22) Carola Dunn — Rattle His Bones
Eighth in the Daisy Dalrymple series about a young aristocrat who writes for a living and has a bad habit of stumbling into murder mysteries. In this one Daisy is researching an article at the Natural History Museum when one of the curators is murdered. The reader knows from the start of the novel that someone has managed to switch the Museum’s collection of gemstones for high quality paste replicas, but this theft is still unnoticed at the time of the murder. Are the two connected, and how long will it take the characters to discover that there is not one crime, but two, to be investigated?
This is an entertaining 1920s cozy with a gallery of flawed but likeable characters, and a nice study of academic in-fighting and neuroses. And while the murder victim is clearly marked from the beginning as giving a great many people reason to dislike him, Dunn doesn’t make the mistake of making him a cardboard target for the killer. Daisy can see only too well why he ends up dead in a pile of dinosaur bones, but she’s also seen another side to him, and wants his killer caught.
As with previous books in the series which I’ve read, this has a murder mystery intertwined with the ongoing story of Daisy’s relationship with Detective Chief Inspector Alec Fletcher. The book can stand alone, but I’m finding it very enjoyable to watch the progress of the long term story arc from book to book.