Lori McD's Reviews > To Davy Jones Below

To Davy Jones Below by Carola Dunn
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One of my favorites in the series! Daisy and Alec find themselves "strong-armed" by Mr. Arbuckle, Philip Petrie's American father-in-law, into a trans-Atlantic ship voyage to America. Arbuckle has arranged it with Alec's superiors and with Washington D.C. so that Alec, representing Scotland Yard, will be advising the newly-formed F.B.I. and perhaps even J. Edgar, himself! Arbuckle's also arranged it so that Daisy has plenty of articles that American magazines are just waiting for from her.

So, after taking their 2 week honeymoon - 1 week in St. Johns just the two of them and 1 week in their Alec's home with Belinda and Mrs. Fletcher, Alec and Daisy find themselves aboard ship. Philip and Gloria are there, as well as Arbuckle, and Arbuckle's friend, Gotobed. Mr. Gotobed is a self-made British millionare in his sixties, who fell head-over-heels for a chorus girl named Wanda. Beneath Wanda's carefully applied makeup, she's at least 40, although she tries to put herself in her late 20s early 30s. And Arbuckle's convinced that Wanda is a gold-digger up to no good.

So when Daisy spots Wanda on deck with two men, one handsome and one quite plain, she notices that they seem to be having more than a casual conversation. Without asking, Wanda assures Daisy that the two are only "stage-door Johnnies" - fans of hers. But when an older man wearing an outfit like Gotobed's is thrown overboard into the ocean, Daisy begins to suspect there's more going on than meets the eye. Especially when 2 more men are killed and go overboard near Mr. Gotobed.

But who's involved? Wanda? The stage-door Johnnies who are also gambling sharks fleecing American playboy? The playboy? His fiancee, Birdie who witnessed the first attack? The herbal woman who calls herself a "witch", Miss Oliphant? Gotobed, himself?
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While I didn't like Daisy's constantly referring to Miss Oliphant as "the witch", mostly in her own thoughts, I suppose that because Miss O brought it up herself and makes a big deal about her herbal remedies during the voyage... perhaps that's how people thought? The joke about the "blooming bride", Wanda, was quite funny. And the tension between Miss O and Wanda was palpable and brought another dimension to the story and the list of suspects.

I did enjoy the "talk" Daisy had with Wanda about the scientific methods available for birth control - LOL! Hard to remember that reliable birth control methods weren't readily available from your doctor. And it was a good insight into Daisy's mind. Now that she's Mrs. Fletcher, which takes her a bit to get used to as it does any woman who is suddenly a "Mrs.", I wondered if she and Alec would get busy with little Fletchers. Nice to know that Daisy wants to get her marriage well under way and work things out on the homefront (especially with her mother-in-law) before adding to the fray. Besides, how will that affect Daisy's sleuthing?

However, Daisy and Alec are a bit dense... they don't pick up on something so very obvious until the very last. And voila! The pieces start to come together. Luckily, Alec has use of the wireless to get messages back and forth to Tring - much of the background that we need comes from Tring's investigations in England.

The bit about the weather and folks succumbing to sea sickness is amusing at first, but then... dull. Who wouldn't be ill with the kind of storms that they encounter? And the "embarrassment" of being ill... well, it's nice to know that Alec isn't invincible, but it seems as if Daisy is. It would have been nice for her to have a touch of it at some point.

But overall, the story was fun and engaging. A few twists and turns. But the usual cozy-mystery and HEA that we love from Daisy Dalymple=Fletcher books.
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