Saturday, September 29, 2012

Little grey cells, mon ami

It's getting harder and harder to find mystery series set between the World Wars with female detectives. But I found another, and it's entertaining: Carola Dunn's Daisy Dalrymple series.

(Funny thing, back in my middle school Regency Romance phase, I remember reading books by Carola Dunn. After a bit of research, I learned she's crossed genres.)

The Daisy books are yet another take on the privileged-girl-tries-to-make-her-own-way-in-the-world tale. The heroine, the Honourable Daisy Dalrymple, is a writer for a magazine, and uses her society connections to write articles on stately homes and gardens around England.

They were definitely enjoyable enough, in a Christie-like way. And like any post-WW1 story, the cultural shift in women's roles and the slow disintegration of class lines are central to the story. (One does not, for instance, pursue a Scotland Yard inspector if one is an Honourable. One does not work.)

Unlike the Maisie Dobbs mystery series, which is wonderful but a bit heavy in its post-war legacy and class identity themes, the Daisy books seem to follow the Dame's successful formula: manor, small social circle of suspects (most of them fairly privileged), clever but not cliffhanging resolution.

More on order from the library!