Heirs of the Body: A Daisy Dalrymple Mystery
The title of Carola Dunn's Heirs of the Body refers to an English legal term pertaining to the passing of property to next of kin. Lord Edgar Dalrymple--a childless former schoolmaster--inherited his title and estate from his cousin Daisy Dalrymple Fletcher's father and brother. Now the time has come to find a male relative to become Lord Edgar's successor. Through a worldwide search, four possible claimants emerge. In order to vet the candidates, Lord Dalrymple enlists Daisy's help and proposes the whole family gather to celebrate his 50th birthday and meet the potential beneficiaries at the family estate.
"How difficult can it be to tell the fake heirs from the real one?" remarks Daisy's Scotland Yard inspector husband, Alec, unaware that the lineup of would-be heirs is diverse: a diamond merchant from South Africa, a hotel manager with French connections, a boy from Trinidad and a Jamaican sailor who is missing in action and has a pregnant wife. Who are these people and what lengths will they go to in order to secure an inheritance? Might they even conspire to commit murder?
Heirs of the Body marks Daisy Dalrymple's 21st adventure. Dunn has kept her affable heroine--a writer turned amateur sleuth in 1920s England--lively and engaging throughout the traditional whodunit series. As Daisy's aristocratic family become embroiled in another cozy mystery, Dunn offers a strong sense of place, tight and suspenseful plotting and well-defined motives--all serving to enrich the entertaining puzzle at the heart of the story. --Kathleen Gerard, blogger at Reading Between the Lines