Death at a Country Mansion

Kensington. (Daisy Thorne, Bk. 1). Dec. 2020. 288p. ISBN 9781496729804. pap. $8.99. M
Famous opera star Dame Serena Levanté has been out of control since she turned 50 and her voice started to go. She drinks too much and, screams at her fourth husband, who is now leaving her for a stewardess. Her final fall from grace is over the banister in her country mansion. Serena’s daughter, Floria, contacts her best friend, Daisy Thorne, and Daisy abandons her hair salon to support her friend. When the gruff and dishy DI Paul McGuinness announces it was murder, Daisy wants to investigate. McGuinness warns her not to get involved, but it’s too late. Daisy’s late grandfather was a chief detective inspector, and she’s studying forensic psychology, with the aim of assisting police. As Floria’s best friend and the local hairstylist, Daisy knows all the men in Serena’s life, all the villagers in Edgemead, and all the local gossip. But she didn’t know Serena had three illegitimate daughters all over the world, who are now descending on the mansion and may have inherited. However, nothing fazes the self-confident, socially savvy Daisy, not even an intimidating, abrupt DI.
VERDICT This enjoyable series debut, with its diverse cast of characters and clever amateur sleuth, will appeal to readers of Elizabeth J. Duncan’s “Penny Brannigan” mysteries.
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