Dandy Gilver, her husband back from the War, and her children off at school is bored to a whimper in the spring of 1923 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 has been swept aside by an unexpected death.
Catriona McPherson was born near Edinburgh in 1965, the youngest of four daughters, and was educated at Edinburgh University. She then worked for five years as a lecturer in the English department of Leeds University before fleeing academia almost completely. Catriona now teaches part time for the Open University and spends the rest of her time writing. She lives on a farm in a beautiful valley in Galloway.
Set in the early 1920s, British author McPherson's refreshing debut introduces the captivating Dandy Gilver, a well-to-do woman caught between Victorian mores and the exhilarating sense of freedom that followed WWI. With her husband at home and her children away at school, Dandy is bored until a friend asks her to help recover the Duffy family diamonds stolen from a country house after an elaborate armistice ball, artfully depicted in the prologue. Dandy's inquiry into the missing jewels takes a tragic turn after the Duffys' younger daughter, Cara, dies in a fire in a Galloway seaside cottage. Dandy joins forces with Cara's fiance, Alec Osborne, and the two are soon on the trail of long-hidden family secrets and a brutal murder. Memorable supporting characters, both upstairs and downstairs, plus vivid descriptions of the Scottish landscape enhance a compelling mystery, but it is Dandy who shines as she smoothly and sometimes unscrupulously deals with people at all social levels in her quest for the truth. The unusual conclusion leaves some provocative loose ends that point the way to a sequel. (Sept.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Shortlisted for the Crime Writers - Association Ellis Peters Award, a 1920s upper-class whodunit featuring a captivating amateur sleuth stylishly intriguing.' The BooksellerA most enjoyable murder-mystery, with a new and appealing heroine. - Publishing NewsMcPherson's refreshing debut introduces the captivating Dandy Gilver... memorable supporting characters plus vivid descriptions enhance a compelling mystery - Publishers Weekly,Perhaps the time has come for contemporary Scottish crime fiction to lighten up. Tartan noir has reigned unopposed for too long. Tartan tweed might give it a run for its dirty money. - Scottish Daily Mail