily dislike.
The setting is also very enjoyable. You can tell that the author did her research, not only about what was happening at the time, but also about manners, customs, and attitudes towards women.
What I didn't like:
As with many Daisy Dalrymple mysteries, this one has a pretty big cast of characters and suspects. Keeping all names, motives, and relationships straight isn't easy. As someone who struggles with memorizing names, I had to pay very close attention, at least in the beginning.
As always, I truly enjoyed my outing with Daisy. This is book 21 in the series, but you can easily read them out of order (which I did). This is a traditional cozy British mystery that will transport you to another time and keep you well entertained - a great book for a rainy afternoon or an evening on the sofa.