Monday, January 2, 2012

Gone West-Carola Dunn

Gone West

Carola Dunn

Minotaur, Jan 17 2012, $24.99

ISBN: 9780312675486

In 1926 Derbyshire, Humphrey Birtwhistle has done well writing American Western novels. Although he has never set foot in the territory he describes, neither has his readers who take his descriptions and heroes as gospel. Humphrey has a large retinue of family, friends, and others living idly comfortably off his royalties.

Honourable Daisy Dalrymple Fletcher visits her school days friend Sybil Sutherby at the home of the novelist. Humphrey’s confidential secretary, Sybil feels something is not right, but is unsure what disturbs her except her gut tells her someone is poisoning her employer to keep him ill. She knows her friend has solved mysteries so she has invited Daisy to investigate. Sibyl explains to Daisy that when the writer became too sick to write, she ghost wrote the books, which lead to greater sales. Her fear is one of the hanger-on likes the additional income so does not want the status quo changed. Daisy begins her inquiry only before she makes much headway, Humphrey is dead. As the amateur sleuth investigates what she believes is a homicide by seeking the motive amidst a horde of house guests and employees, Daisy’s Scotland Yard DCI husband Alec Fletcher wants her to drop the case.

The latest Daisy Dalrymple historical amateur sleuth is a great 1920s whodunit due to a strong mystery and the usual trademark sense of time and place. Fast-paced, readers will enjoy Daisy’s latest caper (see Sheer Folly, Anthem for Doomed Youth and Gunpowder Plot) as she has Gone West to Debyshire where she faces a horde of ungrateful demanding slackers.

Harriet Klausner

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