The Corpse at the Crystal Palace (Carola Dunn)

August 16, 2018 Book Reviews 10 ★★★★

The Corpse at the Crystal Palace (Carola Dunn)The Corpse at the Crystal Palace by Carola Dunn
Series: Daisy Dalrymple #23
Published by Minotaur Books on July 3, 2018
Genres: British mystery, Cozy Mystery, Historical Mystery
Pages: 288
Format: eARC
Source: the publisher
Purchase: Amazon | Bookshop | Barnes & Noble | Audible
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Also in this series: Anthem for Doomed Youth, Gone West, Heirs of the Body
Also by this author: Anthem for Doomed Youth, Gone West, Valley of the Shadow, Heirs of the Body

A casual outing to the Crystal Palace in London takes a mysterious and murderous turn in The Corpse at the Crystal Palace, the latest mystery in Carola Dunn’s beloved Daisy Dalrymple series.

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.

I received a review copy of this book from the publisher.


If I ever met Daisy Dalrymple Fletcher in real life, I’d stay a good, long distance away from her. An ocean might be just about enough space.

Don’t get me wrong; I like Daisy very much. She’s kind, compassionate, forthright, and curious. She’s also a magnet for murder. Dead bodies seem to crop up with alarming frequency any time she’s in the vicinity. Yet so far, neither motherhood nor the loving injunctions of Alec, her Scotland-Yard-inspector husband, have yet put a damper on Daisy’s predilection for a spot of detecting.

And this murder is no exception. Daisy’s twins’ nanny has been injured, and Daisy herself discovered the body of a second nanny in a Crystal Palace loo. Not only is Daisy right in the thick of things again, this time she feels an obligation to find out how Nanny Gilpin became involved.

Most of the series regulars put in an appearance, from Alec’s former sergeant, Tom Tring (now retired) to daughter Belinda and Daisy’s friends Lucy and Sakari. Add in a cast of suspects ranging from high society to a trio of Russian émigrés and a victim with more enemies than friends, stir in a puzzling plot, and the result is a satisfying and entertaining mystery that goes a long way toward explaining why the Daisy Dalrymple series remains so popular. After a three-year hiatus, I’m glad to see Daisy is still in fine fettle.


About Carola Dunn

Carola Dunn is the author of more than 30 Regency romances, as well as over 25 mysteries.  Her Daisy Dalrymple mystery series is set in England in the 1920s.  She also writes a series set in 1960s Cornwall. 

Ms. Dunn was born and grew up in England, where she got a B.A. in Russian and French from Manchester University. She traveled as far as Fiji before returning to settle in California. After 30 years in the US, she says she still sounds as if she arrived a month ago. Ms. Dunn now lives in Oregon.

Prior to writing, Ms. Dunn’s various jobs included market research, child-care, construction–from foundation trenches to roofing–and writing definitions for a dictionary of science and technology. She wrote her first novel in 1979, a Regency which she sold to Warner Books.  (biography adapted from Goodreads)

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10 Responses to “The Corpse at the Crystal Palace (Carola Dunn)”

    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      I know; so many series really drop off in quality after a while. I can’t say there haven’t been a few “meh” entries, but on the whole, she’s been pretty consistent.

  1. Lark

    Where has this series been my whole life? Reading your description of Daisy totally made me laugh. And that cover! I’ve got to check these books out. 🙂

  2. Literary Feline

    Haha! I love your description of Daisy–the kind of person you’d stay far away from. 🙂 She does sound like a great character just the same. Good thing we don’t live in the pages of these books, I suppose. But they are fun to read and visit now and then. I will have to give this series a try.

  3. Northwoman

    Wow 23 installments. I am a reader of mysteries and I don’t know this one. I’m surprised. Anne – Books of My Heart

  4. Katherine @ I Wish I Lived in a Library

    I read the first few ages ago and I do have this one but haven’t read it yet. It does sound like lots of fun but I do think I’d stay far away from her! Have you read the Royal Spyness books by Rhys Bowen? I think these have a similar feel.
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    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      You’re right, they do have a somewhat similar feel, though I think the Daisy books are intentionally a little less humorous and more…is “realistic” the right word?…than the Royal Spyness books, which are a bit more madcap. I do enjoy them both, though! I’m behind on the Royal Spyness series; I need to catch up.