After the Armistice Ball by Catriona McPherson
Series: #1 in the Dandy Gilver series
Publisher: Carroll & Graf
Publication Date: 2005
The Short Version:
In 1920’s Scotland Dandelion (Dandy) Gilver is a bored upper class woman who becomes an investigator in order to help out a friend.
Why I Read It:
I discovered this author at the Left Coast Crime Convention in March and this sounded like a fun mystery series.
From the author’s website:
After the Armistice Ball is set among the struggling upper classes of 1920s Perthshire as, in the aftermath of the First World War, their comfortable world begins to crumble. Dandy Gilver, her husband back from the War, her children off at school and her uniform growing musty in the attic, is bored to a whimper and a little light snooping seems like harmless fun. Before long, though, the puzzle of what really happened to the Duffy diamonds after the Armistice Ball is swept aside by a sudden death in a lonely seaside cottage in Galloway. Society and the law seem ready to call it an accident but Dandy, along with Cara Duffy’s fiancé Alec, is sure that more is going on than meets the eye. What is being hidden by members of the Duffy family: the watchful Lena, the cold and distant Clemence and old Gregory Duffy with his air of quiet sadness, not to mention Cara herself whose secret always seems just tantalizingly out of view? Dandy must learn to trust her instincts and swallow most of her scruples if she is to uncover the truth and earn the right to call herself a sleuth.
I enjoyed this one well enough to put the next in the series on my TBR list. It’s promising but I’m not positive it’s a series I’ll stick with long term.
Set in 1922 Scotland and featuring Dandy (Dandelion) Gilver as an upper class woman whose children are old enough to be off at boarding school. When a friend asks Dandy to look into what really happened when the Duffy diamonds were discovered to be fakes she’s happy to relieve her boredom. Dandy doesn’t seem to have any investigative experience and her friend seems willing to pay her to ask questions primarily because Dandy can do it without raising suspicions that she’s up to anything.
Anyway, suddenly Dandy is getting paid for asking questions and soon the case takes a tragic turn. Dandy with the help of young Alec Osborne is looking into not only the truth about what happened to the diamond but also a murder.
I like Dandy. She’s got a fun sense of humor. Although hired because she’s perceived as a bit clueless she’s smarter than people credit her.
Two murders need two motives, I wrote, then I put my elbows on the desk and lowered my head, but stopped in time. It was not even ten o’clock in the morning, and I could not possibly put my head in my hands already. Sherlock, I am sure, never put his head in his hands before luncheon. That should be my rule from now on. No head holding before luncheon, no putting of one’s head on the table and rolling it from side to side before tea, and no audible groaning before dinner.