On an outing to London's Crystal Palace with her children and their visiting cousins, Daisy Dalrymple Fletcher is shocked when her nanny temporarily disappears. When she goes in search of Nanny Gilpin, Daisy stumbles upon a corpse dressed in a nanny's uniform. Meanwhile, the children spot Mrs. Gilpin in uncharacteristic pursuit of yet another nanny, who has disappeared by the time they catch up to her. Worried for her employee and also baffled by the presence of the two other nannies, Daisy can't resist a bit of unofficial sleuthing. Carola Dunn (Superfluous Women, Heirs of the Body) leads both her protagonist and her readers on a merry, highly enjoyable chase in her 23rd Daisy Dalrymple mystery, The Corpse at the Crystal Palace.
All the hallmarks of Dunn's series are here: Daisy's keen curiosity and sense of justice; her detective inspector husband, Alec, both exasperated by and grudgingly grateful for his wife's interference; a slew of colorful suspects (including an enigmatic family of Russian jewelers); and Daisy's friends Lucy and Sakari, who each contribute to solving the case. The setting of interwar London is a pleasure to revisit, and Daisy's domestic trials (an exploding boiler, the challenges of parenting three-year-old twins) unfold alongside her attempts at ferreting out information. Dunn touches lightly on issues of class, race and politics while keeping the main focus firmly on the twisty plot. Daisy's adventure here is both an engaging puzzle and a pleasant return to the world Dunn has created. --Katie Noah Gibson, blogger at Cakes, Tea and Dreams