A family feud over a dying relative’s inheritance leads to murder aboard the famous train—the Flying Scotsman—in the latest mystery in Carola Dunn’s beloved Daisy Dalrymple series.
In the spring of 1923, the Honourable Daisy Dalrymple boards the Flying Scotsman, the famous London-to-Edinburgh train. On board, she meets an old schoolmate, Anne Breton, along with all her relatives. They are all en route to the deathbed of the family scion and notorious miser, Alistair McGowan. As it stands, Alistair’s will leaves the entire family fortune to his brother Albert, while each member of the family is hoping to convince the dying Alistair to change his will in their favor.
Daisy, meanwhile, has her hands full when young Belinda Fletcher, the daughter of Detective Chief Inspector Alec Fletcher of Scotland Yard, stows away aboard the train. Daisy barely has time to take notice of the intricate family feud unfolding around her until the presumptive heir, Albert McGowan, is found dead—murdered—on the train. Now Daisy is surrounded by an entire family of suspects and becomes, once again, embroiled in an investigation in Murder on the Flying Scotsman.
Carola Dunn is the author of more than 30 Regency romances, as well as 16 mysteries (the Daisy Dalrymple mystery series is set in England in the 1920s). Ms. Dunn was born and grew up in England, where she got a B.A. in Russian and French from Manchester University. She travelled as far as Fiji before returning to settle in California. After 30 years in the US, she says she still sounds as if she arrived a month ago.
Prior to writing, Ms. Dunn’s various jobs included market research, child-care, construction--from foundation trenches to roofing--and writing definitions for a dictionary of science and technology. She wrote her first novel in 1979, a Regency which she sold to Warner Books.
Now living in Eugene, Oregon, Ms. Dunn has a son in California who has just made her a grandmother, and a large black dog named Willow who takes her for a walk by the Willamette River each morning. (www.belgravehouse.com)
Ended up blasting through this book in the wee hours of the morning because I couldn't stop reading and and lost much sleep in the process, which is enough to earn 4 stars from me. It is, however, a weaker entry than the first two books with a less likeable (or interesting) cast of potential culprits than book three, in hindsight.
Daisy seems to have grown quite a lot since Wentwater Court - a definite point for character development. I liked that she seems less of an "inquisitive young thing" and more of a confident and self-possessed upper-class lady here. Part of this is probably because she has a child companion this time - Belinda Fletcher, nine-year-old daughter to Alec Fletcher, is along for the ride and ends up even more deeply enmeshed in the case than Daisy herself. I was initially wary of Belinda being so important to the story, since I'm not overfond of young children being shoehorned into series that are originally focused on the adults, but Belinda turned out to be a smart, well-mannered and extremely likeable little thing.
The mystery starts off well, with a strong Murder on the Orient Express vibe, but sadly the change of setting once the murder is discovered and the relative distance Daisy maintained from the largely unlikeable family of suspects (compared to how deeply involved she was with other characters in the first three books) kept me from being as interested in the mystery's resolution. In fact, the most likeable character in the family circle by far was the victim! I do think that having Belinda there and forcing Daisy to be occupied with her care for much of the story did the mystery no favours in that regard. There were also far too many suspects with convoluted family ties - I badly wanted a family tree when they started introducing them and by the end of the initial introduction, I'd given up bothering to remember who's who. And the worst part? Daisy had decided on who the murderer was based on a series of conjectures by two-thirds of the story - it seemed so damned obvious at that point, despite the lack of evidence, that I'd hoped it was a red herring. But no, it really was just damned obvious.
The subtle, budding romance between Daisy and Alec is still my favourite part - they continue to make progress on the relationship front and I can't wait to see where it heads. My only gripe is that Alec jumps to a conclusion over his daughter early on in the mystery and throws an accusation at Daisy that I dearly wish she had taken him to task for, special friend or not. At least Daisy is sure to pay him back in future frustration due to her talent for stumbling over dead bodies?
Daisy lands in the thick of it again. Some of the best parts are how the characters have grown through the series. Alec guesses that the 'concerned citizen' that asked for him to take this case was Daisy. His men are constantly invoking her opinion as gospel & this case brings in Belinda, Alec's daughter, as a player along with other interesting characters. Alec & Daisy are FINALLY, SLOWLY getting their romance underway, too. The suspense is terrific & the mystery was pretty good, too. Loved the way the clues were presented.
