Monday, September 13, 2021

From the Back of the Review Shelf - Two Mini Reviews


I'm trying to get caught up on some of my overdue review books that have been lurking in the backs of my shelves for far too long.  Here are two quick reviews for books I have recently caught up on.

Goodreads:  The Corpse at the Crystal Palace (Daisy Dalrympe #23) by Carola Dunn

Blurb April 1928: Daisy Dalrymple Fletcher is visited in London by her young cousins. On the list of must-see sites is the Crystal Palace. Discovering that her children's nanny, Nanny Gilpin, has never seen the Palace, Daisy decides to make a day of it―bringing her cousins, her 3-year-old twins, her step-daughter Belinda, the nurserymaid, and Nanny Gilpin. Yet this ordinary outing goes wrong when Mrs. Gilpin goes off to the ladies’ room and fails to return. When Daisy goes to look for her, she doesn't find her nanny but instead the body of another woman dressed in a nanny's uniform.
Meanwhile, Belinda and the cousins spot Mrs. Gilpin chasing after yet another nanny. Intrigued, they trail the two through the vast Crystal Palace and into the park. After briefly losing sight of their quarry, they stumble across Mrs. Gilpin lying unconscious in a small lake inhabited by huge concrete dinosaurs.

When she comes to, Mrs. Gilpin can't remember what happened after leaving the twins in the nurserymaid's care. Daisy's husband, Detective Chief Inspector Alec Fletcher of Scotland Yard, finds himself embroiled in the investigation of the murdered nanny. Worried about her children's own injured nanny, Daisy is determined to help. First she has to discover the identity of the third nanny, the presumed murderer, and to do so, Daisy must uncover why the amnesic Mrs. Gilpin deserted her charges to follow the missing third nanny.

My Thoughts:  I read a couple of the Daisy Dalrympe mysteries close to twenty years ago so when I saw this one I couldn't help but pick it up not realizing that it is expected to be the last mystery in the series.  This was a fun mystery with quite an interesting start.  The mystery does a good job of alternating between Daisy's amateur sleuthing and Alec's professional investigating.  There are a lot of tiny threads and an untold amount of people wanting the victim dead which made for quite the mystery.  This mystery was much lighter on historical detail then most of my other historical mystery reads and really could have taken place at anytime between cars coming into regular use and the internet coming to be.  It's definitely a lighter cozy but was still a fun read and made me want to go back to the beginning of Daisy's story.  I listened to the audio of this book and the narrator, Lucy Rayner, is new to me but I won't be listening to her again.  I found her voices a bit overdramatic and sharp and it dampened my enjoyment of the book.  My Rating:  Liked It

Goodreads:  A Sprinkling of Murder (A Fairy Garden Mystery #1) by Daryl Wood Gerber

Blurb:  Since childhood, Courtney has loved fairies. After her mother died when she was ten, she lost touch with that feeling of magic. A year ago, at age twenty-nine, she rediscovered it when she left her father's landscaping business to spread her wings and start a fairy garden business and teashop in beautiful Carmel, California. At Open Your Imagination, she teaches garden design and sells everything from fairy figurines to tinkling wind chimes and trickling fountains. Now she's starting a book club tea.

But the light of the magical world she's created inside her shop is darkened one night when she discovers neighboring dog-grooming business owner Mick Watkins dead beside a fountain. To make matters worse, the police suspect Courtney of the crime. To clear her name and find the real killer, Courtney will have to wing it. But she's about to get a little help from an unexpected new friend . . .

My Thoughts:  I wanted to love this so much as I love fairy gardens and the cover is just so pretty.  Unfortunately it fell a bit flat for me.  The mystery was well done and the reveal was a surprise but I didn't always enjoy getting there.  My primary issue was I really disliked pretty much every single character.  Courtney was okay though a bit immature but most of the other characters were argumentative, quick to judge, and just didn't seem to be very nice.  Really it just seemed like most of the page time was spent with different characters (including the detectives) bickering loudly with each other. I'm not a big fantasy reader so the bits about the fairy rules and whatnot took some getting used too but that wouldn't have bothered me very much if I had enjoyed spending time with the characters.  I was never bored with this one and I did end up really enjoying the last quarter of it.  This is an author I would like to read more from but my dislike of the characters will probably keep me from revisiting this series.  My Rating:  Just Okay

*I received these books in exchange for my honest review.  My thoughts as always, are completely my own*


  1. First off, I had to share ythis link from Joy's Book Blog with you as I lnow you love Agatha Christie. It's quite interesting.

    I love that fairy garden cover!

  2. Oh well maybe a different series from Gerber might work. I got a Miss Marple book from the library for my sister who is ill. I will be interested to see what she has to say!

  3. I love the cover of The Corpse at the Crystal Palace. 😊