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Dandy Gilver and an Unsuitable Day for a Murder (Dandy Gilver #6)

3.58  ·  Rating details ·  370 Ratings  ·  84 Reviews
Friday 3rd June, 1927

Dear Alec,
Careful what you wish for, lest it come true' is my new motto, and here is why. I was summoned to Dunfermline, that old grey town, in the matter of a missing heiress.

She had flounced off in a sulk over forbidden love and I, suspecting elopement, was loath to take the job of scouring guesthouses to find the little madam and her paramour.

Hardcover, 304 pages
Published May 22nd 2012 by St. Martin's Press (first published December 1st 2010)
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Apr 07, 2015 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: No One
Mary Aitken looked to me like a woman who had all her marbles organised in order of size and weight, cross-referenced for colour, and spinning in time as she juggled them one-handed and kept the other hand free.

This series is just going down the tubes.

Dandy Gilver is a rich wife and mother of two, who is a private detective in 1920s Scotland. She has a "Watson" named Alec Osborne. He annoys me because he is a condescending, arrogant, smirking jerk. However, I can't wholeheartedly hate him, since
Jul 25, 2012 rated it liked it
I really liked Dandy Gilver and the Proper Treatment of Bloodstains this book, but I had to trouble with this one. Part of it was all the family members with similar names (three generation of widows of the same family); a device which worked admirably to muddy the waters for the detective but also left me quite confused throughout the book. The device of two rival families, rather a Capulet/Montague feud, also was classic but good set-up, but similarly,despite a geneology at the beginning, left ...more
Apr 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I was lucky enough to win a copy of Dandy Gilver and an Unsuitable Day for a Murder through Goodreads, and I am so glad that I did because it introduced me to a charming new mystery series that I found hard to put down. This book was the first one that I have read by McPherson, and I have to say that she delivered a story full of many different twists and turns. I really enjoyed McPherson's 1920's and the characters that inhabited her world. She did an amazing job with her world building so that ...more
Gwen Mayo
May 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Catriona McPherson's Dandy Gilver and an Unsuitable Day for a Murder is everything I look for in a Dandy Gilver novel, but with a little more maturity. In Unsuitable Day, she and her partner in crime-solving, Alec, are off detecting in Dunfermline, Scotland. The situation in Scotland is right out of Romeo and Juliet. Two of the town's most prominent merchants are determined to keep their children from getting married. To outsiders, the engagement is a perfect solution to the rivalry between the ...more
It is shortly after WWI in the UK and with narrowing monetary differences between the social classes, the last resort of family pride and position in society remains first and foremost in the minds of many, including certain members of the Aitken clan.

Dandy Gilver and an Unsuitable Day for Murder finds Dandy called upon to locate a missing heiress named Mirren Aitken who some believe has run off with the offspring of a competing business family. It appears that the Aitken and Hepburn families ha
Apr 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
The novel follows Dandy Gilver, an amateur private investigator hired by the Aitkens family in 1927 to find what's happened to the missing heir of Aitkens Emporium, a clothing boutique in Dunfermline. The story has a Romeo and Juliet feel to it as the author describes two warring families, the Aitkens and the Hepburns, both of whom owns clothing stores. The missing Aitkens heir is supposedly in love with the Hepburns heir, yet the union is not blessed by either families. Then, during a celebrato ...more
Joe Kendall
This book was tough to get through. I really had to force myself to finish it. I had figured out who had done it fairly early on. That was not too difficult since that character was so different from the rest of the suspects. Part of the reason why I had a hard time getting through the book was the writing style. They book takes place in the 1920's and rightly so the characters way of talking and interacting reflect that. But for me, I had a hard time with it. There was also a lot of fluff in th ...more
Dec 17, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
For me, this is the weakest in the series, which up to this point, has been enjoyable. But then, once a book has a family tree in the beginning, and this book as two family trees, I know I'm going to be called upon to remember names out of context. Hrummmph. I'll do that for a Russian novel, but that's it. And it's not necessary. In MIddlemarch George Eliot introduces lots of new characters, but always in context, so that the reader always knows who they are. Not so with Catriona McPherson. And ...more
Sep 05, 2012 rated it it was ok
A very confusing plot involving two retailer families in a Scottish town. The convoluted interrelationships that precipitated the deaths at the outset and determined the eventual (protracted) outcome were so confusing that I gave up trying to understand how it worked. A very talky book, with little action. A disappointment after "Bloodstains," as far as I was concerned.
Feb 11, 2014 rated it did not like it
This book is meant to appeal to fans of Dorothy L. Sayers. It did not appeal to this one. I must give the author credit for a few good lines, however.

