Crime in and around the water

Carola Dunn is one of those increasing number of authors who have been writing crime novels set between the two world wars. He heroine is Daisy Dalrymple who is connected to the aristocracy but who has to make a living. She, therefore, is a journalist writing magazine pieces about very British events and happenings for an American newspaper. This gives her the opportunity to attend these events and also to investigate the murders which seem to crop up there with unfailing regularity. Dead in the Water is the sixth book in the series and features the Henley Regatta.

Daisy goes to stay with her aunt and cousin who has a large house and is also hosting one of the university college crews for the event. The crew has difficulties as the cox is a poor man attending the college but out of his depth in the social class in which he now finds himself and some members of the crew are determined to make sure that he knows that he is out of place and not wanted. When there is a death the cox is assumed to be guilty as he had sworn revenge on the victim but Daisy suspects that this is not the case and starts to investigate the murder and other strange things which keep happening.

Daisy is a delight and a thoughtful and caring person. She seems perfectly at home wherever she goes and is now engaged to be married to the police inspector who ends up being part of this case. The author conveys very well the fun, and otherwise, of having a house full of fit young men who all want to win and there is a running gag about the amount that they eat. The class side of things is interesting and sadly possibly still relevant. I am not quite sure that people would be as openly horrible to one another as they are in this story but privileged young men can be bullies and often get away with things which others wouldn’t.

The plot is clever but the fun of the book is in following Daisy around and meeting the characters with her. I found this an entertaining book and a very enjoyable read.

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