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Daisy Dalrymple #2

The Winter Garden Mystery

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England 1923. Plucky Daisy Dalrymple takes another Town and Country magazine assignment, to write up and photograph gloomy Occles Hall. She unearths Grace Moss, missing parlor maid, seeks killer amid occupants - school chum and wallflower Bobbie Parslow, thorny Lady Valeria.

254 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published March 15, 1995

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About the author

Carola Dunn

88 books808 followers
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)

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5 stars
1,227 (19%)
4 stars
2,710 (43%)
3 stars
2,079 (33%)
2 stars
231 (3%)
1 star
34 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 496 reviews
Profile Image for Nicky.
4,138 reviews1,003 followers
January 9, 2019
Reviewed for The Bibliophibian.

No surprises that I picked up the next Daisy Dalrymple book pretty quickly — they’re just the perfect length for a long soak in the bath followed by a lazy evening, which is exactly how I’ve been reading them. I continue to enjoy the fact that Daisy’s a worker (although helped significantly by her class), and her relationship with Alec and his team; Phillip Petrie is rather a dear, despite being rather daft. His class-conscious snobbery fades away quickly as soon as he talks to someone for a while and discovers some things in common.

The new characters for this book are rather fun too: Lady Valeria is, of course, a battleaxe, while Roberta’s stubbornness is a joy. I called Sebastian’s relationships with various characters: it seemed very obvious up-front. I didn’t expect to like him, actually: he displays a pretty weak will to begin with, and a tendency to be led astray from what he should hold to — but in the end, he displays a bit of backbone and it really works. Ben was my favourite of the new characters, perhaps predictably: he sees some of the loneliness in Daisy’s past and is one of those people who reaches out and starts to help heal the wounds a little (brought on by her late love having been a conscientious objector, killed while driving an ambulance, and the way most people viewed him as a coward).

The mystery itself is solid enough providing you care enough about the characters to care about the outcome. When viewing the country house to write an article about it, Daisy sees a dead rosebush and comments on it. Once it has been dug up, however, a dead body is revealed — the body of a housemaid everyone thought had run off with a travelling salesman, who turns out to have been pregnant when she died. Daisy involves herself immediately on behalf of the young Welsh gardener (ugh, I was not convinced by his phonetically rendered accent) first accused of the murder, and calls Alec straight in. Of course, it’s a bit contrived — even twice all but falling over a dead body while visiting a stranger’s house for work is kind of unbelievable, so I do hope that there’ll be some variation on how Daisy gets involved as time goes on!

The central relationship of the books remains obvious, though it doesn’t develop too fast. Right now, Daisy and Alec are still thinking of the relationship as a possibility, despite their attraction to each other and the telling hints that they really do care. I’m looking forward to seeing this continue to develop.

All-in-all, still a fun cosy mystery, and Daisy is compelling enough a character for me to keep following the series — helped by the fact that I also care about Alec (as opposed to Amory and Milo in Ashley Weaver’s books, for example).
Profile Image for Ruth.
654 reviews256 followers
December 3, 2021
3,5 Sterne (gut, solide, empfehlenswert, gemütlich)

- In Band 1 hat mir der Fall ein bisschen besser gefallen. Sie ist auch dieses Mal wieder auf einem englischen Landgut, um einen Artikel zu verfassen und stößt dabei auf eine Leiche. Die Auflösung ging mir ein bisschen schnell und war fast ein bisschen unspektakulär.
- Daisy wächst mir immer weiter ans Herz. Sie gibt Menschen das Gefühl, sich ihr anvertrauen zu können. So kann Daisy durch ihre Empathie immer wieder zu Konfliktschlichtung oder Verbrechensaufklärung beitragen.
- Hachja, Alec Fletcher von Scotland Yard ist ein sweeter Partner an Daisys Seite. Er schwankt gut zwischen Beschützen, Anerkennung, Überfordert Sein mit Daisys modernem Selbstverständnis. Und es knistert zunehmend ein bisschen mehr… :)
- wieder eine tolle Atmosphäre: winterlich, herrschaftlich, historisch aber nicht eingestaubt.

Inhaltswarnung: Homophobie. Fremdenhass.
Profile Image for Terry Southard.
609 reviews13 followers
June 25, 2015
Enjoyable series, or as Daisy might say, "Just spiffing." Not nearly as good as the Maisie Dobbs series, it is still an enjoyable summer read. This one has the body of a serving girl found buried in an estate's garden. The town is ready to pin the murder on the Welsh gardener, but was it really him? I thought this one was fairly obvious from the get-go, but I still enjoyed it.
Profile Image for *The Angry Reader*.
1,350 reviews293 followers
September 5, 2019
Let me start by saying these are not 4 star books. This ting is a solid silly three. None of the characters have immense depth. The 1920s slang is distracting and adorable. The mystery is hardly nuanced. And I think the big twist in this one was blindingly obvious.