Definitely fun fluff. I'd call this series a guilty pleasure if I felt the least bit guilty, but I don't. I'm looking forward to the next one. Very well narrated by Mia Chiaromonte.
This installment of the Daisy Dalrymple series features Alec’s daughter prominently: she decides to run away and find Daisy as she’s getting on a train to Scotland, and ends up witnessing key facts in a murder case (of course). The murder takes place on the Flying Scotsman, so of course Scotland Yard have to be called in, and of course, Alec is in the neighbourhood and concerned because of his daughter. There’s the usual sort of cast of characters with perhaps a few more unpleasant folks than usual, with the leavening ingredient of Dr Jagai. I had my eyebrows raised a little over him using yoga to help treat a shellshock case (not that it’s a bad idea, but seemed like it was a bit of a stereotype and had the potential for being a magical Negro type moment), but it mostly came off okay.
Alec’s interactions with Daisy remain delightful, and this book includes some slightly steamier scenes (insofar as these books ever get steamy) — the biggest indicator being Alec rather firmly going off to take a specifically cold bath. I laughed at that bit, I must confess. Belinda makes a fun addition too, though she was also used as a bit of a prop for a “diversity is good” moment (on race instead of sexuality, which was covered in The Winter Garden Mystery; yeah, I know, I’m getting cynical in my old age).
I hope I don’t get tired of this series, because it does delight me in the same sort of way as the Phryne Fisher books, albeit with a more conventional (i.e. less sexy and more sexually inhibited) female main character. It’s nice that Daisy has to get by on her wits, too — no pearl-handled revolvers for her.
Daisy stumbles on a dead body on the Flying Scotsman en route to Scotland. What with taking care of Belinda Fletcher who had run away from home and trying to find evidence of a crime , it makes for an interesting story.
Least favorite of the series so far. I listened to the audio version and this novel is better suited to a physical book with a list of the bewildering array of characters. One of the characters was an attorney who felt free to discuss the details of clients financial affairs and wills, completely unethical behavior. If this had been the first book I had read in the series, I wouldn’t continue with the series.
Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press, Minotaur Books for a digital galley of this book.
For those of us who are already fans of the Daisy Dalrymple stories this reissue is a fine chance to read earlier books in the series (this is number four) without having to do so much digging to find older copies. The Honourable Daisy Dalrymple takes a first class ticket on the Flying Scotsman train headed to Scotland to get material for an article she is writing. Once aboard she finds herself acting as the responsible adult for a stowaway on the train, Belinda, daughter of Detective Chief Inspector Alec Fletcher of Scotland Yard, Daisy's friend. Belinda has run away from her grandmother's home because she was denied permission to do something she wanted to do. Since she had overheard a conversation regarding the train trip Daisy was planning Belinda makes it all the way to getting aboard the train before it leaves London. Now she and Daisy are involved with all the others in the first class carriage who are headed to Dunston Castle in Scotland for business regarding Uncle Alistair's will.
This is one of those stories you can read and relax through without it having too much angst and certainly no excess of gore. The perfect problem of twin brothers and who died first. Most of the relatives could really use the money mentioned in wills but everything isn't nearly as clear as it is first assumed. Nice twists and turns to the plot, the atmosphere of 1923 is well presented and the original publication year of 1997 presents no date/time problems. A good story for those who enjoy historical mystery settings and genteel circumstances.
This was my favorite of the series so far. I loved getting to know Alec's daughter Belinda. Her friendships with Daisy and the doctor was so sweet. The train setting is lots of fun. I thought this one was complex in a particularly interesting way with the family dynamics, the murder victim, and with the effects of WWI on a couple of the characters. Alec's copper buddies Tom Tring and Ernie Piper continue to be delightful. They are such a great trio! And there's finally some movement on the Daisy/Alec front...
Fun book to read. Also fun to continue following the characters. The mystery was a surprise, the descriptions of the characters, the language and words used brought the flapper era to life. It is truly a book to read to distract one from everyday life.
