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by Constable, 2 July 2015. ISBN: 978-1-4721-2275-9
Daisy Dalrymple has been Mrs Alec
Fletcher for some years now, a happily married woman and a loving mother and
stepmother. However, she still feels grateful for her good luck in meeting and
falling in love with DCI Alec Fletcher after losing her first love, her fiancé
Michael in the First World War. Without Alec she could easily have been one of
the two million 'superfluous' or 'surplus' women left without suitable partners
after war had destroyed so many young men.
the start of the book Daisy has been ill with bronchitis and has gone to a
hotel in Beaconsfield to recuperate away from the London smog. Willie Chandler,
an old school friend of Daisy, has recently moved to Beaconsfield to set up
house with two other 'superfluous women,' Isabel Sutcliffe and Vera Leighton.
Willie is a chartered accountant, a trailblazer for professional women; Vera is
a teacher and Isabel keeps house for the three of them. They are leading
active, happy and useful lives but the stigma of being 'surplus' still hurts
and angers them.
Fletcher comes to Beaconsfield to spend the weekend with Daisy and to take her
home. They accept an invitation to lunch with the three women, all of whom have
now become Daisy's friends. It is mentioned that the cellar door is locked, and
has been since they arrived. The previous owner, a widow, has gone abroad. Alec
agrees to try and pick the lock for them. He succeeds but, when the cellar door
is opened, the house is engulfed by the hideous smell of a decomposing body.
experiences the unusual problem of being a witness, and maybe a suspect, rather
than the investigating officer; previously this had always been Daisy's role.
However, an intelligent local Detective Inspector is eager to get his help,
even if it has to be unofficial, and soon Alec is involved in the
investigation. Of course, Daisy is not going to go quietly home when her
friends are suspected of murder, and soon she is investigating and combating
injustice in every way she can.
Superfluous Women is the 22nd
in the Daisy Dalrymple series. It is a series that goes from strength to
strength. Daisy is a delightful protagonist and all her family and friends are
likeable. The author has great skill in using little known and unconsidered
after-effects of the Great War and a society that is still struggling to regain
its balance, and weaves them into intriguing murder mysteries. I read
Superfluous Women in two days. It is a page-turner.
Carola Dunnwas born and grew up in
England. After graduating from Manchester University, she set off around the
world, but only made it halfway, to Fiji, before turning back to get married. She
author of over 50 books: 22 mysteries in the Daisy Dalrymple series, set in
England in the 1920s; 3 Cornish mysteries, set around 1970; and 32 Regencies, not counting
numerous novellas. She lives in Eugene, Oregon, and enjoys gardening, bird
watching, and playing music from medieval to modern with a recorder group
Carol Westronis a successful short story writer and a Creative Writing teacher.She is the moderator for the cosy/historical
crime panel, The Deadly Dames.Her crime
novels are set both in contemporary and Victorian times.The Terminal Velocity of Cats is the
first in her Scene of Crimes novels, was published July 2013. Her second book About the Children was published in May