That said - we’re still in reno-purgatory here. And that wretched hurricane made his way right past us today. My kid has been off school for 5 days. And one of my dogs got sick.

When I absolutely couldn’t bear another thing stalwart Daisy Dalrymple was a balm to my soul.

Profile Image for Shauna.
330 reviews
June 26, 2015
A murder series set in 1920's Britain. This book has a paper-thin plot and pantomime characters. Not much attention to detail- lower class characters all seem to speak the same regardless of regional accents and I found the relaxed and very modern attitudes towards sexual relationships shown by the characters very unbelievable.
Profile Image for Lauren.
2,216 reviews162 followers
May 15, 2021
The Winter Garden Mystery
3.5 Stars

For her new assignment with Town and Country magazine, the Honorable Miss Daisy Dalrymple travels to Occles Hall in Cheshire where she inadvertently stumbles across a corpse in the winter garden. When the innocent Welsh under-gardener is accused of the crime, Daisy is determined to uncover the truth.

Daisy is a simply delightful character. She manages to convey both inquisitiveness and caring without being excessively nosey or snooty. While she does sometimes rush headlong into trouble, she also takes appropriate precautions and often saves the day. Her slow-burn romance with the dark and sexy Detective Chief Inspector Alex Fletcher is also progressing nicely.

Unlike the first book where the mystery is resolved too hurriedly, the investigation here involves more commonplace policework (at least for the 1920s), namely questioning suspects and witnesses, and following up leads. There are one or two rather predictable twists and it is possible to guess the culprit and motive quite easily.

The real highlight of the book is Dunn's skillful portrayal of small-town life in rural England, particularly the social and economic changes in the aftermath of WWI, which add a touch of realism to the cozy genre.

Bernadette Dunne's narration took some getting used to in book #1, but she is growing on me. I look forward to the next installment.
Profile Image for Jammin Jenny.
1,344 reviews179 followers
September 7, 2020
I really enjoyed this Daisy Dalrymple book, it was #2 in the series. I read #1 then jumped around a bit so it was nice to come back to the beginning. Daisy's mom still doesn't approve of her daughter getting involved in all this murder stuff, she's a young woman in the 1920s in England and shouldn't be behaving that way. I love it.
Profile Image for Book Concierge.
2,709 reviews325 followers
December 21, 2017
Digital audiobook read by Bernadette Dunne

Book number two in the Daisy Dalrymple series has our heroine traveling to Occles Hall to research her latest article for Town and Country on England’s country manor houses. Lady Valeria is none too pleased at this intrusion, but Daisy IS “to the manor born” so she is tolerated. Still, when Daisy asks to photograph the winter garden the last thing she expects to find is a body.

Daisy cannot help but get involved when she sees an injustice being carried out, so she convinces Alec Fletcher of Scotland Yard to investigate. There are a number of secrets being kept by the residents of the household and some are bound to come out in the process of getting at the truth of the murder.

This is a charming cozy mystery series set in the 1920s. Daisy is charming, inquisitive, intelligent and resourceful. She does sometimes plunge headlong into trouble, but on the whole, she is appropriately cautious and responsible. I also like her slow-burning relationship with Fletcher.

Bernadette Dunne does a fine job voicing the audio book. She has great pacing and enough skill as a voice artist to give the many characters sufficiently unique voices.
Profile Image for Jim.
Author 6 books2,015 followers
November 27, 2018
It was a good mystery with enough twists to explore the rapidly changing world. Imagine Maggie Smith a bit younger & constantly in a bad mood. Now add in a body found in her garden along with Daisy there doing a story. Another fun glimpse at a kind of Downton Abbey murder mystery.

I love-hate the glimpses into the everyday life & expectations of the times. Manor servants get very little time off & live highly regimented lives. They're up early & don't retire until quite late. Even when they go out, they have to be back in by 11pm. A half day off once a month was used as a joke, but didn't seem terribly out of bounds. Getting fired for placing plates from the wrong side! The lord of the manor leased the village to the people that lived there! Oy! Makes me very grateful for my working day.

Thoroughly enjoyable, well written, & narrated. Highly recommended, but don't expect anything more than a pleasurable interlude.

1,326 reviews19 followers
September 5, 2017
3.5 stars. Continuing to find this series super enjoyable.

Okay, the first third was a bit slow, but then DI Fletcher showed up, and I was mollified.

Also, guessed the "twist" on about page 15. But whatevs.

I am also totally a sucker for mysteries set in English manor houses.