The novel is fast and intelligent, as I expected from one of my favorite series. Daisy, a young journalist in the post-WWI England, gets on the Flying Scotsman, an express train to Edinburgh, and of course, there is a murder on the train, in a compartment next to hers. The situation is further complicated by:
a) The victim was a rich old man, and all his relatives are traveling on the same train, trying to make him change his will in their favor. Did any of them kill him? b) Daisy’s special friend, Detective Chief Inspector of Scotland Yard Alec Fletcher, has a ten-year-old daughter, Belinda. Having run away from her strict grandmother, Belinda stows away on the same train. Daisy has no choice but to take the girl under her wing. She doesn’t mind, she rather likes the girl, but of course, the grandmother, who already dislikes Daisy, would blame her for Belinda’s escapade.
The narration flows effortlessly from start to end, as the series protagonists, Alec and Daisy, investigate the murder. She is her usual charming self, kind and perceptive, and as usual, everybody confides in her, while his portrait is deeper than in most other books of the series, due to his daughter’s presence. The novel is enriched by a set of colorful and diverse secondary characters, including the recurring personages of Alec’s colleagues, Tom Tring and Piper, as well as a host of suspects – the members of the victim’s extended family. There are so many of them that in the beginning I felt confused. But the writer helped me out by providing a graph of the family tree, the first such chart I have ever seen in a mystery novel. Structurally, the tale is a typical ‘murder-on-a-train’ mystery, where almost every passenger in the car has had a motive and an opportunity for the crime. It’s up to Daisy and Alec to unravel the complicated pattern of people’s moves and incentives that had led to the murder. This novel is not the best of the Daisy Dalrymple series, but it’s a solid mystery story nonetheless, and I read it with pleasure. For the fans of the series – definitely a must.
This is the fourth in the series of the between the world wars mystery novels featuring the Honorable Daisy Dalyrmple. Too curvy for flapper fashions and too independent to live the indolent life of a woman of the peerage. Daisy is on her way to Scortland to write an article on stately houses. She was able to spring for a first class train ticket and looking forward to staring at the scenery.
However, things are far from uneventful. The young daughter of her friend (who makes her blush) Detective Chief Inspector Alec Fletcher shows up on the train, having run away from her grandmother. The trains takes off and Daisy is faced with this stowaway. Belinda likes Daisy and was expecting her to take her to her father, unaware that their destinations were not very near.
A school acquaintance of Daisy's is on the train along with her whole family, having been summoned by the rich old miser, some hoped he will change his will while others hope he will not. The train trip is full of bickering, family dysfunction, and murder. Belinda finds the body and the DCI is summoned.
A good solid mystery with a good conclusion. The slowly growing romance between Daisy and Alec moves forward a few sweet steps. Very satisfactory, well written with endearing characters. Also some of the social issues, class, race, and shell shock are present. Nicely done.
While traveling from London to Edinburgh aboard the Flying Scotsman, the Honorable Miss Daisy Dalrymple becomes embroiled in another murder investigation when the elderly heir to a fortune is found dead on the train. Which one of his avaricious relatives is responsible?
Although Daisy and Alec are very likable characters and I am enjoying their slow-burn romance, they are no Hercule Poirot and this book is most definitely not Murder on the Orient Express.
The mystery starts out well with a host of obnoxious suspects that requires a chart to keep track (Daisy does, in fact, draw one up for Alec). Unfortunately, the constant back and forth questioning of each and every character slows the pacing, and the eventual revelation of the killer is obvious once a certain plot point is revealed.
The inclusion of children in a mystery and/or romance can be tricky, but Alec's daughter, Belinda, is sweet, and Dunn manages to weave her nicely into the plot.
On a final note, the audiobook narrator has changed from Bernadette Dunne to Mia Chariamonte, and suffice it to say, I am not a fan. Her British accent is awful and she mispronounces numerous words.
DI Fletcher's daughter Belinda runs away from her grandmother (since her grandmother won't let her go to her friend's house to play), and stows away on Daisy's train, which turns out to be an express to Scotland. Where Belinda makes the acquaintance of an elderly gentleman, and then stumbles on his body after he's murdered en route (much to DI Fletcher's later exasperation - because now two women in his life do this).
