Die Laughing

Written by Carola Dunn
Review by Nina de Angeli

Spiffy in her shingled bob and knee-skimming skirts, we meet the Honorable Daisy in April 1924 facing her worst fears – a long postponed visit to the neighborhood dentist, a handsome fellow with a fondness for the anesthetic nitrous oxide, known as laughing gas. To Daisy’s mingled shock and relief, when she arrives for her appointment, the seemingly deserted office conceals the body of a smiling but very dead dentist. Her aching tooth forgotten, Daisy plunges into her eleventh adventure assisting Inspector Fletcher to investigate a suspicious death. Accident, suicide or murder? Suspects in this charming traditional mystery include all of the parties in two intersecting love triangles centering on the swinging dentist.

Fans of the series will note that Daisy’s recent marriage to Fletcher hasn’t ended her career as a magazine journalist, but her new life in a village-like suburb of London is complicated by the social strains of gossipy ladies’ teas and housekeeping with a very competitive mother-in-law. Purists may cavil at Daisy’s frequent interference in her husband’s investigations, but her warm, cheerful personality combined with Dunn’s humorous touch and stylish period details provide a brisk, enjoyable read.