Gillian Linscott - Nell Bray Mysteries
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I tried the Daisy Dalyrmple series by Carola Dunn, but they're pretty flat fare after the rich prose of Laurie R. King's Mary Russell series (one of the good post-WWI mysteries series, by the way) and I gave up after two books.
If the third one wanders into the realm of ghosties and ghoulies, I won't be surprised - Winspear's already shown a tendency to mystical hoodoo with Maisie's ability to "intuit" things. What's next, aura-readings? ;)
Hated the Daisy Dalrymple book I read -- didn't even make it to the second in the series. Glad to know I wasn't the only one who found it lacking.
Not me. I'm a history buff, but before I read that, I had concentrated mostly on Victorian and American Civil War history, so the white feather thing was something I hadn't seen before.
There's a book called After the Armistice Ball that I haven't read yet, for fear of it being another Daisy Dalrymple disaster and I know I read the first book in a post WWI series featuring the typical "feisty" feminist reporter and a viscount detecive. Can't recall the author or the title at the moment. I think it was hailed as a welcome successor to Lord Peter Wimsey, but I would have to heartily disagree with that. Nothing like Dorothy L. Sayers at all and the characters weren't nearly as interesting.
BTW, I ordered After The Armistice Ball because it sounded intriguing - it's at the library waiting for me, so I'll have a read and tell you how I got on!
What I loved about it - and what will lead me to read more Dandy Gilver mysteries whenever they appear - is the convincingly "period" and often witty narratorial voice. Dandy, I like, and the 1920s Scottish setting is a breath of fresh air after the well-trodden ground of London parties. However, I wasn't too keen on the story itself - after establishing Dandy as a believable, well-balanced personality it's a bit jarring to put her up against a psychopath. (I will say no more - that in itself is not a spoiler, I will give away no details of whodunit and why.) The attention to detail was good and the "clues" well-planted, it was a mystery that definitely played fair with the reader... but the villain seemed to wander in from another, inferior, book. You'll see what I mean when you read it.
Still going to check out the next one though. And, to bring the topic back to Jacqueline Winspear again, I saw her latest, Messenger of Truth, in my local library and thought I'd read the first few pages. And, true to form, in the first few pages we have a potential client visiting Maisie's office and looking up to the window where Maisie stands. Maisie turns and looks down at the street, and instantly Client is suffused with a reassuring, caring, supporting warmth from Maisie's look alone. Yes, from just detecting "auras" Maisie has moved on to charismatic consolation from a distance!
Why can't she just jack in the "mysteries" stuff and open up a holistic healing centre? Someone who can just look at grieving people and make them feel better instantly could earn lots of moolah from that talent...
There is a new Dandy mystery just published, by the way. I saw it on the "new" shelf at the library.
Still can't remember the name of the author of the series I mentioned above.
If anyone is wanting to mooch this book -- I've put it up on BookMooch for grabs.
I'm currently in the midst of the first, I think, Nell Bray mystery Sister Beneath the Sheet. It's good, though not quite as tight as her later ones and I think she was playing around with some of her reoccuring characters here, feeling them out so to speak because at least the one I'm thinking of doesn't resemble her later appearences very much.
I just got another Nell Bray book, Widow's Peak in the mail yesterday. Looking forward to reading it sooner or later. But right now I've promised myself that I'm going to get through the remainder of the Lemony Snicket books before I do anything else!
Also read The Burry Man's Day, the next in Catriona McPherson's Dandy Gilver series - it was weird to read it right after Absent Friends, as both of them featured the same element of post-WWI life. I will not give any more than that away. As for Burry Man, Dandy gets wittier and wittier but the way in which the appropriately complicated mystery got solved was all a bit serendipitous for me. The "twist" involving the Burry Man himself was also easy to see coming - one look at his costume gives the game away! But overall it's a series I'll be sticking with.