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NAME THE CULPRIT...
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.