Catriona McPherson's critically acclaimed mystery series set in 1920s Scotland and featuring plucky and laugh-out-loud-funny heroine Dandy Gilver is perfect for fans of PG Wodehouse, Dorothy L Sayers, and Agatha Christie.
In A Deadly Measure of Brimstone, Dandy and the whole Gilver clan travel to a spa town for a weekend of relaxation which is quickly interrupted by a slew of mysterious— and deadly—events.
The men of the Gilver family have come down, between them, with influenza, bronchitis, pneumonia and pleurisy. The family repairs to the town of Moffat, there to submit to the galvanic wraps and cold salt rubs of the splendid Laidlaw Hydropathic Hotel.
But all is not well at the Hydro, and the secret of the lady who arrived but never left cannot be kept for long. And what of those drifting shapes in the Turkish bath? Just steam shifting in the air? Probably. But in this town the dead can be as much trouble as the living.
Set in 1929, McPherson's solid eighth Dandy Gilver mystery (after 2013's Dandy Gilver and a Bothersome Number of Corpses) finds the British PI considering a stay at a medical facility for strength rebuilding purposes after she and other family members suffer a bout of flu. Coincidentally, prospective clients Herbert Addie and Mrs. James Bowie suspect that their mother, Enid, was murdered at just such a facility in the town of Moffat about a month earlier. Oddly, Enid died suddenly, despite being in overall good health, and the doctor who was treating her for an injured back didn't sign her death certificate. Dandy uses the new case as an excuse to bring her entourage with her to Moffat, where the local sergeant tells her that Enid reported being frightened by a ghost shortly before she died. The plucky lead compensates for some heavy-handed foreshadowing and a windup that isn't McPherson's strongest. Lisa Moylett, Coombs Moylett Literary Agency.