Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Manna From Hades-Carola Dunn

Manna From Hades
Carola Dunn
Minotaur, Mar 17 2009, $24.95
ISBN: 9780312379452

Widow Eleanor “Aunt Nell” Trewynn runs a charity shop in the village of Port Mabyn in Cornwall. At the store, Aunt Nell’s dog Teazle finds a corpse of a young male in the storeroom. She notifies Detective Inspector Scumble who initially thinks the victim is a bum. He does not want to investigate with his partner on sick leave and he stuck with Aunt Nell’s resolute niece, Detective Sargent Megan Pencarrow, but has no choice as a murder occurred.

Aunt Nell drives the gruff senior investigator crazy as she seems to omit critical information because she is forgetful. She is actually more interested in a suitcase of jewelry left at the store that turns out to be stolen loot from a London jewelry. As Aunt Nell and the Vicar’s wife Jocelyn work the case, Scumble grumbles about amateurs and London cops.

This 1960-s 1970s English village mystery is a wonderful character driven police procedural-amateur sleuth whodunit. The ensemble cast brings to life the small Cornish village through key players who are fully developed with differing personalities. Fans will enjoy Carola Dunn’s new series as she moves forward in time four decades from her super Honourable Daisy Dalrymple Fletcher 1920s mysteries without missing a beat.

Harriet Klausner