Charming is the only word that truly describes the Daisy Dalrymple mystery series by Carola Dunn. Set in Great Britain during the early 1920’s, the novel center around a aristocratic young lady who has fallen on hard times due to the death of her father, brother and fiance in the Great War. Rather than living on the charity of wealthier relatives, Daisy has chosen to go to work for her living, which was very radical for a well bred lady. Taking assignments working as a journalist for Town and County magazine, Daisy is asked to chronicle the history of the great houses of the Kingdom, which makes use of her connections in order to gain entry. Daisy simply happens to be at the right place at the right time to discover wrongdoing. Her first foray into detecting begins with ‘Death at Wentwater Court”, begins with the body of one of the guests i floating under a frozen lake following a skating accident. The accident is about to be covered up when Daisy notices a small discrepancy in one of her photographs of the crime scene that will lead her to a murderer.
Her penchant for finding dead bodies puts her together with Inspector Alec Fletcher of Scotland Yard, whom she will eventually marry. The series
is light and breezy though there are times when it is unlikely, at best, that Daisy would be the person to uncover a murder, but she’s bright, forthright and never is a simpering heroine so it’s easy to overlook the bumps in the plot. Her relationship with Alec grows naturally out of their situation, and he’s given enough to do as a character that the chemistry between them works. Each novel features a series of regular characters that help or hinder the investigations, but also act as foils to speed the action along.
The period is recreated with both fun and authenticity and the dialogue is period which adds a sense of fun. I have recommended this series to a number of people in the past five years and each one has been charmed by it, so grab your cloche and a martini, jump into the rumble seat and have a spiffing time with Daisy.