2017 Reading Challenge: A book with one of the four seasons in the title
Profile Image for Cheryl James.
258 reviews166 followers
August 31, 2022
Book 2

The book was a little drawn out, but I love the story and the characters. A easy breezy audio series that will keep your attention until the end!! Family can be our worse emeny!!
Profile Image for Wealhtheow.
2,407 reviews534 followers
March 12, 2010
The Honorable Daisy Dalyrymple is visiting an old school chum while writing about her ancestral home when a body is discovered in the garden. Although the local police are happy to pin the housemaid's murder on her young foreign swain, Daisy has doubts. She calls in her childhood friend Philip Petrie and her new friend, Alec Fletcher of Scotland Yard, to help her investigate. Who killed Grace? Was it the beautiful but spineless heir who had gotten her pregnant? His best friend, the jealous Ben? His devoted sister, manipulative mother, or cowardly father? Grace's father or fiance? Or was it the travelling salesman who was seen talking to her only hours before she was killed? There are no physical clues. Only Daisy's stubborn will and insight into human nature can help her solve this case.

This is not as good as the first Daisy mystery, Death at Wentwater Court. The main characters have already been introduced, so Dunn spends less time drawing them out. The murder itself is not one of those incredibly convoluted schemes that takes the latest forensic tech to solve. It is just a basic small village murder, and is simply solved by buying rounds of drinks at the village pub and interviewing suspects. The real delight to these books is the 1920s themselves, which Dunn draws with a deft and light hand. Reminders of a depressed economy, rumbles of discontent against the upper classes, growing independence for women, and the damages of the first World War are woven throughout. And the characters themselves are fresh and breezy. Daisy has a great deal of spirit and sympathy, but as smart and kind as she is, she is still very much a product of her upbringing--she can't bring herself to shingle her hair, or stop grouping people according to class. This is, overall, a murder as cozy as a murder can be, and well worth the few hours it will take to read.
Profile Image for Lee at ReadWriteWish.
595 reviews77 followers
December 27, 2021
I must say I’m absolutely loving Audible’s new Plus Catalogue. I had previously read the first book in the Daisy Dalrymple series and quite enjoyed it and now it seems I can listen to all 23 for free via the catalogue. Yay!

This one sees Daisy visit an old school friend to write up her estate for Town and Country magazine. Whilst inspecting the winter garden at the house, Daisy uncovers the body of a maid. The local constabulary prove to be incompetent so Daisy gives Detective Chief Inspector Alec Fletcher, whom she met in book one, a call to assist. Also featuring from book one is Daisy’s childhood friend Phillip who, clearly, wants to be more than just a friend.

The mystery is nothing particularly intriguing and most of the plot twists are obvious (especially one which was obvious as the nose on my face) and, to be honest, probably heavily borrowed from other books. But who cares? It’s all fun and the budding romantic relationship between Daisy and Alec is really well done.

In another negative, I’m sure there’s a few historical inaccuracies and Dunn is a little heavy handed on the slang but again, I didn’t really care. It’s a quick fun read and I will definitely read more of the series. 4 out of 5

Profile Image for Renee M.
812 reviews112 followers
November 13, 2022
2.5 stars. Cozy mysteries are just so pleasant... even with a decomposing body in the garden.
Profile Image for Olga Godim.
Author 12 books70 followers
November 1, 2018
3.5 stars
A nice cozy with one of my favorite literary sleuths, Daisy Dalrymple, a young journalist from an aristocratic family in the 1920s England. The book is a bit slow, but Daisy is her charming self, and as always, I enjoyed reading her story.
Daisy is comforting and very pleasant, and what is more important, she is never in danger. She is just too nice, so no one threatens her, which is often the case in other cozies, but instead, everyone confides in her, while she tries and fails to stay out of a murder investigation. Not her fault, really. She makes me smile.
Profile Image for Anna.
1,188 reviews18 followers
October 6, 2020
I just discovered that I had neglected to review this book when I read it. It has been a couple months but I remember several uncomfortable episodes, that the villains are really horrible (yes there is only one murderer but there are more than one villain here), and the end was a bit of a cop out. Nevertheless, I enjoyed Daisy's deepening acquaintance with Alec and I thought there were some really funny bits.
Profile Image for Domic.
574 reviews10 followers
August 10, 2021
Das ist wirklich eine nette Serie, mit jeder Menge Downton Abbey-Vibes - ich freue mich schon auf weitere Bücher - wenn ich sie irgendwo finde, muss ich mal die englischen Hörbücher probieren, in der Hoffnung, dass die von jemanden mit so einem richtig heftigen britischen Akzent gelesen werden...
Profile Image for MK ( MaKayla) ✨.
277 reviews99 followers
November 9, 2022
Not as good as the first book , due to a couple of things . I enjoyed the third book immensely more than this one . I may skip through the series and only read the ones that interest me .
Profile Image for Sina & Ilona Glimmerfee.
1,048 reviews122 followers
November 6, 2017
Worum geht es?
Miss Daisy ist wieder einmal unterwegs, um für eine Zeitschrift, ein Herrenhaus zu fotografieren und darüber einen Artikel zu schreiben. Die Hausherrin, ist ein echter Drache und Daisy ist ihr ein besonderer Dorn im Auge, ist es doch für ein Mädchen aus gehobenen Kreisen, in den 20er Jahren nicht schicklich, selber Geld zu verdienen. Pech für die schreckliche Lady, dass gerade jetzt im Wintergarten die Leiche eines Dienstmädchen aufgefunden wird. Natürlich muss Daisy ihre Nase wieder einmal in die Dinge stecken, die sie nicht angehen.

