I have read quite a few mysteries in my reading career including hard-boiled, soft-boiled, procedural and cozy. This tale is a cozy mystery. A cozy mystery is where the crime is committed off stage and does not go into graphic detail. They are also light hearted mysteries where the sleuth goes about her regular job and we learn about her family. This type of story was created by Agatha Christie and followed by other writers such as Arthur Conan Doyle who wrote the “Sherlock Holmes” series. In the present these stories are created by wonderful authors such as Janet Evanovich, Nancy Atherton and Sue Grafton.
This is the first time I have read Carola Dunn. I have wanted to read one of her Daisy Darymple mysteries ever since I heard about them due to the fact that the main character is supposed to be an adventurous, young woman who usually lands herself in the middle of a murder. I have to admit, after reading a few chapters I was bored to tears by this book. The reason being that it plods along very slowly discussing the scenery around the country house and the descriptions of the minor characters. These are stock characters you find in English murder mysteries such as a bored young aristocratic woman who is just flittering her life away going from boyfriend to boyfriend, a spinster sister of the deceased, and an older male relative who is always dour. The murder itself did not appear until page one-hundred of my book. I have never read a cozy mystery where the murder has taken so long to appear on the scene! This could have been a new series for me if it had been more engaging, but it doesn't hold a candle to a Christie or any other cozy authors I've read.
Daisy Darymple get an invitation to go to a country house that is in the middle of some mountains. She’s been invited because her friend Sybil thinks someone is trying to kill the author who is employing her as a secretary. Because Daisy is curious about the writer she goes to the house, meets the author and his family. She finds out that the author has been sick for years and that Sybil has taken over writing the series and is getting more royalties from the publisher then the original author. Is someone trying to kill the original author or is something else going on?
Gone West is not a stand-alone mystery. It’s the 20th in the Daisy Dalrymple Mysteries and I recommend that you read the prior books.
In September 1926, the Honourable Daisy Dalrymple Fletcher visits Sybil Sutherby, a school friend now living in Derbyshire as the confidential secretary to a novelist. Suspecting that something is seriously amiss, Sybil has asked Daisy to discretely investigate. Upon arrival, Daisy finds a household of relatives and would-be suitors living off the hospitality of Humphrey Birtwhistle, who had been supporting them through his thrice-yearly, pseudonymous Westerns. When he took ill, though, Sybil took over writing them while he recovered, only to see the sales increase.
Now, she fears that someone in the household is poisoning Birtwhistle to keep him ill and Sybil writing the better-paying versions. But before Daisy can even get decently underway, Humphrey Birtwhistle dies under suspicious circumstances and Daisy now faces a death to untangle, a house full of suspects and a Scotland Yard detective husband who is less than pleased at this turn of events.