Reviews Published

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Fall of a Philanderer

I like Carola Dunn’s writing: it’s relaxing and pretty (in the most flattering sense of the word). And I like her amateur detective, Daisy Dalrymple. I mean, let’s face it, how many of us would be gracious about it if our spouse’s work encroached on our family holiday time? The 3-month pregnant Daisy, however, knew what she was getting into when she married a policeman, and she calmly goes about solving the murder mystery.

There is something about the "Fall of a Philanderer" that reminds me about Dorothy Sayers’ work: the time period, perhaps, or the cosiness of the plot. Yes, it’s still a murder mystery, but there is no gore, no car chases, no crack heads, no swear words. Instead, you have good solid characters and sparkling dialogue and an intriguing puzzle to solve. OK, and you do have the small town seduction artist (thus the title) who tries his luck on everybody, including Daisy. I’ll take that over incest, abuse and post-mortem descriptions any day.

A quick summary with no spoilers: The time period is Post World War I, the setting a small coastal town. Daisy is on holiday with her husband, stepdaughter and the stepdaughter’s friend. When they discover a body and the local police find out Alec is a Scotland Yard Inspector... now open the book and read on.

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