Death at Wentwater Court by Carola Dunn

Death at Wentwater CourtBlurb:

It’s the early 1920s in England – the country is still recovering from the Great War and undergoing rapid social changes that many are not quite ready to accept. During this heady and tumultuous time, the Honourable Daisy Dalrymple, the daughter of a Viscount, makes a decision shocking to her class: rather than be supported by her relations, she will earn her own living as a writer.
Landing an assignment for Town & Country magazine for a series of articles on country manor houses she travels to Wentwater Court in early January 1923 to begin research on her first piece. But all is not well there when she arrives.
Lord Wentwater’s young wife has become the center of a storm of jealousy, animosity, and, possibly, some not-unwanted amorous attention, which has disrupted the peace of the bucolic country household. Still, this is as nothing compared to the trouble that ensues when one of the holiday guests drowns in a tragic early-morning skating accident. Especially when Daisy discovers that his death was no accident …


In a nutshell:

I read it in: German (“Miss Daisy und der Tote auf dem Eis”)

I liked it:   x  Yes, with some reservations about the ending

For people who like: cosy mysteries, mystery with no violence (except, of course, for the murder), easy reading, the atmosphere of the 20s


My thoughts: 

“Death at Wentwater Court” is the first book in the Daisy Dalrymple series. I read it after reading the fourth instalment “Murder on the Flying Scotsman” which I liked quite a bit.

In this first book Daisy meets Alec Fletcher, the smart detective for the first time and the foundation stone for their future relationship is being laid. We also find out why Alec is always investigating the crimes taking place in “High Society”, I had already wondered about that. Daisy is a very nice, down-to-earth girl. However, her overall likeable-ness started to get on my nerves when everybody, really everybody, wanted her to stay/go with them when they had to confess to the police or talk about a difficult topic. Those people only knew her slightly, if at all, and still she became their confidante almost immediately. Even Alec himself, who is a police officer, talked about the current case as if she was a co-worker instead of a , let’s face it, nosy female who just happened to be at the right place at the right time. His readiness to tell her confidential information was odd, to say the least.

Spoiler below!

The discovery of the culprit was based on another confession made in Daisy’s presence which was a bit of a disappointment.

What followed after was downright shocking. I know this is supposed to be a harmless cosy mystery, but somehow the end rubbed me the totally wrong way. Daisy played judge, jury and executioner (or rather the opposite) in one go and decided to let the culprit go free by coming up with a cunning plan to get him out of the grasp of the police. As justified as this may seem, it was highly irregular. The motivation behind this was basically to protect the noble family involved from being dragged through the press and prevent further pain. All very nice, indeed, however, if the same incident had happened in a working class environment, I am sure, the outcome would have been different. The subsequent outburst of Alec was understandable.  How quickly he was placated and  the laissez faire attitude of his superior – a friend of the family involved–, made me feel slightly uneasy.

It might very well be that the situation during those times was exactly like that – hang the rabble, spare the upper classes – but really, in a mystery novel one expects to see justice done. If a jury had found the accused not guilty, which would have been not unlikely, then all would have been good. As it was it leaves an uncomfortable feeling with me. 

Location: Hampshire, England, UK

Map UK, Hampshire  Back entrance to Hyde Farm

Binley Bottom, Hampshire Hampshire village

All images from wikipedia

Product info and buy link :

Title Death at Wentwater Court
Author Carola Dunn
Publisher Robinson
ISBN 978-1845298654
I got this book from the library
Buy link Buy Death at Wentwater Court
More info The Daisy Dalrymple mysteries in chronological order
and more Two free Daisy Dalrymple short stories

 

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? I would love to hear other opinions.

2 Comments Write a comment

  1. I read this a while back and quite enjoyed it, although I preferred David Roberts’ Edward Corinth and Verity Browne mysteries (set a little later in the 30s) and Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear, both of which are darker and more political – well Roberts’ novels are anyway. However, I love this period in history so have got 7 more of Dunn’s mysteries (which I got at a bargain!)
    sakura’s last post ..Discovering Daphne

    Reply

    • I enjoy the atmosphere as well, really nice and cosy. Just that with this one I did not like the ending at all. But I am reading another one right now and have one more from the library. We’ll see….:)

      Reply

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