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Dandy Gilver and the Proper Treatment of Blood Stains: A Mystery by Catriona McPherson

Posted By Claire on October 19, 2012

I’m a huge fan of Agatha Christie, Ngaio Marsh and Dorothy L. Sayers, and also enjoy “Downton Abbey” and “Upstairs Downstairs”, so this 1920s who-dunnit was perfect for me. When Publishers Weekly describe it as “Agatha Christie meets Upstairs Downstairs” they are spot on.

The book is set in 1926 Edinburgh and the heroine, aristocrat Dandy Gilver, finds herself posing as a maid in the household of her friend Lollie Balfour in an attempt to find out if Lollie’s husband is really trying to kill her. Not long after Dandy arrives at the house, there is a murder and the victim is not Lollie. Dandy has to investigate but things get complicated when none of the potential suspects’ reasons for hating the murder victim seem to make sense. I don’t want to say any more because I don’t want to spoil the storyline.

Although it is the fifth book in a series, it works perfectly as a standalone book and there is no need to read the others first. You will, however, want to read the others after you’ve finished, I’ve put them on my Christmas list! Dandy Gilver is a likeable character – smart and plucky – and I love the relationships she has with those around her, including her dalmatian Bunty and her sidekick Alec. The book is fast-paced and includes the traditional red herrings to throw the reader off the scent. I nearly worked out who did it, but not quite!

As you can guess from the title, the book also has an injection of wit and humour. An enjoyable read.

Book Details

Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Minotaur Books (May 8, 2012)
ISBN-10: 1250007364
ISBN-13: 978-1250007360
Available at, Amazon UK or your favourite bookseller.


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