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on 14 July 2013
I have enjoyed the Daisy Dalrymple books, so was pleased to discover this new series by Carola Dunne.
Eleanor has returned to Cornwall after the death of her husband.She has become actively involved in charity work alongside the slightly intimidating Jocelyn (the vicar's wife). As in all cosy detective mysteries they come across a dead body, in this instance the corpse is in the Charity shop storeroom.
Eleanor, Joce, their artist neighbour Nick and Eleanor's neice Megan; who just happens to be Cornwall's only female detective sergeant, investigate the murder. Megan's boss, the grumpy but competent D.I.Scumble is naturally enough not fo keen on their meddling.
This is an engaging mystery, with characters that I was quick to warm to. It is set in some nebulous time in the 1960's or 70's, which generated great feelings of nostalgia for times when ordinary people didn't have telephones, shops shut for lunch and early closing day.
Since finishing this book I've read the other two books in the series and am pleased to say that the characters continue to develop and the mysteries continue to intrigue.
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I've read all of this author's Daisy Dalrymple series and thoroughly enjoyed them so I decided to try her new Cornish Mystery series. This is the first book of that series and very enjoyable it is too. Set in the 1960s in a small town on the Cornish coast it features Eleanor Trewynn, a widow in her sixties, who lives above a charity shop and helps to run it.

She has an ancient pea green Morris Minor and a West Highland White terrier called Teazle. When she discovers a body in the stock room of the charity shop she becomes involved in a web of crime and ends up having more contact than she actually wants with the irascible D I Scumble. Eleanor's niece, Megan, is also a detective which helps to make things difficult at times.

This is relatively slow paced mystery with some interesting characters and evocative descriptions of Cornwall and life in a small community in a gentler age. I found it an enjoyable and relaxing read, with some interesting characters and situations and a well-drawn background. This is a promising start to the series and I shall look forward to reading future instalments.
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on 28 July 2010
This was an easy-read but not very gripping mystery - the heroine's constant state of 'forgetfulness' and lack of clear thought became slightly tedious from my point of view. Nevertheless - a pleasant enough book to read.
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on 1 December 2013
Oh dear! I did not like this book. It is set a few decades back and hence was low tech but even allowing for that it's a very predictable plodding cops and robbers story set in little 'ol Cornwall. The big boys from the Met come down and it's them and us re the local police. All very parochial.
One of the main characters is a version of 'Miss Marple' and she helps solve the 'who dunnit' after amazingly knowing the witnesses and the baddies in the crime. I became increasingly frustrated and irritated as the plot wore thinner as the book came to an end.
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on 28 October 2014
As a fan of both Daisy Dalrymple and the 1960s I was looking forward to this, but it was a bit disappointing and VERY slow. We have a murder victim we know nothing about, no suspects and no suspense whatsoever, which makes the whole investigation a bit tedious. Eleanor was obviously supposed to be a lovable eccentric, but - as another reviewer has said - she was just irritating, as was her friend Nick, while Megan was quite bland. Though I did like Scumble.
Also there was a complete lack of 60s atmosphere and - apart from a few mentions of old cars - the story could have been set in the present day. Especially as Eleanor was prone to wearing trainers (which didn't exist in the 60s) and tracksuits (only worn by athletes at that time).
Having said all that, there was something quite cosy about it, though I doubt I'll bother with the rest of the series.
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on 12 July 2015
Really enjoyed this book and the other two in the series. Aunt Nell is a sympathetic but feisty character and her little dog Teazle is delightful. For me the 'restrictions' of the time were natural, but for younger readers the absence of mobile phones, shops open on Sundays etc must surely be an eye-opener. The plots are well devised so that the reader is enticed to reach the solution.

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on 19 September 2014
I really enjoyed the Daisy Dalrymple series so bought this through Kindle Daily Deal.

I was therefore very disappointed with Manna from Hades. As someone else mentioned the story could have been told in fewer chapters, yet it was dragged out by constant irrelevant information. I found the main female characters Eleanor and Megan incredibly annoying, and the male characters were mostly depicted as varying degrees of mysognist except the artist, Nick.

The actual murder mystery was not as good in Ms Dunn's other books. I fnished it because I wanted to know who the murderer was, but after this will not buy another in the series. Glad I only spent 99p on it.
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on 11 November 2013
I found the main female protagonist irritating, she is not that elderly but comes across as being foolish beyond belief. The depiction of Cornwall makes it sound twee, and as an amalgam of old and new which the author confirms, is a technique that rarely works.
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on 15 August 2013
This book was very enjoyable, characters that the reader could come to know. If you like crime stories that are not too gory or scary, but enjoy the detection, and the jumble of relationships this is very worth reading.
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on 22 October 2013
I've read all the Daisy Dalrympole books by this author ( would also recommend them to everyone!) and was very glad to find another series by her. It is set in a small village where everyone seems to know everyone else and a murder puts the cat among the pigeons. I would recommend this book and author to anyone who enjoys a cosy mystery, that doesn't include swearing, blood everywhere and guts for hardened police officers to fall over!
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