In The Corpse at the Crystal Palace by Carola Dunn, Daisy Fletcher hosts her newest young cousins, discovered in Heirs of the Body, who have just moved to England from Trinidad. Since 13-year-old Belinda is home from boarding school, she takes Ben and Charlie to visit the zoo and other sights in London. But when it comes to the Crystal Palace, an exhibition created by Queen Victoria, a large group goes together.
As the three young teens explore the exhibition on their own, shortly before the scheduled rendezvous with everyone else, they spy Nurse Gilpin, the nanny of Daisy’s 3-year-old twins, stealthily tailing another woman in nurse’s uniform. So they decide to follow the woman. When Nurse Gilpin fails to show up at the appointed rendezvous, Daisy heads to the ladies’ room to see if the woman is alright. Instead of finding her own nanny, Daisy finds a stall door ajar, so opening it, she is startled to discover a nurse in full uniform but with her hat and a wig under it pushed mostly off her head.
After Daisy gets the retired Scotland Yard detective Tom Tring to examine the woman, whom he declares dead, Charlie shows up, panting that the children have found Nurse Gilpin in a pond, and Ben and Belinda are trying to rescue her. When they recover the woman, she has a concussion and no memory of anything after going to the ladies’ room. Daisy, who has called the police and returned to the ladies’ room, where Mrs. Tring and her Indian friend Sakari have been keeping the public out, is pleased to learn that the police detective in charge is her old friend DI McKinnon. But she is shocked, with everyone else, to learn that the one dressed as a nanny is really a man in disguise!
The Corpse at the Crystal Palace proved to be a delightful book. Fans of the Daisy Dalrymple series have been waiting for another addition to the series’s 2015’s Superfluous Women, and this book was well worth the wait. The plot had plenty of creativity, causing Alec and his team to scour all over London to interview the many people who were known to dislike the murdered man. Daisy gets involved herself in one of her most helpful roles, accompanied by her eager friend Sakari.
The characters in this book proved to be particularly delightful, and I especially had fun being reunited with a number of old friends. It is fun to see again Daisy’s lifelong friends, Lucy and Philip Petrie, the former now pregnant and going through its side effects and the latter now successful in America and visiting England on the car business. We also see our old friends from the police. Further, I enjoyed meeting Mrs. Tring, about whom we’ve heard so much. In addition, we had fun with Ben, the Trinidadian boy being adopted by the current Lord Dalrymple and met in Heirs of the Body. Belinda serves as a delightful hostess to her newly discovered cousins and continues to have a delightful personality But besides Daisy, the liveliest character is the Indian Sakari, who is always so eager to help Daisy in her snooping.
I had a fun time with The Corpse at the Crystal Palace. The inclusion, even for just a little while, of so many old friends, adds to great flavor. This may be the best Daisy Dalrymple book yet! I give it five stars!
Disclaimer: I received this book for free for review purposes, but that had no influence on the content of my review.
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