This book, first published in 2005, is the first in the Dandy Gliver series by Catriona McPherson. The time period is just after the first world war has ended and the location is Scotland. Dandy Gliver is a high society woman, married to Hugh. They have survived the war relatively unscathed, both survived and they can still afford their properties. Dandy and Hugh live in Perthshire in their manor house along with Dandy's maid, Grant. Dandy is bored now that the war is over and her nursing duties have come to end. She's tired of the social circuit already.
After the Esslemont's ball celebrating the armistice Dandy learns that the famous Duffy diamonds are missing, allegedly taken from Lena Duffy's room after the ball. She knows that Lena Duffy had them on the night of the ball. Lena, her husband Gregory and their 2 daughters (Clemence and Clara) were all at the ball. Clara is engage to be married to Alec. The girls are as different as two sisters can possibly be.
Dandy is called by her friend Daisy Esslemont to find the diamonds. It seems that Lena has demanded that the Esslemonts pay for the diamonds even though no police report has been filed. Hints at blackmail start. Dandy is invited to another dinner to start her investigation. There is the theft of the diamonds, dark pasts of some of the characters and a murder to all deal with. What she discovers is not what she was hoping for.
This is a nice little cozy mystery. The story moves along, nothing too earth shaking and the time period and the location are interesting. Big country houses at a time when the families who owned them had suffered devastating losses in the war. It's not just the returning soldiers who have mental problems. I liked this book and have continued on with the series. If you are looking for a new set of cozy mysteries to read, I recommend these.
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