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by author "Carola Dunn" in All Categories
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Heirs of the Body
Length: 11 hrs and 27 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
In the late 1920s in England, the Honorable Daisy Dalrymple Fletcher is recruited to help her cousin Edgar - i.e. the Lord Dalrymple. About to turn 50, Lord Dalrymple decides it is time to find out who would be the heir to the viscountcy. With the help of the family lawyer, who advertises Empire-wide, they have come up with four potential claimants. For his fiftieth birthday, Edgar invites those would-be heirs - with Daisy and the rest of the family - to Fairacres, the family estate.
In September 1926, the Honorable Daisy Dalrymple Fletcher visits Sybil Sutherby, a school friend now living in Derbyshire as the confidential secretary to a novelist. Suspecting that something is seriously amiss, Sybil has asked Daisy to discretely investigate. Upon arrival, Daisy finds a household of relatives and would-be suitors living off the hospitality of Humphrey Birtwhistle, who had been supporting them through his thrice-yearly, pseudonymous Westerns. When he took ill, though, Sybil took over writing them while he recovered, only to see the sales increase. Now, she fears that someone in the household is poisoning Birtwhistle to keep him ill and Sybil writing the better-paying versions.
April 1928: Daisy Dalrymple Fletcher is visited in London by her young cousins. On the list of must-see sites is the Crystal Palace. Discovering that her children's nanny, Nanny Gilpin, has never seen the Palace, Daisy decides to make a day of it - bringing her cousins, her three-year-old twins, her step-daughter Belinda, the nurserymaid, and Nanny Gilpin. Yet this ordinary outing goes wrong when Mrs. Gilpin goes off to the ladies room and fails to return. When Daisy goes to look for her, she doesn't find her nanny but instead the body of another woman dressed in a nanny's uniform.
In September 1925, Scotland Yard DCI Alec Fletcher inherits a large house on the outskirts of London from a recently deceased great-uncle. Fortunately so, as he and his wife, the Honorable Daisy Dalrymple Fletcher, are the recent proud parents of twins, and their house is practically bursting at the seams. Though in need of a bit of work, this new, larger house seems a godsend - set in a small circle of houses, with Hampstead Heath nearby, the setting is idyllic. Idyllic, that is until a dead body shows up half-hidden under the bushes of the communal garden.
In England in the late 1920s, the Honourable Daisy Dalrymple Fletcher, on a convalescent trip to the countryside, goes to visit three old school friends in the area. Daisy and her husband Alec - Detective Chief Inspector Alec Fletcher, of Scotland Yard - go for a Sunday lunch with Daisy’s friends, where one of the women mentions a wine cellar below their house, which remains curiously locked, no key to be found. Alec offers to pick the lock, but when he opens the door, what greets them is not a cache of wine but the stench of a long-dead body.
In the Spring of 1926, the corpses of three men are found in shallow graves off the beaten path in Epping Forest outside of London - each shot through the heart and bearing no identification. DCI Alec Fletcher of Scotland Yard, the lead detective, is immediately given two urgent orders by his supervisor at the Yard: solve the murders quickly and keep his wife, the Honorable Daisy Dalrymple Fletcher, away from the case! Thankfully, Daisy's off visiting their daughter at school. But when a teacher is found dead, Daisy is once again in the thick of it.
In March of 1926, Daisy Dalrymple Fletcher and her friend and collaborator, Lady Lucy Gerald, head off for several days to a stately home reputed to have the best grotto in the country. Working on a book of architectural follies, they plan to research and photograph it. Leaving her husband and young twins behind, Daisy is expecting a productive weekend at Appsworth Hall, with the only potential difficulty being keeping Lucy from offending the current owner, a manufacturer of plumbing products. Alas, it's not to be quite so simple.
With dashing Scotland Yard Inspector Alec Fletcher at her side, Daisy is enjoying a delightful performance of Verdi's Requiem, featuring her neighbor Muriel Westlea's celebrated sister, Bettina. But when all that emerges from the doomed diva's vocal chords is a dying gasp, Daisy soon discovers that the notoriously difficult opera star had her share of adversaries.
