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I received this book as a gift from someone who had a strong passion for murder mysteries such as Agatha Christie and he said that it's not as complicated story but has lots of thrills and excitement with unexpected twists.
It's the main character, Daisy Dalrymple, on the front cover, wrapped up for winter, ice skating on the frozen lake where her first mystery starts. The colours are not dull but feel cool and vintage to give it the Winter 1920s scene to it, which I believe that fits perfectly with the story.
Daisy Dalrymple arrives at Wentwater Court to write an article for Town and Country. She has chosen to take her own photographs to fit her article perfectly like a jigsaw. Everything goes smoothly during her first day since arriving at Wentwater. Until the next morning she goes skating with James and Fenella and they find the least favourite guest at Wentwater, Lord Stephan Ashwick, under the ice. After raising the alarm and taking a few photographs reveals that the victim di not fall through the ice by skating at dawn, it's been suggested it was an axe cut, which leads the suspicion to a murder... But the question is , who did it? Daisy teams up with Scotland Yard to solve the mystery on who did it and with a lot of haters, and everyone is on the list. Lord Stephan's death is not an easy case to solve, especially when there are unexpected twists and unpredictable surprises rising to complicate things more than needed.
---Where to buy---
This book was a gift but I know a few discounted book stores sell it on the 3 for £5 offer. If you can't find it in the offers you can always buy it at the RRP at £6.99 (which I believe is a reasonable price) from WH Smiths and Waterstones.
This is the first of the Daisy Dalrymple Mystery series by Carola Dunn.
The novel is set in the 1920s and Daisy is one of a new breed of young women trying to make their own way in the world. Daisy is, in fact, an 'Honourable' - the daughter of a viscount. Unfortunately, her elder brother Gervaise was killed on active service during World War I and as her father is dead, the estate has passed to Daisy's cousin as girls didn't inherit estates at this time. As the novel progresses we find out that Daisy also has a strained relationship with her mother, the dowager vicountess - who thinks Daisy should either marry and settle down or live a life appropriate to her heritage. It also turns out that Daisy's fiancé was killed in the trenches whilst driving an ambulance. He was a conscientious objector, which many people disapproved of - it was seen as unpatriotic and unmanly not to want to fight for your country.
As the novel begins, we find Daisy on her way to Wentwater Court, where she is to photograph and write an article about the country manor for 'Town & Country' magazine, a sort of Country Living meets Harpers & Queen type publication. This is Daisy's first assignment and understandably, she's anxious not to make a mess of it.
Daisy spends a few days getting to know the manor and enjoying the company of the other guests. These include the Honourable Phillip Petrie, a contemporary of Daisy's elder brother, who has a long held wish to marry Daisy, despite the fact that she has repeatedly told him she's not interested in him. Another of the guests is Lord Stephen Astwick, who has a reputation as a terrible cad, or ladies man.
One morning, Lord Stephen is missed at breakfast and is later discovered face down in the lake. At first, it's thought that he'd simply drowned after falling through a thin patch of ice while skating on the lake. However, Daisy takes some photographs of the scene and when developing them notices axe marks in the ice - it looks as though foul play is involved!
Enter Inspector Alex Fletcher, all the way from London's Scotland Yard. Fletcher sets to investigating the death, with Daisy becoming heavily involved in the investigation. Fletcher tells her to keep out of it several times, but Daisy can't help being drawn in as the other guests seem to want to confide in her and Daisy feels honour-bound to share her discoveries with the Inspector.
As the story progresses, the mystery twists and turns until we discover the final outcome - which isn't necessarily what you might think!