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A country-house weekend provides the perfect setting for an Agatha Christie homage.
Retired Chief Constable Alan Nesbit and his American wife Dorothy Martin have been invited to Branston Abbey for a bang-up Guy Fawkes celebration by their expat friends Lynn and Tom Anderson. The Abbey has been lovingly restored by the Andersons' acquaintances Joyce and Jim Moynihan. Fellow house guests include the former owner of Branston, Laurence Upshawe; famous photographer Ed Walinski; ballet dancer Michael Leonev; and Joyce's often inebriated sister and brother-in-law, Julie and Dave Harrison. They're joined for dinner, cooked and served by the talented Mr. and Mrs. Bates, by stunning solicitor Pat Heseltine and Paul Leatherbury, the local vicar. All is well, except for the drunken relatives, until a storm severely damages the house and grounds. In the light of day, Dorothy discovers a skeleton entwined in an uprooted oak. With no electricity or phone service and the house cut off by flood waters, Dorothy feels as if she's stepped into "Ten Little Indians," especially when Upshawe is found unconscious; Dave Harrison goes missing; and a mummified body turns up in what was perhaps a priest's hole. It takes fortitude just to manage without the trappings of modern life, but Dorothy and Alan still can't resist sleuthing while they await the police. As in so many classic English mysteries, the answer may be found in the past.
Dams (Winter of Discontent, 2004, etc.) provides several pleasing twists along with an easily spotted killer.
Posted April 4, 2012
Jeanne Dams authors a long-standing cozy mystery series about Dorothy Martin, an elderly American elderly sleuth who lives in England with her British ex-detective husband. In her fifteenth installment, A Dark and Stormy Night, Jeanne Dams employs the classic English manor setting in which a snowstorm keeps the guests all housebound while old – and then new – murders are discovered.
Though I enjoyed reading the story, I found it confusing at times, especially the connection between the two bodies in the past and the murders and mishaps in the present. The ending was somewhat predictable and I admit to figuring out “who done it,” but, in all, I enjoyed the classic "ten little Indians" set-up and the relationship between sleuth and her husband; it is refreshing to see an older couple that still have passion for each other.
I was so pleased to see that Jeanne Dams came out with this latest mystery after a long gap in her Dorothy Martin series. I am also glad to see that she has been adopted by Severn House, which specializes in mysteries that are no longer being picked up by the big six New York houses. I am looking forward to reading the next Dorothy Martin installment, which I have noticed just came out this year.
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Posted March 11, 2013
Posted March 2, 2013
The fresh-kill pile lays off at the other side of the camp, close to the bubbling spring. Warriors, apprentices, and sometimes even kits and elders shall place their prey here.
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Posted August 21, 2012
Posted July 30, 2012
Even tho a book can have a predictable ending, there are those cozy mysteries that are very well written and are a great book!! this is one of those.
Great characters, a good story and wrapped up well. A great cozy!
I will look for more by Jeanne M Dams.
Posted June 12, 2012
Posted July 22, 2011
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