In the winter of 1924, Daisy Dalrymple Fletcher travels to a school friend's house to witness the estate's famous Guy Fawkes celebration. But she gets more than the quiet weekend at the quaint family manse that she was originally hoping for. The home is the site of some severe family tension. The Viscount and head of the family is a strict and unyielding sort, insisting that everyone - especially his children - meet his own unreasonable expectations. On the evening of the Guy Fawkes celebration, the Viscount is found dead on the floor of his study, killed by his own hand.
In spring a young man’s fancy will turn to love, and the Honorable Phillip Petrie is no exception. Daisy’s chum is totally smitten with Miss Gloria Arbuckle, daughter of a millionaire Yank. But before the enthusiastic suitor can pop the question, his beloved is abducted. As a distraught Mr. Arbuckle begins assembling the ransom, Phillip enlists Daisy to help him recover his missing sweetheart.
On board the Flying Scotsman, the famous London-to-Edinburgh train, Daisy meets an old schoolfellow, Anne Bretton. Anne, along with all of her relatives, is en route to visit the deathbed of the family scion and notorious miser, Alistair McGowan. As it currently stands, Alistair's will leaves the entire family fortune to his brother Albert, and the rest of the family is rushing to his side, each hoping to convince him to change his will in their favor.
In early 1925, the Honorable Daisy Dalrymple Fletcher - recent mother of twins - resumes her journalistic career by agreeing to write a piece about the Tower of London - the Bloody Tower - for an American magazine. Invited to observe the centuries-old ritual Ceremony of the Keys, she's spending the night (her first time away from her babies), since the complex is locked and guarded, and the high walls are surrounded by a disused moat.
One morning in April 1924, the Honorable Daisy Dalrymple Fletcher finds herself in a most unenviable position. Despite her best attempts to elude the inevitable, she must face her darkest fears and with all the strength and courage she can muster, must confront the one person she has tried hardest to avoid - the dentist. But upon arriving for her appointment, she finds the waiting room deserted and adjoining examination room locked, with no hint of either Dr. Talmadge or his nurse.
The inimitable Daisy Dalrymple Fletcher and her husband Detective Chief Inspector Alec Fletcher seem to get a reprieve from their sleuthing duties when they are invited to the wedding of their friend, Lucy Fotheringay. Lucy's grandfather is hosting the ceremony at his beautiful estate and so it promises to be a typical affair with hordes of gossipy aunts and other colorful, but not necessarily pleasant, relatives. Daisy meets all these characters and observes the ensuing familial fraternization with a certain kind of amusing nonchalance.
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.
In late 1923, the newly married Daisy Dalrymple and her husband, Detective Chief Inspector Alec Fletcher of Scotland Yard, come to America for a honeymoon visit. In the midst of a pleasure trip, however, both work in a bit of business - Alec travels to Washington, DC, to consult with the US government, Daisy to New York to meet with her American magazine editor.
Eleanor Trewynn is a widow of some years living in Port Mabyn, a small fishing village in Cornwall, England. In her younger days, she traveled the exotic parts of the world with her husband. These days, she's retired and founded the local charity shop. Her niece, Megan Pencarrow, transferred nearby and was recently promoted to the rank of Detective Sergeant.
In the summer of 1923, the Honorable Daisy Dalrymple makes what should be an uneventful research trip to the Museum of Natural History quite an eventful day - with her nephew, Derek, and her soon-to-be stepdaughter, Belinda, in tow. But as she interviews the various curators for her article on the museums of London, she soon discovers that the Museum of Natural History is a hothouse of professional rivalry and jealousy.
In late 1926, the newly married Daisy Dalrymple and Detective Chief Inspector Alec Fletcher of Scotland Yard take an ocean voyage to America for their honeymoon. Daisy and Alec are accompanied by Daisy's childhood friend, Phillip Petrie; his wife, Gloria; and Gloria's father, American millionaire industrialist Caleb P. Arbuckle, and all are looking forward to a pleasant, uneventful trip. But at the last minute they are joined by Arbuckle's new friend, Yorkshire millionaire Jethro Gotobed, and his new wife, Wanda.
In this second installment of Carola Dunn's cozy mystery series set in 1923 England, plucky Daisy Dalrymple embarks on another assignment for Town and Country magazine and discovers that daffodil bulbs aren't all that's buried in a country estate's flower bed.