The Corpse at the Crystal Palace

Written by Carola Dunn
Review by Valerie Adolph

Set in London during 1928, this is the latest of more than twenty Daisy Dalrymple mysteries. Daisy, wife of Detective Chief Inspector Alec Fletcher of Scotland Yard, takes some visiting young relatives to visit the Crystal Palace—a beautiful glass dome surrounded by extensive gardens. This peaceful family excursion ends abruptly when two of her young relatives find the family’s nanny unconscious in the lake. At the same time Daisy herself discovers the body of another nanny—but wait! not a nanny but a man masquerading as a nanny—in the ladies’ conveniences.

The search for the murderer of this most unpleasant character takes Alec, working with Scotland Yard, and Daisy with her friends, to visit characters in intriguing locales around London. The eloping Russian émigrés make an especially delightful vignette.

The author writes with a freshness and evident pleasure in developing unique and quite memorable characters to enrich her novels. She also brings to life the glory that was the Crystal Palace. She demonstrates the sensibilities and vocabulary of a London divided between Victoriana and modernity. Carola Dunn’s Daisy and her intrepid and intelligent interference helping to solve her husband’s cases has become essential fireside or beach reading.