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3.9 out of 5 stars23
3.9 out of 5 stars
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on 3 August 2011
I read this book following a recommendation by a friend. I thoroughly enjoyed it and in turn I would recommend it. This is a gentle read, a step back in time to another era. It probably helped that I lived in South Queensferry for several years and so know the area well, recognised the various locations mentioned in the book and have seen the "Burry Man" many times. I think that the book is very well written, the author's powers of description are excellent and in contrast to modern crime/mystery novels the language is gentle rather than offensive. The book contains humour and there is a twist at the end which I did not expect. I would think that is is perhaps more of a woman's book than the sort of book a man would choose to read as it ambles rather than races but it is definitely a good read and I will definitely buy another book by Catriona McPherson.
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on 17 January 2009
Witty, clever plot, characters that come to life. Good evocation of the language of the day without jarring on the 21st century reader. Dandy is such a busy body inthe nicest possible way. She manages to exploit the cultural differences of Scots and English with absolutely no agenda.
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on 27 April 2012
I am a great fan of books of this type, and this vintage of crime fiction. There seem to be so many (Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear, Daisy Dalrymple by Carola Dunn, Frances Brody) etc.

However, although I've now read two of this series, I find them very difficult to digest and read. In the Burry Man's day, I was completely put out by an early reference where one character suggested that Dundee was just over the Tay from Queensferry. Given that Queensferry is on the Forth, and any ferries from there to Dundee would have to go around the lump of land called the Kingdom of Fife....... So I was convinced that this comment was a fatal error by the speaker, revealing his guilt! Of course it wasn't - it was just a mistake in the book!

Despite that, I still found the books very hard to read. Something about the phrasing and storyline.

Sorry - but I'll be sticking with the Amazing Maisie Dobbs and Wonderful Daisy Dalrymple/Fletcher from now on!
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on 13 June 2009
I loved this book -you'll find yourself reading in a posh voice! A good story, some really funny lines, great characters and a jolly good read.
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on 9 March 2016
It's the 1920s and it's larks at a Scottish small town with a local tradition - the Burry Man. In a suit made of crunchy, irritating, scratchy burrs, a local goes from street to street, pub to pub, house to house; a penny or a dram at each place, good luck to all. A long weekend of merriment.
Then this one day, this one year, the Burry Man dies!
Dandy Gilver, on a visit to an old school friend, can't help getting involved. She was there when the Burry Man - off-duty, as it were - died. Too many questions need answers, the inquest is too neat. Everything is too ... sorted. With feelings running high about temperance in a "whiskey" town, differing religious convictions, family ties and feuds, nothing will be easy.
So why did the Burry Man die?
An excellent second book in the series, McPherson has ticked all the boxes - believable characters, funny moments, a puzzle being intriguing by not being clear, moral questions, excellent setting, scotch and excitement.
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on 28 September 2008
Dandy Gilver the heroine of the series is wonderful, quite well rounded and as human as the rest of us. Her household provide an entertaining backdrop to the mystery solving, and the society of the time seems to come alive. Would recommend
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on 17 March 2014
I am really getting into the Dandy Gilver mysteries they are very well written and I find myself dashing through them so I can find out the culprits at the end. They are well thought out stories and quite different from one another which is rather nice as often series tend to be quite similar. This one about the Burry man is built around the very sad time after the First World War when deserters were treated as criminals and their families suffered terribly unable to take them back home again. I am not going to give away the plot but think it is well worth reading. I find the relationship between Dandy and her "Watson" Alec extremely interesting. All in all a good book.
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on 1 September 2014
The plot was gripping, with unexpected twists and turns and carried along by a cast of fascinating characters- some eccentric, some disturbing, some frightened and some just plain mysterious. Once again, the First World War provides the backdrop of a society scarred by the past but trying to build a future for its younger generation. Nothing must stop this close knit Scottish community coming together for a traditional celebration with a history preceding the horror of the Great War. Despite the themes of loss and mourning, the story also made me smile many times- particularly at the antics of the reluctant lady of the manor and the neighbourhood children.
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on 2 January 2013
I very much enjoyed this book, and felt that unlike most authors who use a period setting Catriona McPherson has a real understanding, and not just knowledge, of how people spoke and thought. Her heroine Dandy Gilver, an upper class woman, appears perfectly happy and at home with working people, but the automatic snobbery of the time peeps out in her indignation at the "presumption" of the middle class. The story is nicely involved and the ending surprising, there are some pleasantly scary moments, and Dandy and her friends are amusing company for the reader.
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on 5 July 2014
Still struggling with the character of the 'detective' in this convoluted tale, not to mention the rest of the dramatist personae. She is not someone with whom I can easily empathise and the basic premise of the murder and its setting is just bizarre. I would not be tempted to delve into number 3 in the series if/when it is published.
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