Carola Dunn is the author of many previous mysteries featuring Daisy Dalrymple, most recently Fall of a Philanderer. Born and raised in England, she lives in Eugene, Oregon
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.
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.
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.