I’ve never really been one for reading two books at the same time, I generally lose interest in one or the other of them, but I seem to be managing it quite well at the moment. I read a little more of Large Account Management, then took a break to read Death at Wentwater Court by Carola Dunn. It’s the first of her Daisy Dalrymple series, set in the 1920s. Daisy is an Honourable Miss, so has no financial need to work, but has decided to be a writer, and her name gets her into the elegant homes to write columns about them and solve the mysteries that never fail to take place within them.
In this particular story, Daisy goes to the Wentwater Estate to write an article and take some pictures, and notices that things are not altogether comfortable there since Lord Wentwater married a new, younger wife. Tensions are high as another guest, who has blackmailed his way into the house, follows the new Mrs. Wentwater around attempting a seduction. With one son encouraging them together, one daughter fuming since she’s in love with the cad, and another son jumping to his step-mother’s defense, is it any suprise when someone ends up dead? Not really, no. Daisy ends up working with the detective investigating the case since she has photographic and stengoraphic skills, as well as the uncanny tendency to get people to confide in her.
What follows is pretty basic mystery paperback stuff with a few pleasant additions.
I expected a breezy read, and for the most part got one, but I also got some unexpected feminism (as Daisy defends her choice to work), upstairs/ downstairs drama ala Gosford Park, and comments on class relations (as the Honourable Miss Daisy begins to fall for the working class Scotland Yard detective). There was a extra oomph and heft to this novel that I really appreciated. I figured out fairly quickly the flaw in the reasoning that was holding up the investigation , but the actual motive/murder was sneaky and quite well done. The end was very nicely played, and I enjoyed it quite a lot. Which I’m really glad about, since I bought two other in the series at the same time, and it would stink if I didn’t like them. But they were $5.99, what was I supposed to do?
Just Finished: Death at Wentwater Court by Carola Dunn
Currently Reading: Successful Large Account Management by Miller, Heiman, and Tuleja