Dear Mrs. Gilver,
My husband is going to kill me, and I would rather he didn’t.
When Dandy Gilver receives this missive from a lady in Edinburgh, she hastens to the young woman’s side. However, as the woman is extremely fearful of her husband, she asks that Dandy come as a ladies’ maid, seeking to fill a recently-abandoned position. Mrs. Gilver, a lady herself, asks her own ladies’ maid for assistance, and shows up at the Balfour residence, a bit anxious but ready to fill her post. After only one day in the house, there is a dead body and motives miles long…or so it appears.
This first installment in the adventures of Dandy Gilver was absolutely everything I wanted it to be – a bit P.G. Wodehouse, a little Patricia Wentworth, a lot Maisie Dobbs. However, these comparisons are useful only for gauging whether or not it’s your cup of tea because Dandy and her story are a bit different. The best word to describe the novel? Zany. First, Dandy is married to Hugh but relies on her friend Alec as her “Watson,” and I really enjoyed the friendship and collaboration between the two. It’s the early 20s, there’s a strike on, and tensions in Scotland are running high. Also, the group below decks is much more important than any lady or gent: a commie valet, dance hall butler, and a peering tom are all part of this oddball cast of domestic help.
Good luck beating Dandy to the punch as I was quite unable to, though I had my suspicions, and pick this one up for yourself and/or for the mystery lover in your life and read it quickly so you’ll be ready for the next in the series come spring.
Read this: if you liked Gosford Park, Upstairs, Downstairs, Downton Abbey, Jacqueline Winspear or P.G. Wodehouse. Perfect for cold winter weather.
P.S. Yes, Mom, you can definitely borrow this. 😉