The wife of a Scotland Yard detective is such a clever sleuth that she’s on the scene before her husband.
Answering the pleas of her school friend Sybil, the Honorable Daisy Dalrymple Fletcher takes herself off to Derbyshire to see if Sybil’s fears could possibly be true. Humphrey Birtwhistle, who went to the Wild West as a young man, now makes a good living writing westerns under a pseudonym. His brother and sister, who run the family farm, were not happy to see him return with an American wife but found his money a welcome addition. Because Humphrey has not been well for quite a while, Sybil, hired as a secretary, has begun to write the most recent books based on Humphrey’s ideas. Indeed, her efforts have actually improved sales. In addition to the brother, sister and wife, the house also harbors Humphrey’s son Simon, a budding writer who looks down on his father; Simon’s friend Neil Carey, an Irish playwright; the beautiful Myra, a distant cousin; and her follower Walter Ilkton, a high-born snob who is madly in love with her. Sybil’s worries that someone is poisoning Humphrey prove justified when he’s found dead and her boyfriend Dr. Roger Knox refuses to sign a death certificate. Daisy’s husband’s superior, taking a dim view of her involvement, sends Alec Fletcher to solve the case. Despite (or because of) plenty of promising suspects, Daisy and Alec have their work cut out for them.
Dunn (Anthem for Doomed Youth, 2011, etc.) adds another winner to a long string of charming mysteries evocative of the period between the Great Wars.