Seething resentments, well-kept family secrets, and a savage murder set the stage for Christmas in Cornwall in this cozy holiday installment of the Daisy Dalrymple mysteries.
In December 1923, the formidable Dowager Viscountess Dalrymple has decided that for Christmas the family will all gather at Brockdene in Cornwall at the invitation of Lord Westmoor. Her daughter - Daisy Dalrymple Fletcher - is somewhat less than pleased but yields to the demands of her mother, especially as she'll be there just before the holidays working on another article for Town and Country about the estate itself. But the family gathering quickly goes awry.
Brockdene, it seems, is occupied only by the Norvilles - poor relations of Lord Westmoor - and Westmoor himself won't be joining them. So Daisy; her husband, Detective Chief Inspector Alec Fletcher of Scotland Yard; and their family must spend their Christmas holiday trapped in an ancestral estate with a rich history of lore, ghost stories, and rumors of hidden treasure and secret passageways with a family seething with resentments, grudges, and a faintly scandalous history.
The veneer of civility that pervades the halls of Brockdene, however, begins to wear thin when long-held family secrets threaten to bubble over, and one of the Christmas guests is found savagely murdered. With few clues as to who committed the murder, and with too many motives as to why, it is once again up to Daisy to sort out the truth that lies beneath a generation of poisonous secrets.
©2002 Carola Dunn (P)2015 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
I mostly love the Daisy Dalrymple stories which are delightful mysteries with a regular cast of pleasant, well portrayed characters and with the sex and violence depicted in a gentle or implied manner. (I am quite happy to cope with sex and violence but these stories have a lovely, gentle 1920s feel to them which makes a nice change from some of the more gruesome crime novels.)
I was therefore really pleased to find recordings of the early stories on Audible and was hugely disappointed by these recordings, performed by Americans with absolutely no concept of how the English upper classes spoke in the 20s. It was therefore a relief to discover Lucy Rayner's performances of stories further on in the series. She totally grasps the accents and her performances as Daisy, Alec and most of the other characters fit very well with how I had imagined them to sound.
Mistletoe and Murder is, as one would expect from the title, a Christmas story with a murder thrown in, set in a remote Cornish country house and with an interesting cast of characters in addition to Daisy, Alec, Belinda and Derek and the Dowager Viscountess, whom we have met before. I enjoyed the story and felt that, generally, the performance of the different characters was good and they were well differentiated. There are some odd mispronunciations that are a little annoying but not overly intrusive. But why,oh why, oh WHY did Lucy choose to give a Cornish country solicitor a truly appalling Scottish accent? Fortunately this character does not appear in every scene and did not therefore totally detract from my enjoyment of the story, but a poor Cornish accent would have been a lot easier to cope with in the circumstances. As a result I have taken one star off my performance rating.
Despite the problems however, I am looking forward to listening to more of Lucy Rayner's recordings of the Daisy Dalrymple series.
I have this book on my Kindle, but had actually forgotten who dunit, nothing new there then! A thoroughly enjoyable book in the usual Carola Dunn style.
My only complaint is............ why did Lucy Rayner narrate the other books in the series? I hope to hear more from this lady in the future.
I am afraid I found Lucy Rayner's voice annoying when it came to the narration of the story ( not the when the characters are speaking ) as I felt that the voice inflection was in the wrong places .The story was not very engaging either so I could not wait until it was over as I have to listen till the end in case it get better ( which it never did ) . So I will give all the other Daisy Dalrymple stories a miss and go back to Agatha Christie's Miss Marple which I enjoy immensely.
"More of something from the 1920's"
I like the series. It is an easy listening mistery. Actually I enjoy it more than Agathy Christy.
Although this is a familiar plot from another mystery, I'll say that it's better handled here. The characters are well sketched, and the Christmas theme is not over done. A very entertaining read in a lively series!
"Narration is something like popcorn"
The narrator speaks with a jerky, quirky and stattaco style. I kept wanting to stop and catch my breath.
I loved the storyline. Was I confused or stumped over who did it? Not really, however I completely enjoyed the ride. This is in the best Murder mystery format. It's the kind of story that has to have a warm fire, a hot drink, and your favorite blanket. The characters are fully formed and each has its own personality. Even better is the narrator. She manages to portray each person with their own distinctive voice. She is one of a few narrators who has a believability for both male and female as well as young and old. In fact, she was so good I did a search for other books narrated by her. Excellent
"Alas another hit (excusing the previous book as a lapse in judgement)"
This book was an example of the typical brilliance that it is the Daisy Dalrymple Mysteries.
The previous book was probably not as entertaining because of the 1920 American accents and slang but this book brought the series back on track.
I dare say I "literally" teared up at the ending (and I do mean the proper usage of literally as opposed to children's loose use of the word these days)
I have read over 200+ books in my young 48 yrs and listened to over 180 in just the past 3. My genres range from what I taught (American and English Literature) to contemporary pop fiction, sci-fi, horror, slasher, zombie, apocalyptic, mystery, thriller etc. everything except non-fiction and romance (both utter useless to a true bibliophile) 😁
"A Christmas Story -With a Body"
This is my first exposure to Dailey Wells and better still listening at Christmas. A good story with believable characters. Plot and motive are well thought out. Good luck figuring who done it.
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