DULCIE BLIGH by Gall Clark


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Dulcie Bligh is a middle-aged Regency enchantress with psychic powers, an assortment of wigs to match her dÉcolletÉ gowns, and a bent for both matchmaking and detection--all of which come into play when her rakish nephew Dickon (Lord Dorset) is accused of murder. His knife has been discovered in the breast of his mistress Arabella, though it later develops the lady died of poison. Dulcie evolves innumerable intrigues and disguises to get to the bottom of the matter, including proclaiming to the world that Dickon has reformed and is engaged to her sprightly but poverty-stricken companion Lavender Lytton. While this feigned attachment slowly becomes a real one, alarums and excursions abound, involving: Dickon's hideous grass widow, child-abuser Gwyneth; Dulcie's least favorite nephew, the foppish and bitchy Hubert (""Humbug""); Jael, the mysterious Gypsy Queen of London's underworld; the dead Arabella's loathsome lech of a husband plus his even more ghastly mother; and the Chief Constable (an old boyfriend of Dulcie's). There's far more plot, costumery, and backchat than necessary, and Dulcie's psychic powers certainly pall, but this is nonetheless a reasonably diverting transplant of the traditional English gaggle of eccentric aristocrat-murderers and detectives to a Regency romance setting.

Pub Date: Jan. 23rd, 1977
Publisher: Putnam