Daisy Dalrymple is off on her travels once again, to yet another stately home for an article for the magazine she works for. But first of all she has to get there and her method of travel is to go via The Flying Scotsman. Annoyed that she hasn't been able to procure a book for the journey but pleased she shelled out the extra for first class travel, Daisy is expecting a quiet, uneventful journey north. That is until a young girl turns up and Daisy realises that it's Belinda, the nine year old daughter of her boyfriend, Chief Inspector Alex Fletcher. Belinda has run away in protest at her grandmother's restrictions and, because she knew Daisy was catching this train, had decided to stow away and travel with her.
Next thing you know an old school-friend of Daisy's has appeared and tells her whole family is on the train, parents, aunts, uncles, cousins and so on, because they've been summoned to Scotland by their miserly great uncle, presently on his death bed. He's about to leave all his money to his twin brother and the family hope to persuade him to leave it to them.
It's a very tangled web! A web which becomes even more tangled when the old man's twin brother, who is on the train and has been subject to all kinds of verbal attacks and persuassions, is found murdered. The whole family, plus Daisy and Belinda, who found the body, are forced to disembark at Berwick upon Tweed and take up residence in a local hotel. Daisy's boyfriend, Alex Fletcher, arrives to head the investigation and is shocked to find his daughter embroiled in the proceedings. It seems practically every member of the family had reason to want the old man dead, be it money or something else. Daisy and Alex have their work cut out, not only to solve this crime but also to protect Beinda who clearly knows more than she's letting on.
Well now, this is book 4 in Carola Dunn's very successful series about the wonderful Daisy Dalrymple. I've enjoyed them all so far and this one was every bit as much fun as the previous three. I can't decide whether Daisy is perhaps a trifle too modern for the age she lived in but suspect there were quite a few girls like her who, after the end of the first world war where many husbands and fiances died, no longer had any option but to find a job. Her and her mother were turned out of their home when a cousin inherited it. She's fairly sure he would've allowed her to live there still and her mother would have had her to live with her, but Daisy wants to be independent and who can blame her. I love her determination and optimistic outlook and also her lack of snobbery. There were still plenty of restrictions applied to women of course. You had to be extremely careful of your reputation and silly little things put it at risk, like being seen in public without a hat, getting your hair cut short and so on. These books, while on the surface fun and fluffy, are quite informative if you read between the lines to what is really going on, and one thing that is very clear - in the 1920s it was still very much a man's world.
Looking forward to reading more in this series next year. Just *one* of the many series I seem to be hooked on right now.