A second adventure for the Honorable Daisy Dalrymple, the author's sweetly intrepid heroine (Death at Wentwater Court, 1994, not reviewed). Daisy, a writer for Town and Country, living, in 1923, independently from her aristocratic family, is a bit of a pioneer in the workplace. This time out, her assignment is Occles Hall, in Cheshire--a Tudor gem occupied by Sir Reginald Parslow; his battle-ax wife, Lady Valeria; their strikingly handsome son, Sebastian; hearty, games-playing daughter Bobbie; and Sir Reginald's secretary, Ben Goodman, a WW I veteran still bearing the scars. Daisy begins her tour of the grounds at the winter garden, guided by Welsh undergardener Owen Morgan, whose dismay at the sight of a dying bush leads to the discovery of the pregnant body of his onetime sweetheart Grace Moss, supposedly long flown with a traveling salesman. The gross ineptitude of investigating Inspector Dunnett, who promptly jails Owen for the murder, compels Daisy to call on a previous collaborator, Scotland Yard's Alec Fletcher, for help. Unintimidated by seething, ever-contemptuous Lady Valeria, Alec explores alibis, feuds, and a well-hidden liaison in order eventually to confront (with Daisy's timely intervention) a dangerous killer. Manners (P.G. Wodehouse-style) and mystery get equal time in a low-keyed, unassuming story with little suspense but considerable charm.