Monday, August 15, 2011

Death at Wentwater Court, by Carola Dunn

Death at Wentwater Court

by Carola Dunn


If you've got a mystery that takes place in a mansion, manor, country house or castle, sign me up. I kind of a sucker for that for sort of thing and this one was no exception.

Death at Wentwater Court kicked off Carola Dunn's popular Daisy Dalrymple series of mysteries, which is now closing in on twenty books. I've read one other - Mistletoe And Murder. This time around the setting is 1923, at Wentwater Manor, the home base for usual gang of aristocratic doofuses that tend to populate this sort of book.

Daisy is on hand to profile the family and house for a magazine article, which is a bit awkward, given her own somewhat aristocratic background and the notion that it's almost scandalous for one of such breeding to actually dirty one's hands with honest work. Before long a visiting blueblood with a decidedly bad reputation dies in an ice-skating accident. Or was it really an accident? Well, one can certainly hazard a good guess on that score.

Dunn has Daisy work more or less hand in hand with the police on this one, pulling off the always tricky feat - with some skill - of having the amateur detective actually be able to detect. The plot moves along briskly, taking some interesting twists and turns before coming to a somewhat offbeat ending. Not to reveal too much about that, but let's just say that things aren't quite painted in the nice, neat shades of black and white that you often find in this type of yarn.

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