Newly wed to the rather longsuffering Chief Inspector Alex Fletcher, the Hon. Daisy Dalrymple is coping with a disapproving mother-in-law and a nagging toothache. Since at least one of those is repairable, she sets off for a dental appointment only to have her usual luck prevail. The dentist is discovered stone dead in his chair, the victim of an overdose of nitrous oxide.
Although his wife, who is with Daisy when she finds the body, assumes the death was a suicide, Daisy notices some significant signs that suggest otherwise. Neither she nor Alex is surprised when it turns out the good doctor is a victim of foul play. So, who is the most likely culprit? The unfaithful wife who is pregnant with her lover's child? Her lover, who had been told the affair was over? The dentist's own lover, who had been informed of the same? Her bad-tempered former military husband? Talk about an embarrassment of riches...
The Daisy Dalrymple series, set in the years following the first World War, are the sort of mysteries that these days get overshadowed by the Hannibal Lecters and Gary Sonejis. For those who just want to be entertained by amusing characters, scintillating dialogue and a good solid puzzle to unravel, that is a shame. DIE LAUGHING is not only delightfully British but has a marvelous hint of farce throughout that makes the reader wish he or she could jump right into the fun. It isn't difficult at all to envision the action taking place on a stage or a movie screen-perhaps with Emma Thompson and Hugh Grant as Daisy and Alex.
What's even better-and something that is all-too-often missing in angst-ridden modern mystery series obsessed with serial killers-is that Ms. Dunn provides all the hints and information necessary for the reader to solve the mystery and identify the culprit. Half the fun of reading this latest installment is finding out if you're right.