To Davy Jones Below, the ninth book in the Daisy Dalrymple series by Carola Dunn, opens with the wedding of Daisy and Alec Fletcher, and at the reception the two learn that Alec’s superintendent has been plotting something with the American millionaire Caleb P. Arbuckle. Mr. Arbuckle tells them that he has arranged for Alec to travel to Washington to advise the newly reconstituted Federal Bureau of Investigation and a young man named J. Edgar Hoover. Daisy will be traveling with them to America too, financed by her publishers, to write about the voyage and then some articles about her impressions of America. They will leave right after their honeymoon is over.
Along with Mr. Arbuckle, Daisy’s childhood friend Philip and his new wife Gloria, Arbuckle’s daughter, travel with them on the Talavera and are joined at the last minute by Arbuckle’s friend, Jethro Gotobed and his new “blooming bride,” Wanda, a former showgirl seen by all as a crass gold-digger. The ship barely begins on its way when a man goes overboard and a lady shrieks that she saw him pushed. As the seas roughen, Alec gets seasick, leaving Daisy to take the lead in investigating, while others go over the rail.
To Davy Jones Belowis a delightful addition to the Daisy Dalrymple series. The characters continue to delight, with several enjoyable returning friends and a few new characters that I had fun meeting.
In my review of Rattle His Bones, I discussed how the characters of Alec Fletcher and his Detective Sergeant Tom Tring remind me of Ngiao Marsh’s Roderick Alleyn and Inspector Fox. This book has flavors of Marsh’s Singing in the Shrouds, which involves a cruise with a killer on board while the captain refuses to accept that any of his passengers could be murderers.
I appreciate the clean style of the Daisy Darymple books. They do not hide from the realities of life or shrink from exploring sexual-driven motives, but it do so without showing the sex or graphic violence.
The audio edition of this book continues with Lucy Rayner as the narrator. She does an admirable job of tackling the various accents of the characters, including both American and British people, and the book makes a point of talking about the way Gotobed changes his accent, going back and forth between his native lower-class accent and the upper class accent he has acquired. Rayner deals with such challenges well and does a good job as narrator.
With the interesting plot and delightful characters, this book deserves a hearty five stars!
To Davy Jones Below: A Daisy Dalrymple Mystery (Daisy Dalrymple Mysteries Book 9) is available now in multiple formats. To order from Amazon, click the link in the title. You may also find it at your local bookstore or library.