Dandy Gilver and an Unsuitable Day for a Murder by Catriona McPherson
Aristocratic Dandy (short for Dandelion) Gilver is a lady of means and bored to death by her life at Gilverton manor in Scotland. Her husband, Hugh, can usually be found hunting or fishing, and her children are conveniently away at boarding school. So what should such a lady do? Start a detective agency, of course, after having a successful run as an amateur sleuth.
In this sixth book starring Dandy, she is summoned to a home in Dumfermline where she is introduced to a Mrs. Aitken, who it turns out is only one of three Mrs. Aitkins in the household. The problem it seems is that Mirren Aitkin (who is daughter, granddaughter, and great niece of the three women) has disappeared, possibly having eloped with Dugald Hepburn, heir to an intensely hated rival business establishment. Mirren is soon found shot to death in the attic of Aitkin’s Emporium and Dugald is found dead on the top of an elevator. The mystery to be solved is whether both are suicides, both murders, or one of each.
In the beginning of the book there are family trees for both the Aitkin and Hepburn characters. Believe me, you will need to refer back to them several times! There are SECRETS galore to be found out and the reasons for the deaths are bound up in them. The majority of the book deals with Dandy unraveling the relationships in these most “unusual” families. I found myself alternately amused and appalled.
Set in the late 1920s, this book richly portrays that era and Dandy is a perfect example of a woman who has found and relishes her independence. Supremely entertaining and well-written, this story requires close attention by the reader to follow all the leads and false leads, but it is worth it in the end. While this is my first Dandy book, it will not be my last.
Dandy has a charming website at www.dandygilver.com
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