Wie hat es mir gefallen?
Ich mag den Charme der 20er Jahre sehr und die Charaktere sind mir auch in diesem Fall sehr sympathisch, bzw. wurden sehr gut entworfen. Beim Lesen bekommt man sehr gut vermittelt, was als guter und schlechter Ton zu dieser Zeit galt. Sowohl Setting, Charaktere und Story haben mir wieder sehr gut gefallen. Ich bin sehr gespannt, wie es mit Daisy und Inspektor Alec Fletcher weitergeht.
Profile Image for Aerykah.
461 reviews27 followers
January 12, 2018
I didn't think this book was as good as the first one... Daisy is funny and, for the most part, an enjoyable character. And I have enjoyed Alec and Philip too. But the stories just aren't quite what I like. Add to that the bad language (mild, though it is) and the important roll that homosexuality played in the story and I'm thinking that I most likely won't be reading any more of these books.

Warning: there is some bad language in this one and homosexuality plays a pretty important part in the story too.
Profile Image for Nancy.
2,075 reviews66 followers
March 9, 2014
Very interesting time in history… When cars were new. Phones were new at that time and young ladies did not stay in hotels they stayed in private homes. Well-bred ladies were just starting to get jobs and bobbing their hair.
Homosexuality & infidelity show up.
Nice little romance between Daisy and Alex the CID Scotland Yard policeman.
I probably won't read more n this series..definitely some enjoyable bits though.
Profile Image for CatBookMom.
992 reviews
July 23, 2018
I've read this series very much out of order, but I wanted to get a feeling for the first encounters that Daisy and Alec had. This is good.

Lady Valeria is a serious Termagant, a Domestic Despot, with the side chuckle of being apt to use alliteration, even in the midst of her rants. Too bad that neither Daisy nor Alec were able to be witnesses to her eventual major smack-down, from both her unregarded daughter and her so-closely-coddled son.
Profile Image for Jennifer.
1,205 reviews18 followers
February 22, 2010
I picked this up the other night because I was wanting a mystery and it's set during the 1920s, probably my favorite historical era. It was just okay - a quick read for a lazy weekend. Although some of the historical details were interesting, the story wasn't too compelling and there were modern sensibilities that seemed out of place.
Profile Image for Selah.
1,222 reviews
October 23, 2018
I love this series! I'm revising my opinion on narrator Bernadette Dunne. She sounds like a young Penelope Wilton (who I love in Doctor Who, Downton Abbey, etc.) and I enjoy her voice.
Profile Image for Chrysta.
201 reviews12 followers
January 24, 2018
This was a cute book! Daisy is such a fun character to read! Cute cozy mystery and it wasn’t til the end that I figured out who the murder was. Can’t wait to check out the next installment.
Profile Image for SanNit's Büchersalat.
266 reviews1 follower
June 27, 2022
Auch Teil 2 der Cosy Crime Reihe rund um Miss Daisy und ihrem Pech in Mordfälle zu stolpern, hat mir sehr gut gefallen.
Es war spannend zu beobachten, wie sich so nach und nach kleine Familiengeheimnisse lüften. Es war witzig, die unerschütterliche Neugier von Daisy zu verfolgen und wie sie damit ein immer größeres Ärgernis für die Hausherrin wird.
Da dauerte es auch nicht lange, bis Inspektor Fletcher zum Fall hinzugezogen wurde. Seine Versuche, Daisys Einmischung im Zaun zu halten, misslang natürlich.
Ich mag die Dynamik zwischen den beiden sehr. Vor allem finde ich gut, dass es noch nicht so offensichtlich wird, dass die beiden sich sehr mögen, da sie verschiedenen Standes sind. Ich bin gespannt, wie die Autoren die beiden zusammenbringt.
Für mich gab es die Hörbuchvariante und ich finde die Sprecherin so richtig passend für Daisy. Ich hatte sie immer vor Augen. Auch in den Dialogen mit anderen Charakteren hat sie toll gesprochen.
Insgesamt wurde ich sehr gut unterhalten und freue mich schon auf den nächsten Fall.
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