Review: Death at Wentwater Court

Carola Dunn, Death at Wentwater Court

The Honorable Daisy Dalrymple doesn’t need to work for a living, but she’d rather be independent than live with her disagreeable relatives. She works as a journalist, writing about English country houses for the society columns. Her latest assignment is at Wentwater Court; since Daisy knows the family slightly, it shouldn’t be difficult for her to get some good interviews. Daisy arrives in the midst of a small house party and soon notices tension within the group. When one of the guests is found dead, everyone assumes it’s an accident, but Daisy finds evidence that points to murder. Inspector Alec Fletcher of Scotland Yard arrives to take charge of the case, and Daisy is eager to assist the investigation. But what if the murderer is someone she knows and cares about?

This is a fun little cozy mystery set in the 1920s. Daisy Dalrymple is a likable heroine — cheerful, intelligent, modern but not unbelievably so. I often get annoyed with amateur detectives in mystery novels, because they always seem to do stupid things (not tell the police everything, go off to hunt the killer on their own, etc.). But here, Daisy works with the police, and her motives are pretty plausible: she wants to help prove her friends’ innocence if possible, and she’s attracted to Inspector Fletcher. And from Alec’s point of view, it makes sense to ask for Daisy’s help because she knows the people involved but is still a somewhat impartial observer. The actual plot is somewhat unoriginal and forgettable, but the book is still a pleasant read. I wouldn’t mind reading more in the Daisy Dalrymple series.

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