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Dandy Gilver and a Spot of Toil and Trouble
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Dandy Gilver and a Spot of Toil and Trouble (Paperback)

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Synopsis

A cosy Dandy Gilver mystery set in 1930s Scotland. For fans of PG Wodehouse, Dorothy L Sayers and Agatha Christie.



'A delightfully uplifting mystery with a distinctly P.G. Wodehouse-ian feel. Navigating ancient castles, and family feuds, Dandy Gilver must also contend with a ribald staging of Shakespeare's Macbeth. I loved the sense of fun, the wonderful use of language . . . satisfying on many levels.' Vaseem Khan, author of the Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra



Scotland, 1934.

Aristocratic private detective Dandy Gilver arrives at Castle Bewer, at midsummer, to solve the tangled mystery of a missing man, a lost ruby and a family curse.



The Bewer family's latest wheeze to keep the wolf from the door is turning the castle keep into a theatre. While a motley band of players rehearse Macbeth, the Bewers themselves prepare lectures, their faithful servants set up a tearoom, and the guest wings fill with rich American ladies seeking.



Meanwhile, Dandy and her sidekick Alec Osborne begin to unravel the many secrets of the Bewers and find that, despite the witches, murders and ghosts onstage, it's behind the scenes where the darkest deeds are done.



'The perfect read for those who enjoy the bygoneworld charm of Nancy Mitford, Evelyn Waugh and Agatha Christie.' - The Lady on Dandy Gilver and a Most Misleading Habit



'Catriona McPherson is a writer as talented as she is versatile. Dandy Gilver tackles a Golden Age era puzzle with her usual aplomb when the Scottish play offers a Shakespearean twist to a mystery with plenty of classic ingredients.' Martin Edwards



'Dandy Gilver is a fabulous character. a cross between Nancy Drew and the Australian crime cracker Miss Fisher. She is both relentless and brilliant.' Amazon Reviewer

Fiction & PoetryCrime & ThrillersHistorical mysteries Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton General Division Publication Date: 08/02/2018 ISBN-13: 9781473633469  Details: Type: Paperback Format: Books
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Catriona McPherson was born in the village of Queensferry in south-east Scotland in 1965 and educated at Edinburgh University. She left with a PhD in Linguistics and spent a few years as a university lecturer before beginning to write fiction. The first Dandy Gilver novel was short-listed for the CWA Ellis Peters Historical Dagger 2005 and the second was long-listed for the Theakston's Crime Novel of the Year Award 2007. In 2012 DANDY GILVER AND THE PROPER TREATMENT OF BLOODSTAINS was nominated for a Historical Macavity Award. Catriona writes full-time and divides her time between southern Scotland and northern California.

More books by Catriona McPherson

Customer Reviews

Dandy Gilver is a character familiar to readers of this book blog. Inasmuch as she always narrates the books which she appears in, her character is self evident as quite a thoughtful person who rebels in an organised way against her class and expectations. Her role, established over the last eleven books, is as an amateur detective with her trusty sidekick Alec. They do not always get on, they infuriate each other with their habits when detecting, they are as predictable to each other as any married couple. They basically respect each other’s processes while working through the mysteries they unearth in each novel, and in contrast with Dandy’s relationship with her usually absent husband they enjoy the joking of a sibling like relationship. As in the previous novels they rarely stick to the mystery they have been hired to solve, discovering the underlying truth of what happens when they start to pursue the “wisps” of clues. The setting of the interwar period is beyond the post First World War aftermath, but here is the first stirrings of concern that there may be another war on the way. On this occasion Dandy is summoned to a thread bare Scottish castle by the couple who own it for the moment. Minnie and Bluey know that they are in big financial trouble, and are grasping at the idea of putting on Shakespeare play staged by their daughter’s fiancé, Leonard, in order to attract rich visitors. Bluey’s mother Ottoline is still in residence, full of memories of her husband Richard who left many years previously possibly with a famous but apparently cursed necklace. Dandy and Alec are hired to find the necklace, or at least establish what happened to it. In looking for it they disturb many family secrets as well as the fabric of an old solid building. It soon emerges that the play planned is in fact Macbeth, and casting issues mean that everyone gets dragged onstage. There is thus the opportunity for many theatrical jokes, especially the Porter’s speech. The denouement is complicated, and demands much concentration, but is ultimately satisfying in way of these novels. These books are enjoyable to read, with strong characters and some very funny moments. The in jokes on this occasion relate to Macbeth, and actors who frequently take themselves very seriously. The plot wanders a little, and there are loose ends and red herrings aplenty. This is a relaxed book compared to the earnest series set in the same period, Maisie Dobbs by Jaqueline Winspear, as McPherson takes a far lighter view of the characters and their motivations. This book fits the bill for a casual read, even if the reader does have to work a little harder at the end to understand what has been happening. It is an historical mystery series that is worth following, though I feel it could also be read as a standalone novel, and the series as a whole probably does not have to be read in strict order. The “Scottish Play” was never quite performed like this!

- 07/05/2018
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