So, having read the first Dandy Gilver mystery (as reviewed here) and fallen in love with it, it seemed the natural thing to do to read the second as a way of getting myself a little further out of my current reading slump.
The Burry Man’s Day finds Dandy in Queensferry where an old schoolfriend and her American husband have come into their inheritance (a rather nice castle-type dwelling with attendant estate). With this inheritance has come some obligations around the annual fair – judging various competitions, awarding prizes and so on – and Dandy and her other friend Daisy are there to assist.
One of the highlights of the fair is the Burry Man – a sort of Green Man type character wearing a costume completely covered in burrs (hence the name) who progresses through the town collecting pennies and/or shots of Scotch to bring good luck to the town. Unfortunately said Burry Man drops dead at the end of the day and the big question is, of course, was it murder?
Step forward Dandy, who calls in her “Watson” from the first book, Alec, to assist.
I enjoyed this very much. There was sufficient uncertainty about whether there had been foul play to keep it going, and I liked the fact that Dandy did try to remind everyone that, though there may be a mystery about some of the actions of key players, that didn’t necessarily mean that murder had taken place. I thought the solution was plausible, but my only quibble is with the very end, which I did think was a bit far-fetched. But to be fair it didn’t spoil the remainder and did show (if it needed to be repeated) that the effects of the First World War were deep and far-reaching.
Still fond of Dandy, so much so that I’ve bought the three other books in the series so far, and will enjoy working my way through them over the summer.