Back to Sue Grafton for now.
Jenn Ravey
Jun 30, 2012 rated it liked it
Star-crossed lovers. Mirren Aitken and Dugald Hepburn are destined to be opponents, but they love one another. Their families are adamantly against the match because the two families are business competitors – each owns a department store across the street from the other.

When Mirren goes missing, Mrs. Ninian Aitken, businesswoman and matriarch of the family, sends for Dandy Gilver. Dandy senses there is something more going on between these two families, and her suspicions are confirmed when Mir
Moon Shine Art Spot ~ Lisa
I often enjoy a story with an accent. This attractive little hardback copy was received free from Goodreads first reads via mail. The story takes place in Scotland and has a very Scottish and proper way of talking from days gone by when ladies were concerned with hats, gloves and such.

The action begins immediately with Ms. Dandy and her associate (private detectives) being hired to find a missing girl of a well to do family who has a 100 year old, successful, family owned, multi story shopping
Apr 23, 2012 rated it it was ok
I won this book through Goodreads First Reads, and I was pretty excited about it. I LOVE the Maisie Dobbs books, so I was hoping for something just as good. Wrong. Maybe it's the fact that I haven't read this series from the beginning, but it took me a long time to get into this book. There were loads of characters that I had trouble keeping up with, and Dandy just plain got on my nerves. She's pretty dense for a detective. Several characters had to spell out something that she should have deduc ...more
Jan 18, 2013 rated it liked it
This was an OK installment in the Dandy Gilver series (#6, I believe). I have not read #'s 1-5, so it was a bit hard for me to work out who all the characters were (even the fact that she was married and who she was married to and why). The author clearly assumes you will read 1-5 before 6. The mystery was interesting but so complicated that I got bored with all the "and then THIS was revealed" developments, but that is probably more a function of my impatience than a true flaw with the book. In ...more
Jan 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, ebook
It's so rare that I get to read a mystery book where I don't know what's going on long before the end of the book so when that happens, when the murderer is a surprise and the author's slight of hand (Look over here, Nope it happened over there) works - really works - well you KNOW I have to read the next one.

I loved the feel of the book, the time period really seeps through in everything from language to clothing to the fabulous old timey department stores. And the psychological mystery was a n
Feb 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
A clever mystery--I definitely OMG-ed out loud when I realized what seemingly trivial details were actually clues--even if some of the trappings were obvious. I continue to like this series for its stylized prose, the interesting historical details (the lifts! I'm a little nervous about even modern-day elevators, and this book didn't help), and Dandy herself. I like how McPherson avoided the easier routes of making Dandy either bluestocking-esque or an utter ditz: she's on the denser side and sh ...more
Cassaundra Aunna
Apr 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book is SOOO reminiscent of the author Agatha Christie! I have to give props to Catriona McPherson for being such an intelligent writer. The story was good, and the writing was good. I was so into this book, trying to figure out "who done it". The only reason I did not give the book a 5 star rating is because there were a few parts that were very difficult for me to read and understand. Other than that, BEAUTIFUL. I would recommend this book to pretty much anyone, and especially to those th ...more
Erin Farwell
Jun 08, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: authors-i-met
I've met Catriona McPherson and enjoyed her personality immensely. I really wanted to love this book, but I didn't. I liked it, enjoyed it, but didn't love it. Part of the problem is that I needed to refer to the family tree charts on more than one occasion to keep track of the players and to understand the who, what, and why. This effort repeatedly pulled me out of the story. I did enjoy meeting Dandy Gilver and her side kick and her husband (two separate men). I will give Dandy another chance ...more
Nov 27, 2012 rated it did not like it
This book was so irritating I couldn't finish it. I enjoy mysteries with some degree of "wackiness" but this just was too much. Dandy Gilver is called to help a family locate a young girl who is missing. She finds her dead of a probable suicide. She is told to send her bill and finish with the case but she shows up wherever she wants. She goes to the funeral, to the reception for the employees only of store that belongs to the family, she goes to the home and nobody says get out. It is completel ...more
Robin Morse
May 08, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I won this book in a goodreads giveaway.

Dandy Gilver may not be a seasoned detective but she sure is able to piece together a ruined families secrets with a little help from her fellow detective and an unlikely and at first unknown helper. The book is interesting and intriguing. The two families at the center of the novel are disturbing in many ways and it is interesting to see how she pieces together the depths of their treachery.

