The hot summer heat could put anyone anyone on edge but to Daisy Dalrymple, it does seem that her brother-in-law, Lord John Frobisher, is exceptionally tense - and with good reason. Someone with an evil sense of humour is sending him a series of poisoned pen letters that threaten to reveal racy secrets which could ruin him completely.
Promising to protect Lord John from public scandal, Daisy travels to his village in Kent only to discover it's teeming with enough gossip, resentment and intrigue to make everyone a suspect... or victim. But then a murder is committed, and Daisy is forced to find the killer before the ink dries on her own death warrant!
While Howard Engel's latest (Murder in Montparnasse, reviewed above) is set in 1920s Paris, this delightful installment in Dunn's entertaining series (Damsel in Distress, etc.) unfolds across the Channel in 1920s England. The Honorable Daisy Dalrymple is invited by her brother-in-law, Lord John Frobisher, to take a holiday at his country estate and to investigate a series of poison pen letters. The brutally hot August of 1923 has brought out the worst in one of the villagers, for Daisy learns that John and other locals have been receiving threatening letters from someone who knows their most damning secrets. In a small village rife with gossip, there are many suspects, from the postmistress, Mrs. Burden, to the local busybody, Mabel Prothero. Daisy tries to sniff out the letter-writer without having to inform her fianc , Scotland Yard Inspector Alex Fletcher, who's resigned himself to Daisy's snooping. But when a murder occurs, the local police must reinforce Daisy's efforts. The upper-crust Daisy is an appealing heroine who always retains her respectability, even when encroaching on traditional male enclaves. While light in tone, her newest adventure, like the others in this series, offers enough tart wit to engage the seasoned mystery reader. And the novel is a feast for anglophiles; even the (too predictable) resolution enables Daisy and Alex to join in a consummate English pastime: a friendly game of cricket.