Monday, January 9, 2012

Death At Wentwater Court by Carola Dunn (Review)

The back of the book (I cut out the name of the victim):

"No stranger to sprawling country estates, wealthy Daisy Dalrymple is breaking new ground at this particular manor house, having scandalously traded silver spoon for pen and camera to cover a story for Town and Country magazine. But her planned interviews with the inhabitants of Wentwater Court give way to interrogation when suave {*****} meets a dire fate on the tranquil skating pond. Armed with evidence that his fate was anything but accidental, Daisy joins forces with Scotland Yard to examine an esteemed collection of suspects - and see that the unlikely culprit doesn't slip through their fingers just as the unfortunate {*****} slipped through the ice..."

I love the characters in this book.

I had trouble getting into the story - I liked it, love the 1920's language, the British setting and thoroughly enjoyed Daisy. I think my problem was the narration. I didn't get sucked inside the world at Wentwater Court, I was more a voyeur, a shadow squirreled away behind the curtain, rather than right there in the thick of things. Maybe that was Daisy herself. She had no loyalties as she was a stranger in the house, there was nothing to latch onto. She included everyone on the long list of suspects.

Daisy Dalrymple is smart, hard-working and determined - the perfect ingredients for a cozy mystery.

The middle didn't drag though everyone was a suspect until the end, no evidence dismissing even one person in full. I kind of like when we can determine so and so couldn't have done it, because it gives me a sense of urgency. As the reader, I think, 'Oh, boy. I'd better hurry up and figure this out before the author just tells me.' The lack of cutting suspects out still worked here, though, so I didn't really mind it.

The end was unexpected, untraditional and sweet. Even Daisy thinks it "gloriously inevitable in its simplicity" and I agree.

Anyone in search of a solid, British cozy with characters right out of the roaring 20's (from stodgy earls to lovable flappers) grab this book, sink your teeth in and enjoy.

This completes my first novel of the year and starts two Reading Challenges:
A-Z Challenge
Cruisin' Thru the Cozies


My Mom also completed the first novel for her Reading Challenges with Death of a Thousand Cuts and posted a review.


Au and Target said...

I love the Mrs Bradley mysteries and of course Harriet Vane and Lord Peter so this 1920s story attracts me.

Hey, checking out Ella Westin Mysteries in a new tab. I write fulltime; you too?

Bonnie said...

I do love a good cozy! I am definitely looking forward to Celebrity Apprentice!

xo, Bonnie

Jennifer Oberth said...

Au and Target - I don't write full time, yet but I'm working on it. (Congrats to you!)

Bonnie - love the cozies, love the Donald. What can be better on long winter nights? Oooh, I'm thinking of a mystery set in the boardroom...