Dandy Gilver and a Spot of Toil and Trouble

Written by Catriona McPherson
Review by jay Dixon

I enjoy the Dandy Gilver crime series, and this latest offering from McPherson is, as ever, a pleasure to read. Set in Scotland in 1934, it features a missing ruby necklace and the mysterious death of a man 30 years earlier. Dandy and her colleague Alec Osborne set out to unravel the mysteries against the backdrop of a castle in Dumfriesshire, where a production of Macbeth is being rehearsed, leading to lots of Shakespeare quotes! The large cast of characters individually and inadvertently drop clues to the solution, and Dandy and Alec keep getting ‘wisps’ they cannot quite grasp, until the final denouement when everything is tied up satisfactorily.

The Scottish background is authentic, the historical detail accurate and there are some delightfully eccentric character portraits, as well as some fine comic moments. Dandy and Alec’s relationship seems to have settled into a firm friendship, with Dandy being more maternal towards Alec than lover-like.