Dead in the water by Carola Dunn

Dead in the waterBlurb:

In July of 1923, the Honourable Daisy Dalrymple travels to Henley-on-Thames to visit her aunt and uncle as well as to work on her latest writing assignment – to cover the Henley Royal Regatta for an American magazine. Daisy plans a simple trip researching her article, enjoying the races, and, come the weekend, having a pleasant time with her fiance, Detective Chief Inspector Alec Fletcher of Scotland Yard. But the tensions between the Ambrose team’s coxswain, Horace Bott – a shopkeeper’s son and scholarship student at Oxford – and rower, Basil DeLancey – the younger son of an Earl and all-around bounder – are constantly threatening to erupt into violence. The team then proceeds to lose their next heat in the eight because Bott is ill from the previous night’s overindulgence, an action he was goaded into by DeLancey. DeLancey publicly humiliates Bott. Bott, in turn, publicly swears revenge. The following day, in the coxless four, DeLancey himself keels over and dies mid-race. Foul play is immediately suspected, with Bott the logical suspect. But nothing is obvious in this tangled web of jealousies and secrets, and while Inspector Fletcher investigates the murder, Daisy once again must ferret out the truth.

In a nutshell:

I read it in: German (Miss Daisy und der Tote auf dem Wasser)

I liked it:   Yes, but slowly I am getting sick of Daisy

For people who like: Cosy mysteries, sports events, the 20s, the English upper class, rowing

My thoughts: 

This is the third Daisy Dalrymple mystery that I have read and I know that soon I will need to take a break from her.

"Death on the water" has an interesting setting. A widely known regatta takes place and we learn about the rivalries between teams as well as the problems misfits (i.e. members of the lower classes) have to deal with when attending a college – especially, it seems, when they are smarter than the average nobleman’s son.
However, I would have preferred to learn about those problems in a less "ram them down your throat" way. Before we encounter even one situation where the low class boy is being harassed by his supposed superiors he already pours his little heart out to the ubiquitous Daisy, even though he has only seen her for the first time at the very moment. Again she wonders briefly why everybody wants to take her into their confidence, but then again, she is so curious, not to say nosy, that she takes to being the confidante like a fish takes to water. She really got on my nerves with her "I’ll stay to make sure s/he is alright" demeanour when, in reality, she just wants to stay in order to know everything that is being said and done. How her fiancée Alec puts up with that shit, I don’t know.

The sleuthing seemed to be somewhat slow and little goal oriented. If there hadn’t been a witness of sorts and a murderer ready to confess (either through words or actions) Alec would have been in the dark forever. On top of that the case is not quite as clear as it seemed, which only comes out almost as an afterthought. And once more – I feel like I am turning into a fighter for the plebs reading those books – I got the uncomfortable feeling that exceptions are being made for people simply because they belong to a class that seems to be untouchable.

I have one more Daisy Dalrymple book from the library, "Styx and Stones", which I will read and then I will call it a day for now. There is only so much lenience towards the upper class I can take.

Location: Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, England, UK

England map Temple IslandHenley-on-Thames 

Regatta in 1907 Regatta in 2004

Product info and buy link :

Title Dead in the water
Author Carola Dunn
Publisher Kensington
ISBN 978-0758227294
I got this book from the library
Buy link Buy Dead in the Water
More info The Daisy Dalrymple mysteries in chronological order
and more Two free Daisy Dalrymple short stories
and even more Henley Royal Regatta


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

2 Comments Write a comment

    • Really? Have you been to that temple island, too? That sounded so nice, but maybe it is owned by that club, so I am not sure one can even go on it.


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