Saturday, August 6, 2011

Dandy Gilver and the Proper Treatment of Bloodstains-Catriona McPherson

Dandy Gilver and the Proper Treatment of Bloodstains
Catriona McPherson
Minotaur, Aug 16 2011, $23.99
ISBN: 9780312654184

In 1926 in Edinburgh, aristocratic private detective Dandy Gilver is the lead sleuth while Alec Osborne is her sidekick. Walburga Balfour sends her a note: "My husband is going to kill me, and I would rather he didn't." She also requests Dandy come to her home masquerading as a woman seeking downstairs employment as a maid. Dandy does and accepts a servant’s position in order to protect her client.

However in a strange twist, a murder occurs, but instead of Walburga being the victim, her husband Phillips is dead in a locked room. With the cops spread out dealing with labor unrest and a transit strike, Police Superintendent Hardy by omission allows Dandy to investigate.

Historical mystery readers will enjoy the latest Gilver whodunit (see The Winter Ground) as Catriona McPherson provides a strong sense of time and place starting with the strike inside of a strong locked room murder investigation. The story line is fast-paced, filled with dry humor and somewhat twisting. With a nod to Kerry Greenwood’s between the World Wars’ aristocratic sleuth, Phryne Fisher, sub-genre fans will relish this entertaining detective story.

Harriet Klausner

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