I enjoyed this book and although it wasn't one of those books yo
Aug 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
A semi random pick from 'New Arrivals' at my library, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. With the title starting with 'Dandy Gilver', I was expecting it might have gay themes (but Dandy is a woman). A detective novel (not one of my preferred genres) in a historic context (a genre I am more likely to enjoy), I found it a light but riveting read. I didn't need to have read any of the earlier books. The plot, as in many detective novels, leans too heavily on an unlikely series of even ...more
Verity W
Oct 24, 2014 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this, but I had to read a portion of the solution a couple of times to get it straight in my head. Mind you I had had a couple of glasses of wine by that point, so my brain may not have been functioning at its best! Still I like Dandy - but as I've only read the first one and this one (the sixth) I feel like there may be some finer points of plot and relationship development that I may have missed. I'll be looking out for more in the series.
Jul 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book is a perfect example of what I like best about the Dandy Gilver series. The mystery unravels as a twist within a twist within a twist. The highly detailed descriptive passages might not appeal to everyone but I enjoy them. Dandy Gilver is imperfect enough to be interesting and the other characters are so very fascinating in their complexity. I also enjoyed the increased presence of Bunty in this one. ;)
Apr 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, first-reads
I am very grateful to have received this book for free through the Goodreads First Reads giveaway program!

I am a lover of traditional British mysteries and this exactly fits the bill! The characters are well developed, there is plenty of tea served, and a plethora of red herrings! I found myself smiling often at the comfy, cozy atmosphere that Catriona McPherson surrounded me with. This book is a fabulous read for a cold rainy day in your favorite chair with some tea and shortbread nearby!
Feb 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
I love Catriona McPherson's writing. Her standalone mysteries are dark and odd, and the books in the Dandy Gilver series, like this one, are fun and witty. An Unsuitable Day for a Murder is no exception. It is a little difficult to follow, and you do need to keep an eye on the two family trees included in the back of the book. Or as I did, you can get the gist and just enjoy the book for its sprightliness. I am reading my way happily through the entire Dandy Gilver series.
Aug 12, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
I think Dandy Gilver is more like Her Royal Spyness than like Maisie Dobbs. The tone is somewhere between the two. Dandy is a bit less hapless than Georgianna but much more haphazard than Maisie. We see more of the grim reality of life between the wars in Maisie's world, though when you peel back the layers in this series there's some real ugliness.
Susan B
Apr 12, 2015 rated it it was ok
the book was way to confusing, even with the family tree that I constantly referred to hard to keep track of who was married, etc to whom. At the end I still didn't know why the murder was committed and who knew what.
May 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
Christie & Sayers fans will like this series. It's light on action and full of analysis of means, motives, and opportunities. Dandy and Alec have a great rapport, with some humor to leaven the mix of family secrets, rivalries, and hidden scandals.
Kyla Zerbes
Mar 16, 2015 rated it did not like it
That was not a mystery! It was a genealogic wtf. I was so confused thru most of this book, it wasn't funny. Good desc of department stores in the time period -- kinda like reading about Selfridge's but I nearly gave up on it.
Aug 27, 2014 rated it it was ok
I liked the book, the plot, the characters, but sometimes reading gets difficult, or boring. Some sentences are long, and really involved, so they have to be read several times to understand them.
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aka Catriona McCloud

Catriona McPherson was born in South Queensferry. After finishing school, she worked in a bank for a short time, before going to university. She studied for an MA in English Language and Linguistics at Edinburgh University, and then gained a job in the local studies department at Edinburgh City Libraries. She left this post after a couple of years, and went back to university t
More about Catriona McPherson...

Other Books in the Series

Dandy Gilver (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • After the Armistice Ball (Dandy Gilver, #1)
  • The Burry Man's Day (Dandy Gilver, #2)
  • Bury Her Deep (Dandy Gilver, #3)
  • The Winter Ground (Dandy Gilver, #4)
  • Dandy Gilver and the Proper Treatment of Bloodstains (Dandy Gilver, #5)
  • Dandy Gilver and a Bothersome Number of Corpses (Dandy Gilver, #7)
  • Dandy Gilver & A Deadly Measure of Brimstone (Dandy Gilver #8)
  • Dandy Gilver and The Reek of Red Herrings (Dandy Gilver, #9)
  • Dandy Gilver and the Unpleasantness in the Ballroom (Dandy Gilver, #10)
  • Dandy Gilver and a Most Misleading Habit