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by Carola Dunn

Pub Date: March 17th, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-312-37945-2
Publisher: Minotaur

Welcome to Cornwall, beautiful land of Cornish pasties, cream teas and murder.

Eleanor Trewynn, aka Aunt Nell, lives in the village of Port Mabyn, where she collects donations for the local charity shop she founded. In her time, she was a world traveler who lived in some pretty dicey places. Now she and her terrier Teazle are leading a more peaceful life—that is until Teazle sniffs out the dead body of a scraggy youth in the thrift-shop storeroom. Eleanor is more pleasantly surprised when she finds a briefcase full of beautiful paste jewelry among her latest collection. Her niece, DS Megan Pencarrow, recently transferred from London, works the case with DI Scumble, whose choleric, misogynist disposition is not sweetened by the fact that Aunt Nell has a tendency to forget things. When the jewels turn out to be the real thing, stolen from a London jeweler, Megan’s old boyfriend is sent over to help. As Scumble waxes more and more annoyed, Megan travels to a Bristol squat in hopes of identifying the corpse, and the dithering but self-sufficient Eleanor, slowly remembering bits and pieces with a little help from a neighboring artist (just the man for Megan!) and the vicar’s formidable wife, stumbles upon the clues that will solve the case.

Shades of Miss Marple. Dunn’s departure from Daisy Dalrymple (Black Ship, 2008, etc.) is a serviceable modern-day version of the classic English village mystery.