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3.3 out of 5 stars11
3.3 out of 5 stars
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on 28 May 2011
Being a great fan of Dandy Gilver I grabbed this one as soon as it came out (in pbk!) However, this series began as being a little bit "odd" and it is getting "odder and odder" as the series progresses. The goings-on at the Dunfermline department store went from the staggering to the incredible and back again! Fascinating to see Dandy (briefly!) in handcuffs.

SPOILER ALERT

What this book really needed were TWO family Trees, or rather a Family Tree at the beginning and a Genealogical Table at the end ..... Phew!!!!
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on 19 July 2012
It is shortly after WWI in the UK and with narrowing monetary differences between the social classes, the last resort of family pride and position in society remains first and foremost in the minds of many, including certain members of the Aitken clan.

Dandy Gilver and an Unsuitable Day for Murder finds Dandy called upon to locate a missing heiress named Mirren Aitken who some believe has run off with the offspring of a competing business family. It appears that the Aitken and Hepburn families have been rivals in both business ventures and life in general for years and the flames of this rivalry are currently being fanned by a forbidden love between Mirren Aitken and Dugald Hepburn. While the initial reason behind this duel of the clans appears to be the situation between Mirren and Dugald , Dandy (Dandelion) and her partner Alec soon discover that this doomed romance is merely the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the long and scandalous history of these two families and proceed with an investigation that uncovers the true reason for their animosity that has literally been hidden away for years.

Now, I love a good puzzle as much as the next person, however from page one Dandy Gilver and an Unsuitable Day for Murder seems to go out of its way to confuse and confound the reader. While the solution to the mystery is somewhat convoluted it does, at least, offer the reader and opportunity to put on their thinking caps while following the slowly unwinding threads of the tale to its unusual conclusion. My problem lies in the author's decision to present a cast of characters possessing virtually identical names (or one character addressed by several different names) thereby making it extremely difficult to keep track of who's who. (Without the convenient "family trees" at the front of the book, it would be almost impossible to keep track of the characters in the story and their relationship to each other). Why oh why make the reader's life so difficult.

Note to the author: Reading is supposed to be an ENJOYABLE experience not one in which your brain literally explodes! The next time, please be kinder to your readers.
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on 1 April 2011
First I highly recommend all of the previous books in the Dandy Gilver series. As a result, I looked forward to this book. But like another reviewer, was very disappointed. Convoluted prose and a non-existent plot driven by dubious character motivation. I also missed the descriptions of people and locations found in previous volumes. Dandy seemed to be a very different person as if the author had forgotten who she is.

Gilverton with its animal head trophies and dark corridors, has been like a character in its own right with descriptions of Dandy's relationships with its servants a joy to read. I also missed Hugh, Dandy's husband. Although seen through her eyes, his behaviour and reactions to her show that Dandy may not fully understand him. This gives their interaction a bitter sweet quality. McPherson has been indirectly commenting on marriage and relationships in the 1920's with great subtlety and wit.

It may be that the author is bored with the series, and maybe had a publisher's deadline that she almost couldn't keep. I had to reread some of the sentences in the opening pages several times and am still not sure what some of it meant. I only persevered because I've enjoyed the previous titles in this series so very much. Sadly the social comment, Dandy's 'high society' friends and the detail about the 1920's was entirely absent, as was the delightful Grant.

When a series goes on for several books, then goes off as badly as this one, it doesn't seem likely that the author can get back on form. However I will watch eagerly for the next title to see if McPherson is the rare author who can pull this off. My fingers are crossed.
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on 3 January 2011
One of the joy`s for me this Christmas was finding in my stocking the latest outing for Dandy Gilver.What starts with Dandy being summond to Dunfermline in the matter of a missing heriess,it soon turns into a murder or was it suicide? As Dandy and Alex uncover secret after secret of the two feuding family`s the suspects list gets longer and then a second body is found and to her surprise Dandy is arrested as the chief suspect for both.Catronia McPherson is at her best when she uses her impeccable research of the period,this time in the world of Atikens Emporium department store and it`s a joy when you get the inslights of Dandy as a young lady,i really enjoyed how she was introduced to buying gloves and then we are enlighten in how to buy Mousquetaries,even if she did require them in black satin and perhaps one day we will get to see her put feathers in her hair and dance the can-can with them on,but of course it would have to be done with Grants approval.Again Catronia McPherson has given us a well-constructed who done it and i look forward to the next outing of Dandy and Alex,who remind me of Agatha Christie Tuppence Cowley and Tommy Beresford,more please soon.
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Readers who love a mystery set during the Art Deco Period really have to try this series by Catriona McPherson. The genteel aspects of the characters flood through and even though I'm reading the sixth title in the series without having read the previous hasn't left me feeling alienated.

The characters fit the times; they have various hooks that allow a modern reader to associate with them and perhaps best of all the dialogue has an authentic feel.

Add to this a wonderful amount of research that was obviously lovingly conducted, a great sense of pace and an author who knows how to divert the reader's attention with ease.

It's clearly a done and when you add the fact that there's no heavy info dump within makes this a title that will more than please many a reader who decides to take tea with the fascinating Dandy Gilver.
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on 27 February 2011
This complex book has none of the froth and fun of the previous Dandy Gilver novels. It is a much heavier read with a dour gloom hanging over the characters that wouldn't be out of place in imagined Gilverton. I also felt that it could do with a good edit, thinning out some of the very dense prose.

The story itself is very good, but it isn't quite what I was expecting. I hope Dandy's next outing will be a somewhat less grim and that Alec will have a larger role. Hugh's tiny contribution to this novel was, however, one of the high points.
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on 10 February 2013
Always enjoy Dandy Gilver stores and her quirky way of life since the first of them.Not so sure about the new covers. Can't wait for the next one
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on 28 February 2013
My sister in Law just loves Dandy Gilver. We bought this as a small birthday gift and she was very pleased.
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on 2 March 2012
I like other reviewers did not recoqnise Dandy in this book. I found it very heavy, gloomy and couldn't wait to finish reading the book so I could be rid of it! I hope that Ms Mcpherson's next book will be back to her much superior earlier works.
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on 2 December 2010
It is hard to believe that this book was written by the same woman who created the wonderful Dandy Gilver, with her dour husband, her fearsome maid and her reliable 'Watson'. I was waiting for this latest instalment with baited breath, but after just a few pages I felt that this was thrown together by an author too busy to bother to plan a plot, or to expand Dandy's life in Perthshire.

This book is written without her usual wit and charm, with pages of conversation which pad out the lack of anything happening; gone are the details of Dandy's wardrobe and her observations on married life, in fact everything which make the Dandy Gilver books such a delight. I recommend you give this one a miss.
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