Mystery Mondays is a sometimes weekly, sometimes biweekly and sometimes monthly review feature here on Words of Mystery that showcases books in the mystery (and on occasion thriller) genre that we are currently reading and our thoughts on them. Feel free to comment and leave suggestions as to what we should read and review next.
Daisy Dalrymple #21
Advance Reader Copy, 292 pages
December 10th 2013
Received from publisher in exchange for an honest review.
The Daisy Dalrymple series continues in Heirs of the Body—when one of four potential claimants to the title of Lord Dalrymple dies a sudden, nasty death, the question on everyone’s mind is, “was it murder”?
In the late 1920’s in England, The Honourable Daisy Dalrymple Fletcher is recruited to help her cousin Edgar—i.e. the Lord Dalrymple. About to turn fifty, Lord Dalrymple decides it is time to find out who would be the heir to the viscountcy. With the help of the family lawyer, who advertises Empire-wide, they have come up with four potential claimants. For his fiftieth birthday, Edgar invites those would-be heirs—along with Daisy and the rest of the family—to Fairacres, the family estate.
In the meantime, Daisy is asked to be the family’s representative at the lawyer’s interviews with the claimants. Those four are a hotelier from Scarborough, a diamond merchant from South Africa, a young mixed-raced boy from Trinidad, and a sailor from Jamaica. However, according to his very pregnant wife, the sailor has gone missing.
Daisy and Alec must uncover a conspiracy if they are going to stop the killing in the latest from the accomplished master of the genre, Carola Dunn.
When it comes to mysteries I like to mix in some lighter fare with the dark stuff, and for that I usually turn to either cozies or historical mysteries. One of my favourite historical mysteries released in 2013 is Heirs of the Body. Heirs of the Body is the 21st book in the Daisy Dalrymple mystery series and it’s a good one. I love that it’s set in the 1920s (one of my favourite decades) and in England because we get to see a bit of what it was like for an English woman back then. Though I think Daisy was probably more of the exception rather than the norm being a working woman in addition to being a wife and mother.
Daisy Dalrymple is the kind of protagonist that you love to root for in a mystery. I love that she sticks up for herself and her family especially in the face of her always disapproving mother. And despite not being a trained detective and having many naysayers who intentionally dismiss her ideas and leave her out, Daisy still loves and doesn’t hesitate to get involved in the investigations. I also love how naturally curious Daisy was when it comes to other people, it’s something I can really relate to and something that helps her help solve the case. The other characters that are all in some way connected to Daisy are all pretty interesting and quirky. Like most family reunions things tend to get kind of crazy but in this case as they are coming together to find out who is the next heir to the Dalrymple estate the craziest is brought up another notch. Each of the potential heirs have their own interesting back stories. From the sailor who’s missing to the hotel manager to the mixed race boy who has come with his guardian each have their own reasons for wanting to be the heir. The identity of the culprit though not obvious does make the most sense as all the clues are there.
Heirs of the Body by Carola Dunn is a great traditional cozy British mystery as well as a good winter holiday read as it is all about family and not just your biological family. This is particularly illustrated in how daisy treats her stepdaughter Belinda the same as she treats her twins and how many of the characters are more than willing to “adopt” children that are not their own. I thoroughly enjoyed this latest installment in the Daisy Dalrymple Mystery series and will definitely be checking out the older books in this series as well as looking forward to more of daisy’s adventures.
If you like this book, you’ll love: Proof of Guilt by Charles Todd
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars
Regardless of how this book came into my possession, the above review consists of my honest opinion of the book and my opinion only.