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Daisy Dalrymple is striking out on her own. Using her wealthy background, she gets a job for a magazine photographing and writing about the famous Wentwater Manor. Not too long after she arrives, one of her fellow guests is found dead in a hole in the ice. At first, it's thought to be an accident, but soon Daisy is convinced it's murder. Aiding the handsome Scotland Yard detective assigned to the case, she does her best to find the truth while keeping the family out of scandal.
This is a fun mystery set in 1923 England. I was drawn into Daisy's world and was quite curious about what was really going on. Having said that, the plotting did seem a bit uneven. Still, it moved along nicely and reached a conclusion that was surprising and satisfying at the same time. The characters are almost all English aristocracy, and it was interesting getting a glimpse into their world at a less then ideal time. The dialog was so good that I could hear the "accents" most of the time.
I'm looking forward to reading the other books in this fun, historical series.
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This is the first in the Daisy Dalrymple mystery series. I am overjoyed these have all appeared on kindle and I can replace my battered and torn paperbacks, because I love this series and am looking forward to re-reading them. They are best read in order and so, if you are interested, then this is the place to start.

When we first meet the Honourable Daisy Dalrymple, she is on her way to Wentwater Court. Although the daughter of a viscount, she has no wish to live with her mother or cousin Edgar, who has inherited her family home and is trying to make her own way in the world as a writer. She has a writing assignment for the magazine "Town and Country", to write about stately homes, and her social connections are useful to gain her access and invitations.

It is January 1923 and Daisy finds a house which has a very uncomfortable house party going on. The Earl of Wentwater has a young, new wife, Annabel. His sister and her husband are also staying, as are his children, James, Lord Beddowe, Lady Marjorie and younger sons Wilfred and Geoffrey. There are also some other guests - Fenella, who is engaged to James, and her brother Phillip Petrie, who was the best friend of Daisy's brother (her brother and the man she loved, both died in WWI) and the seemingly unwelcome Lord Stephen Astwick, best described as a 'cad'. He knew Annabel previously and, despite Marjorie's crush on him, is paying her very obvious attentions, while she seems afraid of him, James is using his resentment of his new stepmother to make trouble and everyone else is affected by the difficult atmosphere.

Then, Lord Astwick is found dead and Detective Chief Inspector Alec Fletcher C.I.D. comes to investigate. It is Daisy who alerts him that all is not as it seems and who helps him with his investigation. Luckily, the Chief Inspector was nearby investigating jewel thievies who have been targeting country houses.

If you like cozy mysteries, then really this has everything. A country house setting, good characters, the relationship between Alec and Daisy, which deepens as the series carries on, and a good mystery which plays out well with lots of possible suspects and where motives abound. It is great fun and I am sure you will want to read on - the next book in the series, should you want to, is The Winter Garden Mystery (Daisy Dalrymple Mystery 2).
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on 17 September 2001
I am an ardent reader of British mysteries. I was first drawn to this genre by reading a series of cozies. Over the years my tastes have changed, though, and I now much prefer a British psychological thriller or police procedural. However, I still read a cozy now and then for a change of pace.
"Death at Wentwater Court" is the first book in a series featuring The Honourable Daisy Dalrymple and Inspector Alec Fletcher of Scotland Yard. Take a weekend gathering at a country estate in the 1920's, one of the guests who is the unfortunate victim, suspects galore, a promising romantic story line, more red herrings than clues and you have the makings of the ultimate cozy.
Most of the sleuthing is done by Daisy, a member of the British aristocracy who, being rather down on her luck, is supporting herself by working as a journalist. Alec seems to be along for the ride providing her with bits of information that set her off in her pursuit to solve the murder. Oh, he also serves a very important role as a possible suitor for Daisy.
I am giving this book three stars because I found it to be a bit too one-dimensional for my tastes. However, if you like an old fashioned very British mystery, this just might be your cuppa.
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on 26 December 2013
It's not Agatha Christie which is a tad more serious and a lot darker.

This is lighter in tone however I loved it. Especially with a lot of crime thriller books being very dark.

The language is that set in England in 1920s- think "good job old sport" the sort of stereotype- which again is great to see.

The plot as follows is you have the beginning of a modern girl Daisy, an Lord's daughter who clearly has been excluded from her father's will so she decides to heck with it and become an independent girl with a job.

She's a writer for a journal for the gossip and history of Estate houses- think Home and Garden Magazine, however while she is there a murder occurs to a rather unpleasant gentleman and she ends up helping the yummy looking Inspector.

It's not contrite or hard to understand, all the characters are likeable. I just love the practical nature of the main character and the way she's not forcing herself to get involved in the investigation.

Basically she's asked to take short hand and her observant nature- mostly because she's an amateur photographer- sort of helps the officer along a bit.

It's great to see in a world full of over dramatic crime thrillers with the main characters going against the law to solve a crime on their own which makes you just roll your eyes thinking "yeah right cus that would happen."

