Dandy Gilver and an Unsuitable Day for a Murder

Written by Catriona McPherson
Review by Tess Heckel

Dumfermline, Scotland, between the World Wars, boasted two competitive department stores: Aitkin Emporium and House of Hepburn. Dandy Gilver, aristocratic lady detective of some distinction, has been summoned by the elder Mrs. Aitkin to find her missing granddaughter, Mirren, who has run away when her marriage to Dugald Hepburn, the son of “the enemy,” is forbidden. Thus, the missing Mirren must be brought home and to her senses, with Mrs. Gilver’s discreet aid, of course.

When Mirren is discovered dead upstairs at Aitkin’s after the jubilee celebration, suicide is assumed and Mrs. Gilver’s services are dispensed with. As usual, Dandy takes nothing as final when her suspicions are aroused and begins her own meticulous ferreting out of the truth. With the help of her sensible aristocratic friend, Alec Osbourne, she leaves no avenue of investigation unexplored and with her usual boldness unpeels layers of lies to uncover the truth. As the unofficial investigation progresses, even Dandy is baffled at the conundrums in the lives of two star-crossed lovers. But this is a star-crossed family, and an increasingly complex plot keeps the reader turning the pages. (Readers are advised to put a marker in the front pages containing the very helpful family tree). This is an entertaining ongoing series with an intelligently feisty heroine.