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Death at Wentwater Court: The First Daisy Dalrymple Mystery    by Carola Dunn order for
Death at Wentwater Court
by Carola Dunn
Order:  USA  Can
Minotaur, 2015 (1994)
Hardcover, Softcover, Paperback, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

If you liked Agatha Christie's upper class mysteries, then you'll enjoy this Daisy Dalrymple series, set in early 1920s England. Death at Wentwater Court, the first in the series, introduces the Honourable Daisy Dalrymple who has scandalized her family and peers by refusing to move into the Dower House with her mother on her father's death. Instead, she has made the unusual (for her class) decision to earn a living - as a writer.

Daisy has wangled an assignment to write a series of articles for Town & Country on country mansions of noble families. She has used her connections to organize the first one, Wentwater Court. Readers learn early that a particularly sleazy character, Lord Stephen Astwick, has blackmailed a family member into inviting him for the family's Christmas celebrations. It soon becomes apparent that Astwick has designs on the lovely young Countess, whose stepchildren seem to dislike her. What hold could he possibly have over her?

When a member of the house party is found dead in an apparent skating accident, Daisy's photographs make it clear that this was murder. Young middle class Chief Inspector Alec Fletcher takes charge of the investigation, along with one he was already working on, into a series of jewel robberies in Hampshire country houses. He continues to seek Daisy's help with note taking and interviews. Curiosity draws her in as well as her liking for Countess Annabel, and the attraction she feels for the handsome policeman.

Of course, it's all resolved, though Daisy almost gets herself into serious trouble along the way. This is a charming series and its twenty-second episode will be released soon - so there's plenty of material there for golden age mystery fans.

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