If you're not used to the language it does take a bit of getting used to- it made me smile actually. But I do suggest reading it if you're sick of over dramatic unrealistic events where the member of the public solves everything because the police can't do their jobs and you want Miss Marple with out the darkness then this is for you.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 17 March 2014
This is the first of a whole series of whodunnits set in the 1920s and featuring the Honourable Daisy Dalrymple. Penniless and attempting to become independent of her family, Daisy decides to write magazine features about stately homes and Wentwater Court is her first. She finds a tense situation there; Lord Wentwater has remarried and his family is torn by jealousies and disagreements. Daisy's sympathetic, warm personality means that people confide in her, and her curiosity and sharp intelligence enable her to solve the mystery of the death of caddish Lord Stephen Astwick. In the course of this, she meets the attractive Detective Chief Inspector Alec Fletcher, who is destined to play a large part in her future.
This is a competent mystery story, but not a great one; instead, it is an entertaining romp, lively and amusing, with characters who will appear again throughout the series. It is well-written, with dextrous use of language and wit, and the author really evokes the England of the 1920s, even though the books were written in the USA.
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on 4 October 2013
The great thing about Carola Dunn is her characters. The plot may not be tremendously mysterious but her characters are a delight, The toffee-nosed to the humble are 'real' in the context of the 1920's. Daisy herself is an eminently likeable character and attracts information like a sponge by being a good listener. It may irritate her to be husband the estimable DCI but she has found a team of supporters in the Sergeant and DC. Good on you Daisy. May your blundering into crime continue.
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VINE VOICEon 12 February 2011
This is the first in an ever growing series of books featuring Daisy Dalrymple and I am rather late in finding them. However the premise of a nice cosy mystery set in the 1920s was enough for me to pick this book up.

Daisy Dalrymple is writing a piece for Town and Country magazine and to prove her worth as someone who can make her own living and live independently in the ever changing modern 1920s and not simply wait to be married off and become Mrs somebody with interests only in her husband. Daisy is herself a member of the high society but uses it to her advantage and helps her forge a career.

It is this career that Daisy, notebook, typewriter and camera in hand she finds herself at Wentwater Court. The many characters there making up a house party are intriguing and varied. Lady Annabel the Earl of Wentwater's second much younger wife, the infamous step children Marjorie, Wilfred, Geoffrey and the eldest James who harbour doubts about her reasons for marrying their father in protection of their own ends. James fiancée Fenella and her brother Phillip, who has courted Daisy in the past or tried. And to balance the `young set' the Earl's sister Lady Josephine and husband Sir Hugh Menton. All interrelated in some way but there was also another guest Lord Stephen Astwick who meets his end by falling through a hole in the ice seemingly having drowned.

All is not quite as it seems with this death, and to try and avoid scandal locally, they call in help from Scotland Yard. Enter Chief Inspector Alec Fletcher who is already in the area investigating a rather large theft of gems from another house party. Daisy and he hit it off, and she proves invaluable in the investigation and can see what she can achieve as an independent young woman.

To start of the series this was a good first book. The plot is somewhat woolly in parts and there was no obvious red herrings as that sometimes can be seen in these mystery books. For me there were far too many characters thrown in to begin with and I could not align who was who and connected to whom. However, once I had overcome this hurdle, the book goes a long at a steady sedate pace and was enjoyable. Daisy is going to make her mark on the detective world and her relationship with Chief Inspector Fletcher will probably raise a few eyebrows. Women in a man's world in the 1920s especially one from the higher echelons of society is going to make for some interesting reading and I will put the second book on my list - I think Daisy is going to grow on me.
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It's 1923, and the Honourable Daisy Dalrymple, daughter of a viscount, has broken with tradition by getting a job. Hired by an up-market magazine to write articles on stately homes, her aristocratic background is useful in allowing her to mingle on an equal footing with the owners and their families. So as the book begins, Daisy is on her way to stay at Wentwater Court, home of the Earl of Wentwater.

Daisy is not the only guest and she soon finds that the house is filled with tensions and misunderstandings. The Earl's new young wife Annabel seems isolated and unhappy and is being pursued by another guest, the obviously wicked Lord Stephen Astwick. The Earls' three grown-up children from his previous marriage are also visiting - James, showing every sign of resenting his new stepmother and hinting that she is returning Lord Stephen's affections; Marjorie, who fancies herself in love with Lord Stephen and is wildly jealous of Annabel; and Geoffrey, his outwardly quiet manner hiding the fact that he has fallen in love with the wrong woman. Add in an old admirer of Daisy's, and the house party is hardly set to be a great success. But when Lord Stephen falls to his death through the ice on the frozen lake at first everyone assumes it's an accident...until Daisy's photographs reveal that a human hand may have been at work...

This is a highly entertaining mystery with all the hallmarks of a 'cosy' - the deeply unlikeable victim who 'deserves' all he gets, a rural location with a limited cast of suspects, an amateur detective. All it needs is a nice romance - enter the delicious Detective Chief Inspector Alec Fletcher of the CID! Will he be the man who can help Daisy to get over the loss of her fiancé in the war? Within hours, Alec and Daisy have developed a mutual trust and understanding that sees them begin to work together as a team to solve the mystery of Lord Stephen's death.

OK, the plot is a bit silly really, with the various misunderstandings being not unlike a Wodehouse plot on a particularly busy day. One quick conversation between Annabel and the Earl could have resolved everything long before murder was ever required, and the ending requires the reader not just to suspend disbelief but to strangle it. But then the book is very convincingly emulating the style of the Golden age, and the same could be said of many of them. Both Daisy and Alec are attractive characters and their budding romance looks like it will be an enjoyable one. The book is well written, with plenty of humour but with enough weight to the plot to make it interesting as well as enjoyable. Altogether this is a fun read and I look forward to reading some of the others in the series.
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on 13 September 2013
Set aside your sensible side and just enjoy a lovely but preposterous story.
Daisy is a sensible good hearted and well heeled girl. Sound commonsense and a personality people confide in, a dishy policeman what more can you ask.
Set just after WW1, a dastardly murder at a nice house.
Not much substance, but an easy read. Sure i will read the others on wet afternoons.
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on 6 June 2016
I loved that it was a clean read, but it wasn't the most gripping. I did hope for a bit more. But this is the first book in this series, so I will try the next one and see if it is a bit more of a page turner. I think it was the conclusion that was a bit of a let down, I was waiting for a twist.
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