Dandy Gilver and a Bothersome Number of Corpses

Written by Catriona McPherson
Review by Susan Cook

This is the seventh in McPherson’s 1920s Scottish mystery series featuring Dandy (Dandelion) Gilver. Dandy receives a phone call from an old friend who is concerned for her sister, Fleur, a teacher at a girls’ boarding school. She and her detective partner, Alec, travel to St. Columba’s in Portpatrick to investigate. Danny inadvertently ends up undercover as a new teacher in a school that is peculiar, to say the least. She discovers that no fewer than five teachers have recently disappeared – and Fleur apparently confesses to killing four people. Danny hopes this is no more than a coincidence; then a body is washed up on the shore. Could this be number five?

Meanwhile, Alec picks up an investigation of his own: the wife of the local fish and chip shop owner has run off with another man, and their daughter happens to be a pupil at St. Columba’s.

I hadn’t read any of the previous books but didn’t find this a handicap, as McPherson fills us in on the back story without being heavy-handed. She also manages a nice balance between a satisfyingly complex plot and a light, cozy tone. This novel should satisfy fans of the genre.