Death Sits Down to Dinner

Written by Tessa Arlen
Review by Diane Scott Lewis

On the eve of WWI, Lady Clementine Montfort is invited to a dinner birthday party for the First Lord of the Admiralty, Winston Churchill. The elderly Hermione Kingsley is hosting many prominent members of society for this fete. In the midst of the frivolity, the butler cries out, and Clementine, an amateur sleuth, rushes to find one of guests is dead, a knife thrust in his ribs. Sir Reginald seemed harmless, if a bore, with no enemies – so who wanted him dead? Clementine calls in her trusty housekeeper, Mrs. Jackson, from the country, and they both start to unravel the crime. Part of their investigation takes them to an orphanage sponsored by Hermione and Sir Reginald.

Clementine is a society lady with access to the richest in London, which helps her gather information, but Mrs. Jackson is the brains behind this operation. Clementine is never warned away from her snooping, and when the murderer is revealed – a surprise to me – Clementine says she knew all along, which doesn’t seem feasible. Nonetheless this is a light, enjoyable mystery.