Sheer folly

Carola Dunn

Book - 2009

1926. Daisy and her friend Lucy are at a stately home reputed to have the best grotto in the country, for research on their architectural book. As long-held secrets and resentments threaten to explode, even Daisy couldn't predict the deadly events to come.

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Dunn, Carola. Daisy Dalrymple mysteries ; v. 18.
Daisy Dalrymple mysteries.
New York : Minotaur Books 2009.
1st ed
Physical Description
296 p. ; 22 cm
Main Author
Carola Dunn (-)
Review by Booklist Review

Writer Daisy Dalrymple and her collaborator pal, photographer Lucy, leave their families behind to travel to Appsworth Hall. The pair is working on a book about eighteenth-century architectural follies, and the grotto at Appsworth may qualify. Soon enough Daisy and Lucy have landed in the middle of an old-fashioned country-house mystery, taking place in 1926 England. The daunting list of characters and suspects includes the owner of the grotto and his sister-in-law and nephew. And there is the impoverished military widow and her daughter, Julia, and the several suitors for her hand. The guests are rounded out by a minor government official and his flirty wife. One of Julia's suitors is the thoroughly unpleasant Lord Rydal, known as Rhino because of his build and thick skin. Rhino is killed when the grotto mysteriously explodes just as Daisy's husband, Detective Chief Inspector Alec Dalrymple, arrives for the weekend. It soon becomes clear that foul play was involved. Both Alec and Daisy are recruited to help solve the mystery. Dunn and Daisy are at the top of their game in this entertaining, old-school story of drawing-room manners mixed with murder.--Coon, Judy Copyright 2009 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission. Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

At the start of Dunn's sprightly 18th Daisy Dalrymple mystery (after 2008's Black Ship), Daisy travels to Wiltshire because she's writing a book about an architectural folly, an elaborate grotto, at Appsworth Hall, owned by Mr. Pritchard of Pritchard's Plumbing Products. Best friend and freelance photographer Lucy Binscomb (aka Lady Gerald) accompanies Daisy, who leaves behind her husband, Scotland Yard's Det. Chief Insp. Alex Fletcher, to look after their twin children. On arrival at Appsworth, Daisy and Lucy discover that Mr. Pritchard is hosting a lavish house party, which includes eligible bachelorette Julia Beaufort; Lord Rydal (aka Rhino); Lady Ottaline Wandersley (with whom Rhino is having an affair); and Charles Armitage, a Canadian charmed by Julia. A shocking grotto explosion that takes Rhino's life spares Lady Ottaline and Rhino's chauffeur. While Dunn's cozy confection doesn't offer a lot of surprises, it does a neat job of evoking upper-class life in 1920s England. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved Review by Kirkus Book Review

Amateur sleuth Daisy Dalrymple Fletcher and her photographer pal Lucy's visit to a stately home becomes less about their planned book on architectural follies and more about murder. Appsworth Hall is currently owned by Mr. Pritchard, a pleasant enough man in the plumbing trade whose current crop of guests is a remarkably mixed bag. The utterly tactless Lord Rydal, aka Rhino, is visiting to pursue Daisy's old school friend Julia, whose impecunious mother Lady Beaufort is all for the advantageous match. Julia herself is more interested in a visiting historian of mysterious background who sometimes acts as the ghost of the beautifully restored Grotto. Rhino is taking special pains to distance himself from two of his fellow guests, Lady Ottaline and Sir Desmond Wandersleys, because Lady Ottaline is his lover. Daisy's husband, DCI Alex Fletcher of Scotland Yard, arrives with Lucy's husband, Lord Gerald Bincombe, just in time for the Grotto to explode, killing Lord Rydal and injuring Lady Ottaline, who had arranged a tryst there with the reluctant Rhino. The local police, happy to have help from Alec, are less keen on Daisy's meddling, but it's her inside knowledge that ultimately solves the case. Full of country-house charm but by no means the best of Dunn's venerable series starring the aristocratic Daisy and her policeman husband (Black Ship, 2008, etc.). Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.