The plot sounds like it should be contrived and corny, but it works because the characters do. I really enjoyed it. Also, Daisy taking care of Belinda was adorable. Alec's reaction to Daisy taking care of Belinda was also fairly charming. Belinda's reaction/adoration of Daisy was really charming (particularly when she cheerfully tells one of the secondary characters that she used to say "topping" but now she says "spiffing" because Miss Dalrymple does).
Also entertaining are Tring and Piper's reactions to Daisy's involvement in the case, especially when the suspects mention her.
Tempting to give this 4 stars. Since my OverDrive library seemed to have no license for the ebook, I borrowed the audiobook. I'd previously started this book last year, but couldn't stay interested. The narrator did a good job with this, lots of different voices for the different characters. I particularly liked the accent she did for the Indian-born doctor, who has grown up in Scotland; she managed a Scottish accent but with some of the soft sounds we often hear from Indian-born people.
This is an important story in the development of the relationship between Daisy and Alec, and Daisy and Alec's daughter Belinda.
Continuing this free-for-subscribers series on Audible.
Definitely the best entry in the series so far. Belinda was a delightful addition.
I felt the author did a decently measured job of capturing the racism of the era, with a lot of characters overcoming their initial prejudice; the characters who did not were cast as backwards-thinking assholes. (A couple of them used slurs, which was upsetting to hear in audio format, and I think could have been excluded and we would still get that they were racist assholes.) Anyway, I'm interested to read other reviews to see how others felt. For me, it felt like a big step forward in the series, which had sometimes been too soft on the prejudiced characters before.
There was some great character development in this one, probably because of Belinda's involvement raising the stakes and adding pressure to our recurring characters.
The mystery itself was predictable, but that's kind of what I like about this series: it seems more about the characters at the heart of the mystery rather than the mysteries themselves.
The narrator changed for this one, and I really missed Bernadette Dunne, especially as I had connected the characters to her voice. I have seen other reviewers say the accents by the new narrator were atrocious, and while I'm a bit protected by that by not being from the UK myself (and therefore not having a precise ear), even I could tell they were off. But the story was immersive enough that I didn't care too much. Be warned if bad accents are a dealbreaker for you.
Four books in, there isn't much of a surprise when one opens a Daisy Dalrymple mystery. Lucky for me, most of the audiobooks are available at my library so I'm slowly making my way through the collection.
This one places Daisy in the middle of a chaotic situation amid family members who are aiming to get their hands on what's going to be a v. contested will, surprise!babysitting of Daisy's would-be suitor, and a locked room-type of mystery.
It's not the most innovating mystery but I was definitely entertained from beginning to end. Mia Chiaromonte, the book's narrator, dives into the plot with gusto, and definitely kept me interested in the goings on.
TL;DR: A middle of the road, cozy mystery that was quite entertaining for fans of the genre. At 6 hours and change, it's an easy audiobook with several characters whose motivations are quite varied. At this point, I am definitely continuing the series.
This is a book full of greedy relatives requested to go to a miserly relatives deathbed, on the Flying Scotsman train. Daisy is on the train going to a writing assignment and Alec's daughter Belinda stows away on the train. Belinda befriends a lot of people and even finds a dead man. There is a lot of action and many suspects. Alec is called in, because it is murder. This book is a fun read and I recommend it.
Great little cozy mystery series that is well narrated on audio. Daisy is "The Honourable", but is also a working woman (for a magazine) and so can communicate "across classes" in 1920s England. Nothing mind blowing about the series, but nothing irritating either. Entirely suitable for a night in with a blanket and a cup of tea :)
Biggest challenge, other than guessing "whodunnit," was to get to know the entire extended McGowan "clan" and their relationship to one another. Thankfully the "front piece" was there to assist; that is, the McGowan family tree. A truly engaging read and I look forward to Carola Dunn's other Daisy Dalrymple mysteries.
I enjoyed this book, but not nearly as much as the previous books in the series. Too many characters to keep track of, and after a while I didn’t even care who the murderer was. Oh well. On to the next book. Great reader though!