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review 2019-02-10 05:33
The Corpse at the Crystal Palace (Daisy Dalrymple Mystery, #23)
The Corpse at the Crystal Palace - Carola Dunn

 This is one of those series that's a reliable old friend for me.  Definitely cozy, a little bit frothy, and terribly innocent but never twee or precious, Dunn writes an historically accurate mystery that aims to offer a bit of harmless escapism.  She generally succeeds.  


Daisy and her step-daughter Bel are entertaining some young cousins for a week at their home in London, and on the agenda is a day at the Crystal Palace. When Daisy finds out that neither the nanny nor the nurse have been there, she ends up with a large group outing on her hands.  Everyone splits off to explore the huge building and grounds, and when it's time to meet back up, Bel and her cousins spy Nanny Gilpin running out of the "Ladies conveniences" in pursuit of another nanny.  They cannot resist following her, playing spy, to see what's up, and it's all great fun until they find Mrs. Gilpin unconscious in one of the ponds.


Meanwhile, Daisy arrives at the rendezvous point to find the nurse and her twins, but no nanny.  After an appropriate amount of time has passed, Daisy goes off to the Ladies conveniences to find out what's holding up nanny's return.  Only instead she finds another nanny, dead.  When Mrs. Gilpin regains consciousness (the children having dragged her out of the pond), she can't, of course, remember anything.


And so begins another amateur investigator by Daisy, who is determined to find out why her heretofore grave, humourless but ultra responsible nanny would hare off and leave the twins, even if it was in care of the nurse.


Dunn has fun playing up the meddling Daisy does, lightly pitting her in a race against her husband, DCI Alex Fletcher.  Daisy has a knack for purposely putting herself in the right place at the right time, but rather than press the point and interrogate, she merely observes and listens, picking up information as she goes, so it really isn't meddling.  This along with her connections to the peers of the realm (she's an Honourable), gives her access to information faster than the police and makes her contributions valuable, though  it pains her husband to admit it.  


The plotting of the mystery was so-so.  I should say, it was technically well done, but the motivation behind a couple of pivotal moments felt weak.  They worked, but only just.  This would probably be a crucial point in book 1, or any of the early entries, but by book 23 most readers are invested in the characters and will probably forgive a less than riveting plot for the chance to catch up with Daisy and her friends and family.  I did, anyway.

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review 2018-08-02 13:53
A new house
Black Ship (Daisy Dalrymple, #17) - Carola Dunn

and new problems.


This follows the usual Daisy Dalrymple trope, Daisy does something and she finds a body, only this time it's the maid and the dog who find the body (which leads to a few entertaining moments with Daisy telling people it wasn't her, honest and their not believing her.. She has to admit that she has form.


There's a return visit from Agent Lambert, prohibition era illegal exports of alcohol and a bevy of new neighbours that Daisy has to get to know.  There are also some reflections of the Irish War of Independence which would have been pretty fresh in people's minds - a later book is set in 1926 and the Irish War of Independence finished up in about 1922, and their are questions about one of the characters being an IRA sympathiser, which they weren't and Daisy does point this out regularly.


It's interesting to see Daisy and Alex settle into a different life and deal with some wealth.  I'm looking forward to seeing how this will change their lives, lets hope the gift horse doesn't bite any harder.

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review 2018-07-05 15:12
Daisy Fletcher finds a body in the Tower
Bloody Tower (A Daisy Dalrymple Mystery) - Carola Dunn

Like her surname-sake Jessica, Daisy goes somewhere and there's a body. This time she's at the Tower of London by request of her editor and she stays there to see the key ceremony. She wakes early and really wants to go home to her twins but on her way out she finds a body (quelle surprise). Of course her husband is assigned to investigate, but he has to deal with Tower politics as well as multiplying motives and suspects. It also has a few glimpses into the aftereffects of World War I and the impact it ohad on the soldiers.

Relatively predictable but entertaining.

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review 2018-01-30 13:37
well that's a 5th of November Daisy won't forget
Gunpowder Plot - Carola Dunn

Now Guy Fawkes is a problem in Ireland, burning a symbolic catholic? Yeah, not popular. Halloween is but 5th November, no.  I do understand that it's a popular celebration, today largely stripped of symbolism (except in some areas, mostly in Northern Ireland where sectarianism is still a ugly, divisive issue) so that did shadow my reading of the book.


Gwen Tyndall is an old school-friend of Daisy and invites her to the firework display they have every year, during the celebrations Gwen's father and a visitor is killed in an apparent murder-suicide. Things aren't so clear and it all starts to unravel. Daisy is pregnant and many things are not as easy as they should be.


Those kids were brats. I have a lot of pity for Babs during the aftermath and I hope things will get better for her.

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review 2018-01-30 10:41
Fall of a Philanderer (Daisy Dalrymple, #14) - Carola Dunn

I read this, I am aware I did and I remember some of the details and I could have sworn I wrote a review, but it has evaporated into the electronic ether.

Daisy, for a change doesn't find the body herself, it's the Inspector who finds the body when he joins Daisy for a holiday. There are many people who want the philanderer dead and not many people miss him.


Entertaining, particularly for the entrepid medical student.

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