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Daisy Dalrymple's childhood friend Philip Petrie sends her an urgent telegram asking for her help. His girlfriend, Gloria Arbuckle has been kidnapped and is being held to ransom until her wealthy father can produce the large sum demanded for her release. Philip himself was also kidnapped but then dumped by the criminals and fortunately rescued by Daisy's cousin, Edgar Dalrymple.

Gloria's father does not want the police contacted so Daisy must try and solve the crime and rescue Gloria before the ransom is paid. This is a fast paced story as Philip and Daisy along with several friends try and track down where the kidnappers are holding Gloria without arousing anyone's suspicions which stretches Daisy's powers of invention to the limit.

I enjoyed this story and loved the way Daisy's cousin is portrayed as a bit of a bumbler even though it soon becomes clear her understands more than he will admit to and would quite like to be involved in whatever the young people have going on. If you have not read any of this series before then this might not be a good one to start with though the series can be read in any order. This is an enjoyable mystery set in the 1920s and will appeal to readers who enjoyed David Roberts' Lord Edward Corinth and Verity Browne series.
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on 13 October 1997
In 1923 just outside London, Phillip Petrie, the son of an English Lord, stops his car on the side of the road to see what is causing a terrible knocking sound. Gloria Arbuckle, the daughter of an American industrial giant, stops to offer her assistance. The pair begins to see each other and Phillip quickly falls in love with Gloria. Phillip courts Gloria and her poppa as he plans to win them both over and marry her.
One day, while Phillip and Gloria were driving together, the car breaks down. Phillip tries to fix it, but they are set upon by some thugs. He is tied up and she is abducted. The kidnappers instruct poppa to raise a ransom without involving the police if he wants his beloved daughter back alive. Phillip turns to his childhood chum, Daisy Dalyrmple, to save the life of his beloved.
DAMSEL IN DISTRESS is a fun to read, who-done-it that ironically laughs at itself as well as high society. Daisy and the support cast (both the recurring and new characters) are all wonderful in a zany way, making this a series worth reading.
Harriet Klausner
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on 2 December 2010
Daisy Dalrymple is a jolly heroine and the novels are a good read - I have read most of them now and enjoyed them - they entertain without straining the emotions
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 17 March 2014
This is the fifth of the Honourable Daisy Dalrymple whodunnits and her romance with DCI Alec Fletcher is coming along nicely, although if course he is very much her social inferior. Not that she cares - she is a modern woman, 1920s style, earning her own precarious living and striking out for freedom from her suffocating aristocratic family.
The Hon Philip Petrie is much more Daisy's social equal, but not her intellectual equal, although she is no bluestocking, but a rather charmingly chaotic and fun young woman. The very English Philip has fallen for an American girl, Gloria Arbuckle, daughter of a millionaire. The clash of cultures and expectations between the two cultures is amusingly drawn. Carola Dunn is a British woman living in the US and she makes full use of her knowledge of her knowledge of the two cultures. There are lots of jolly japes as Daisy romps to a triumphant solution to the mystery of Gloria's kidnap.
Carola Dunn successfully evokes the atmosphere of the England of the 1920s, at least as it appears in the books of writers such as PG Wodehouse. It pokes the same kind of gentle fun at both the antics of the British aristocracy and the brash attitudes of Americans. It is an entertaining romp with a fairly inconsequential plot, very well-written and amusing. I enjoyed it.
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on 31 August 2010
While I didn't find this story quite as engrossing as the other books I have read in the Daisy Dalrymple series, it was still very enjoyable. The plot was a bit "obvious" but the characters were just as well-drawn as usual.
I like the fact that one "meets" several of the characters again and again in this series.
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on 30 September 2013
I find these books such easy reading, light-hearted but interesting plots. Daisy is believable and the fact that everyone talks to her so easily leads her into trouble all the time. This story is as good as all the others.
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VINE VOICEon 18 November 2010
Ms Dunn demonstrates in this, the fifth Daisy Dalrymple novel, that she can not just knock out a well crafted, cosy mystery set in the classic inter-war period, but that she can also create a sustainably and plausibly structured framework for a continuing series. The twin requirements of short-term plot and location, and the probably more difficult blend of longer term character development within a recognisably continuous background are handled so efficiently that one almost cannot see the join. Old faces change believably to suit the author's purpose and some entertaining new ones are introduced. Admittedly these later additions are increasingly straight from the pages of PG Woodhouse (eccentric aristocrat with obsessive hobby, comedic American millionaire with attractive daughter etc), but, as always, if one is going to steal then do it from the best.

There is nothing earth shatteringly different or challenging about these books, but what they do they do very well.
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on 20 March 2013
I really enjoy detective stories and I am interested in the history of the inter war years. Carola Dunn's stories are very evocative of the period. Her main character Daisy is a strong willed and capable young lady who is quick witted and tenacious. Although she is an 'Honourable' she is not content to 'marry well' and be looked after. She makes her own way in the world writing illustrated articles for a magazine.
In this story she comes to the aid of her friend Philip whose future fiance has been kidnapped for ransom as her father is an american millionaire. After many adventures and with a cast of colourful characters the story eventually comes to a satisfactory conclusion.
It is a very entertaining read!
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on 3 July 2012
I have read most of the Daisy Dalrymple Fletcher books. I mainly bought them because it is so hard nowadays to find "pleasant" books that don't swear or throw filth at you.

Unfortunately, they do posses the modern day dumb down disease, thus making the plots rather superficial. Not a great deal of sleuthing going on.

I love the twenties era, but the books fail to create a twenties atmosphere. I could be reading/seeing Frost or Morse, especially with all the "police rank talk" (AC superior etc.)..

Some objects, such as the cars are descriptive of the twenties and although I am sure that human nature in the twenties was as it is now, society was different. The author fails to bring this fact across. The books are too obviously written with the pen of a modern author. Still, it is relaxed reading.

I do wonder if Mrs Daisy Fletcher was loosely based on the "Murder she wrote' Mrs. Fletcher?? She would have been young around the twenties era. I only wish Daisy's husband would be a bit more sympathetic towards her even if it kills him to be undermined by a female.
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on 13 June 2014
a good writer that keeps one reading to the end. I have several of her books now but the Daisy Dalrymple are better than the Cornwall books - at least that is my opinion. Hopefully Carola Dunn is writing a few more of this series.
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