Daisy and her husband Alec—Detective Chief Inspector Alec Fletcher, of Scotland Yard —go for a Sunday lunch with Daisy's friends, where one of the women mentions a wine cellar below their house, which remains curiously locked, no key to be found. Alec offers to pick the lock, but when he opens the door, what greets them is not a cache of wine, but the stench of a long-dead body.
And with that, what was a pleasant Sunday lunch has taken an unexpected turn. Now Daisy's three friends are the most obvious suspects in a murder and her husband Alec is a witness, so he can't officially take over the investigation. So before the local detective, Superintendent Underwood, can officially bring charges against her friends, Daisy is determined to use all her resources (Alec) and skills to solve the mystery behind this perplexing locked-room crime.
The veneer of civility that pervades the halls of Brockdene, however, begins to wear thin when long-held family secrets threaten to bubble over, and one of the Christmas guests if found savagely murdered. With few clues as to who committed the murder and with too many motives as to why, it is once again up to Daisy to sort out the truth that lies beneath a generation of poisonous secrets.
Daisy, meanwhile, has her hands full taking care of Detective Inspector Alec Fletcher's young daughter Belinda, who ran away from home and stowed away aboard the train. She barely has time to take notice of the intricate family feud taking place all around her--that is, until Albert McGowan is found murdered on the train and Daisy is surrounded by an entire family of suspects.
Daisy's fiance, Detective Chief Inspector Alec Fletcher of Scotland Yard, is assigned to investigate and together they must unravel a most baffling case of missing gems, dispossessed European royalty, professional rivalry and murder most foul.
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 series debut that is sure to delight fans of the classic British cosy mystery, Death at Wentwater Court brings readers old and new back to the "golden age" of mystery.
Bettina was neither well liked nor well behaved, and many of her colleagues, associates, and even her family had good reason to want her dead. Daisy, determined to help Detective Chief Inspector Fletcher whether he wants help or not, decides to do some investigating on her own. But with so many suspects, the murderer may well go free....
What she finds there is a household under the thumb of the ill-tempered and demanding Lady Valeria. The discovery of the body of a pregnant maid buried in the winter garden does nothing to improve Lady Valeria's mood. When the local constabulary arrests the Welsh under-gardener who had been involved with the maid for the murder, Daisy is sure of his innocence and suspects that the whole affair is consciously being swept under the carpet. Wary of the air of secrecy that permeates Occles hall and determined to prove the innocence of the young Welshman, Daisy convinces Alec Fletcher of Scotland Yard to investigate the murder--a murder that is more complex and horrifying than either could have imagined.
Then, having barely lifted anchor, the ocean liner is beset by a series of suspicious accidents and deaths. With harsh weather and rough seas putting many-including Alec-out of commission due to seasickness, it soon falls to Daisy to figure out what connection there might be between the seemingly unrelated incidents. Convinced that there's a murderer aboard ship, Daisy must unmask the culprit or culprits before anyone else-especially herself-falls victim.
Death at Wentwater Court:
In early 1923, the young Honourable Daisy Dalrymple has made a decision that shocks her social class—she's decided to make her own living as a writer. Landing an assignment to write a series of articles on country manor houses, Daisy travels to Wentwater Court to research her first piece. There she finds a household in turmoil, filled with holiday guests and recriminations. But that's nothing compared to the uproar when one of those guests turns up dead in an "accident."
The Winter Garden Mystery:
Continuing her assignment on country manor houses, Daisy travels to gloomy Occles Hall, which is under the charge of the autocratic Lady Valeria. While touring the gardens, Daisy discovers the body of a parlor maid that had gone missing two months prior. Distressed by the ineptitude of the local police force, Daisy plunges in to help find the killer before he strikes again.
Requiem for a Mezzo:
Back in London, Daisy attends a performance of Verdi's "Requiem." During the show, the lead soprano keels over dead of an apparent poisoning. Joining Daisy in figuring out what happened is Scotland Yard Detective Inspector Alec Fletcher. The two embark on finding who wanted the singer dead, and why.
Eleanor Trewynn is a recently retired widow who has moved to the small village of Port Mabyn in Cornwall. Neither frail nor retiring, after a lifetime of traveling the world, she's ready for an uneventful life with her dog and friends in this quiet town. Unfortunately, excitement seems to happen around her.
Her friend and neighbor, artist Nick Gresham, returns from a trip only to find several of his paintings slashed, reportedly by rival local artist Geoffrey Clarke. When Nick goes to have it out with him, with Eleanor in tow, they find Clarke's body in his studio, fatally stabbed in the back. Accused of the crime, Nick ends up in jail, while Detective Inspector Scumble and DS Megan Pencarrow, Eleanor's niece, investigate. But in A Colourful Death, the second Cornish Mystery from Carola Dunn, Eleanor isn't leaving anything to chance—she starts doing a little investigating of her own, and soon learns that Nick is far from the only one with a compelling motive for murder.
