Published 2013 set in 1929 chapter 9
‘What have you—’ I waited as the procession passed by. ‘What have you managed to find out about him?’
‘Nothing except his name,’ whispered Alec. ‘I insinuated myself into a group of them at breakfast and asked it. But I rather got the impression they thought if I didn’t know I wasn’t worth telling.’
‘And?’ I whispered back. ‘What is his name?’
observations: See earlier entry for more details.
Dandy Gilver is my favourite historical sleuth, and her books are among those I buy full-price, the moment they come out. In this one, the mysterious relationship between Dandy Gilver, her husband and her business partner Alec is as intriguing as ever.
For long-time fans: Dandy’s lady’s maid Grant gets a starring role, with some unsuspected talents. There is a great moment when she and Dandy are swapping slips of paper – emergency room numbers in case of danger for the maid, and the list of what Dandy should be wearing handed over in return.
And then, in the perfect exchange from these books, they have to invent a codeword in case of trouble during a seance:
‘Resurrection,’ I said.
‘A word that wouldn’t happen to come up any other way,’ Alec said patiently.
‘Oh. Yes, I see. Mohair.’
‘Perfect,’ said Alec. ‘If you feel frightened, Grant, or just want to stop, say “mohair”, loud and clear, and we’ll swoop in and get you.’
‘Thank you,’ Grant said. ‘That’s a great comfort, sir. Can we make it cashmere, please?’
You would have to know the situation and the characters, but that had me ROFL, honestly.
I can’t recommend these books too highly – this is the 8th of the series - but as if that weren’t enough, Catriona McP writes other books on the side - 2 under the name Catriona McCloud, and another just out with a most un-Dandy-like setting in the north of England. I don’t know how she does it, but I can only hope the Dandy books will go on forever.
The two chaps in the pictures, both Great Personages, are singer Enrico Caruso and newspaper magnate (and Citizen Kane original) W Randolph Hearst – both photos are from the Library of Congress.