Mystery set in Crystal Palace, South London

15th April 2019

The Corpse at the Crystal Palace by Carola Dunn, mystery set in Crystal Palace, South London.

Mystery set in Crystal Palace, South London

It is Spring 1928 and Daisy Dalrymple is looking after some young relatives. It is only a car ride away from Hampstead, where she lives to The Crystal Palace, a fine monument that no longer exists in present day. It was originally a cast iron and glass structure built to house the great exhibition of 1851, transported from Hyde Park to Penge Common/Sydenham Hill, which is now called Crystal Palace. The whole edifice burned down in November 1936, and the flames could, it is said, be seen from miles away. Dinosaur creatures built for the exhibition can still be seen dotted amongst the foundations of the ruined structure.

It is an area I know quite well, as I grew up nearby, so I was intrigued to read The Corpse At The Crystal Palace. Daisy sets off with her large party of family and friends and as they split up to explore, one group suddenly spots their nanny (Gilpin) in pursuit of another nanny. A body is discovered in the lavatory and turns out to be dressed as a nanny. Daisy’s own family nanny is found upended in a water feature but survives.

Daisy’s husband – who happens to be DCI Fletcher of Scotland Yard – takes over the case, but of course the real sleuthing is done by Daisy. Suspects come and go until the final reveal.

Time and place are really quite delightful, the manner of parlance (as it were) seems well researched. It is no. 23 in this hugely popular series. For me I found there was a scatter gun of characters, all lined up early on that made it a little chaotic at the beginning and there is a lot of rushing around, with a nod in theme and style to the Famous Five series by Enid Blyton. The author does have a very loyal following and this would be a choice read for those who like cozy mysteries. One for fans of the Agatha Raisin mystery series by M C Beaton, set in the Cotswolds.

Tina for the TripFiction Team

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