The wife of a high-ranking Scotland Yard detective finds herself involved in yet another murder case.
The dangerous London smog of 1927 has driven Daisy Fletcher to The Saracen’s Head in Beaconsfield on orders from her doctor. Coughing and weak, she works up the strength to visit Cherry Trees, the home of her school friend Willie Chandler—a rare female Chartered Accountant—and housemates Vera Leighton and Isabel Sutcliffe. With so many men killed in the war, England is awash with such so-called superfluous women. When Daisy’s husband, Alec, arrives to see her, they are invited to dine with the three ladies, who wish they could get into the locked cellar to see if perhaps former owner Mrs. Gray left a nice bottle of wine behind. Alec obligingly picks the lock only to find a badly decomposed body, most likely that of Mrs. Gray. Pleasant local Inspector Underwood asks the Yard if Alec can work the case on an unofficial basis, little knowing that they’ll get not only Alec and his sergeant, but Daisy, whose insatiable curiosity has involved her in many a murder investigation (Heirs of the Body, 2013, etc.). Daisy turns up a good deal of local gossip through Sally, a hotel waitress who’s been especially helpful and whose grumpy aunt is the house cleaner at Cherry Trees. Although Daisy’s sure none of her friends are involved, there are many secrets to uncover before the case is solved.
Fans of classic British mysteries and Dunn’s clever heroine will find plenty of local color and red herrings in her latest charmer.