While out on a walk, Eleanor Trewynn, her niece Megan, and her neighbor Nick spot a young, half-drowned Indian man floating in the water. Delirious and concussed, he utters a cryptic message about his family being trapped in a cave and his mother dying. The young man, unconscious and unable to help, is whisked away to a hospital while a desperate effort is mounted find the missing family in time.
The local police inspector presumes that they are refugees from East Africa, abandoned by the smugglers who brought them into England, so while the Cornwall countryside is being scoured for the family, Eleanor herself descends into a dangerous den of smugglers in a desperate search to find the man responsible while there is still time.
Lucy's grandfather is hosting the ceremony at his beautiful estate and so it promises to be a typical affair with hordes of gossipy aunts and other colorful but not necessarily pleasant relatives. Daisy meets all these characters and observes the ensuing familial fraternization with a certain kind of amusing nonchalance. That is, until Lucy's great aunt is found strangled to death in her bed. Lucy, in the meantime, has arranged to meet her betrothed in the conservatory, but when she arrives she finds him trying to revive her uncle, who has died-or has he been murdered? And just like that a normally celebratory occasion turns suspicious. Now Daisy must sift through a throng of relatives-aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents- once wedding guests and now murder suspects. And she must find the killer quickly before another family member becomes a corpse.
All of these factors collide when, the day after collecting donations, Eleanor and the vicar's wife find the dead body of a longhaired, scruffy-looking youth hidden in the stockroom of the charity shop. Then they discover that some donated jewelry thought to be fake is actually very real, very expensive, and the haul from a violent robbery in London. Making matters more complex, the corpse found in the storeroom is apparently not one of the robbers. Carola Dunn's Manna from Hades is a confounding Cornish case of daring theft, doublecross, and a wily older woman confronted by a case of murder most foul.
In the late 1920's in England, The Honourable Daisy Dalrymple Fletcher is recruited to help her cousin Edgar—i.e. the Lord Dalrymple. About to turn fifty, Lord Dalrymple decides it is time to find out who would be the heir to the viscountcy. With the help of the family lawyer, who advertises Empire-wide, they have come up with four potential claimants. For his fiftieth birthday, Edgar invites those would-be heirs—along with Daisy and the rest of the family—to Fairacres, the family estate.
In the meantime, Daisy is asked to be the family's representative at the lawyer's interviews with the claimants. Those four are a hotelier from Scarborough, a diamond merchant from South Africa, a young mixed-raced boy from Trinidad, and a sailor from Jamaica. However, according to his very pregnant wife, the sailor has gone missing.
Daisy and Alec must uncover a conspiracy if they are going to stop the killing in the latest from the accomplished master of the genre, Carola Dunn.
In September 1926, the Honourable Daisy Dalrymple Fletcher visits Sybil Sutherby, a school friend now living in Derbyshire as the confidential secretary to a novelist. Suspecting that something is seriously amiss, Sybil has asked Daisy to discretely investigate. Upon arrival, Daisy finds a household of relatives and would-be suitors living off the hospitality of Humphrey Birtwhistle, who had been supporting them through his thrice-yearly, pseudonymous Westerns. When he took ill, though, Sybil
took over writing them while he recovered, only to see the sales increase. Now, she fears that someone in the household is poisoning Birtwhistle to keep him ill and Sybil writing the better-paying versions. But before Daisy can even get decently underway, Humphrey Birtwhistle dies under suspicious circumstances and Daisy now faces a death to untangle, a house full of suspects and a Scotland Yard detective husband who is less than pleased at this turn of events.
After her late morning meeting, Daisy agrees to accompany her editor, Mr. Thorwald, to lunch but as they are leaving the offices, they hear a gun shot and see a man plummeting down an elevator shaft. The man killed was one of her fellow residents at the Chelsea Hotel, Otis Carmody, who was a journalist with no end of enemies - personal and professional - who would delight in his death. Again in the midst of a murder investigation, Daisy's search for the killer takes her to all levels of society, and even a mad dash across the country itself, as she attempts to solve a puzzle that would baffle even Philo Vance himself.
While the circumstances of his death are out of the ordinary, there's no reason to suspect that it was anything other than a tragic, if inevitable, accident of a careless dope fiend. At least to everyone but Daisy herself. Sure that there is something more than happenstance and an accident involved in the dentist's untimely death, Daisy is determined to uncover the truth behind a case of what she is certain is murder most foul.