In 1920s England, a family mystery offers the aristocratic wife of a police officer new scope for her sleuthing.
The Honourable Daisy Dalrymple Fletcher’s family is currently headed by her childless cousin Edgar, Lord Dalrymple, a former schoolmaster with a passion for butterflies and moths. Upon the death of Daisy’s father and brother, Edgar inherited the title and estates. Now, he’s trying to find the male heir who will eventually succeed him. After advertising worldwide, the family lawyer has come up with a list of possible claimants, all descended from one man, and gives the ever-inquisitive Daisy permission to sit in on the interviews. The four possible heirs are a South African diamond merchant, a Scarborough hotelier with a French connection, a mixed-race boy from Trinidad, and a Jamaican sailor whose pregnant wife has come to England to forward his claim since he is currently not to be found. All the prospective heirs are invited to join Daisy, her husband, Scotland Yard detective Alec Fletcher, their children and other relatives at Fairacres to celebrate Edgar’s 50th birthday. A series of unsettling incidents reaches a climax with the death of one of the possible heirs. Was it accident or murder? The lucky sailor arrives just in time to come under suspicion, leaving Daisy and Alec to discover which of the claimants is the true heir and which is willing to kill to forward his claim.
Perhaps not the strongest of Daisy’s period mysteries (Gone West, 2012, etc.), but another charming valentine for fans of classic British mysteries.