CBR Bingo: Self-care (favorite genre to read for comfort, plus I read it while on a self-care vacation)
Daisy Dalrymple, like so many cozy mystery heroines before her, lives in post-WWI England, comes from a wealthy family but it somewhat impoverished due to her insistence on making her own way, and is bright, pretty, and assertive. If you’ve read cozy mysteries, you’ve read about women like Daisy, but that doesn’t make her any less likable–just not very memorable.
Death at Wentwater Court is the first Daisy Dalrymple mystery, and it starts with Daisy on a train heading to the country. She’s a writer for Town and Country and has been assigned to write an article about the Wentwater Court estate. When she arrives, she meets the usual assortment of estate residents and guests, some of whom she knows since she is part of this wealthy set, even though she now works for a living (a fact which of course horrifies a would-be suitor). Soon after her arrival, another guest who no one seems to like dies in suspicious circumstances. An officer from Scotland Yard is brought in, and Daisy soon begins helping him solve the case.
This book is a perfectly pleasant way to while away a few afternoons. The story moves quickly, there are a few surprises, and some enjoyable characters. The biggest surprise, to me, was just how truly cozy this book is. Daisy is never in any danger, even when she’s working on developing photos in a darkroom (I was sure the killer would confront her in this room at the climax). When she figures out who the murderer is, they just sort collapse onto her shoulder and weepily tell her everything (the book is sure to note at the beginning that people just seem to tell Daisy things, even if she doesn’t want to hear it). It isn’t my favorite start to a cozy series ever, and Daisy isn’t my first or even second favorite post-WWI British cozy heroine (seriously, the market is saturated), but I did like it and I’ll keep reading this series.