Read Dandy Gilver & A Deadly Measure of Brimstone by Catriona McPherson Free Online
Book Title: Dandy Gilver & A Deadly Measure of Brimstone|
The author of the book: Catriona McPherson
Edition: Hodder Paperback
The size of the: 5.18 MB
City - Country: No data
Date of issue: February 1st 2014
ISBN 13: 9781444731903
Format files: PDF
Loaded: 1474 times
Reader ratings: 6.1
Read full description of the books:
"What a horrible, wicked way to kill someone. What a wicked, wicked thing to do. And to this woman." I waved the diary at him. "A woman who helps out at jumble sales and buys lace for her daughter. A woman who makes darling little jests with Bible passages that no one except herself will ever see. How could anyone have done that to her?" Alec refilled my glass even though it was hardly started. I think he had to do something.
"We will avenge her," he said.
This book was great! I'm glad to see that McPherson seems to be on a winning streak lately.
This is the 8th book in the Dandy Gilver series. It's 1929, Scotland, and rich Mrs. Gilver (wife, mother of two boys) is a private detective. She and her "Watson," Alec Osborne, are frequently hired to solve murders, robberies and other crimes. Meanwhile, Dandy's husband Hugh pretends his wife isn't being scandalous because he enjoys the money her crime-solving brings him.
In this installment, Dandy takes her husband and two sons to a "hydrotherapy spa/treatment center" (much like Bath, England) in order to help them recuperate after their long bout with influenza.
But there's another reason, too. A matron has died at the spa and - although the death certificate claims heart failure - her son and daughter are suspicious and ask "Gilver and Osborne, Servants of Truth" to investigate her death.
Murder, secrets, ghosts, spirit mediums, seances, and brimstone all combine to give Dandy what may be the case of her lifetime!
Still, I worried because his words were puzzling.
"What a peculiar person," I said, falling back on my grandmother's way of dealing with puzzlement: stake a claim to sense and normalcy and blame the other party for any troubled feelings or confusion they might have caused.
This was a great book. You never know what you are going to get in this series (McPherson has her ups and downs) but this is a real winner. The mystery is tight and makes sense, Dandy Gilver is - as always - a witty and charming narrator, and the setting - 1920s Scotland - is vivid and real. McPherson never slips on the atmosphere, I have to say, in any of her books. Major props to the woman for making it seem as if you are actually LIVING in the 1920s Scottish countryside while reading her books, it's amazing.
As per usual, Dandy's stuck-up bore of a husband (Hugh) and smirking, condescending sidekick (Alec) were annoying me.
Hugh and Dandy have always had separate bedrooms and when faced with the prospect of having to share a bed with his wife again, Hugh reacts as if she's told him he's to sleep in a bed of insects. I doubt they've had sex in over a decade, frankly. I doubt he would have had sex with her at all, except for the fact that he really wanted heirs. Dandy cutely and gamely suggests that it will be like a "second honeymoon," and Hugh is disgusted and upset.
McPherson never delves into Dandy's hurt over this - she always presents Dandy as able to brush it off,
Marriage would be so exhausting if I really gave it my all but I rather let things wash over me, from maid and husband both, and find life easier that way.
but it's ridiculous to think a woman wouldn't be deeply wounded by this kind of rejection by her husband. Hopefully this might be addressed in a later book.
Then there's Hugh's frequent, jeering remarks about how Dandy is 'brought low' by the work she does - exposed to all kinds of unsavory elements such as death and blackmail and snooping - and how it's "changed her" and (allegedly) negatively affected their sons.
Now. I know this is the 1920s but I can't believe Dandy allows her husband to get away with this shit. SERIOUSLY. If, heaven forbid, I was ever married to a man who denigrated my work (while happily living off the money it made) and, on top of that, snidely remarked on how it "soiled" me and insinuated that I was a bad influence on my sons, I WOULD TAKE HIS HEAD OFF. I have no idea how Dandy lets this slide. o.O
Apart from Hugh, we have Alec. Now, Alec was on pretty good behavior in this novel. I don't think I had to tell him to go fuck himself even once. *checks notes* Nope. Not once.
But, unfortunately, he's ramped up the sexism a bit - most noticeably when confronted with a female doctor and also when assigning women as more likely to be drawn in by "spiritual nonsense."
However, overall I was more satisfied with him in this novel. He and Dandy seemed more like true partners and he was less condescending to her than usual. I had very little urge to punch him in the face. That's good. I was actually touched by a subplot that involved him, so... good.
Another issue which I am curious about is how McPherson is going to deal with Bunty, Dandy's dalmatian and the light of her life. The love between Dandy and Bunty is clear and wonderful - Bunty is in every book and is Dandy's constant beloved companion. But she is 12 or 13 now and starting to slow down. I have no idea how McPherson is going to handle the dog's (inevitable) death, but I'm sure she'll do it with grace.
Bunty, who is always delighted when I am reversing, stuck her snout into the crook of my neck and poured out her love for me, in deep groans.
I love seeing Bunty and Dandy together and they are quite a pair. <3
Alec and Dandy are close friends. It seems McPherson has done away with the sexual tension between them that was in the first four books. In these last four books, that has almost completely disappeared (it was very subtle and well done in the first four) only to be replaced by an almost sibling-like relationship between the two. But Dandy still acts a bit jumpy about the fact that Alec might one day get married, and I have no real idea what is going on. I'll guess we'll see about that as well! LOL
Please note: This does NOT mean I want Dandy and Alec to "end up together." Ugh, gack, no. I am anti-cheating, even if Dandy's husband is a pompous, condescending, arrogant know-it-all. I am very thankful to McPherson that she as such a light touch (feather-light) with this kind of undertone, I am NOT rooting for this to become a mystery/romance series. Ugh. No.
Speaking of differences between the first half of the series (books 1-4) and the latter half (books 5-8), I've noticed a change in McPherson's writing style. I have to say I think I like the more complicated, beautiful, rich, and humanistic style of the first four books.
McPherson STILL has a great and distinct style - dry wit, great observations. But the complex richness that existed in the first four books doesn't seem to be present in these last four. I don't know how or why this change in McPherson's writing style came about, but it's noticeable (at least to me). I'm not complaining, exactly, these last four books are "easier" to read than the first four, and demand less scrutiny, but I kind of miss how hard my brain had to work to read the first four books in the series.
Don't get me wrong - McPherson is still clever, astute, witty, and sharp - but the books are not as deep and complex as they once were.
I loved how Grant (Dandy's "lady's maid") was involved in this book! Even though Grant has been a fun staple side character in every single book, this is the first novel in which she got to help Dandy out with an investigation.
I won't tell you how - I'll let it be a surprise - but it was a wonderful treat from McPherson.
The climax to this book was amazing, slamming you with all kinds of feelings. I felt like that part was particularly well done.
One complaint I do have, though, is that in this novel McPherson is basically saying that (in Dandy Gilver's world, at least) (view spoiler)[ghosts exist. Now. I don't believe in ghosts and I was rolling my eyes at this whole subplot that I just could not take seriously. Once I figured out McPherson was actually serious about this I threw up my hands in despair. (hide spoiler)] That might not be a drawback for everyone, but it certainly was one for me.
Tl;dr - A great book from a talented author. Even though this series has had it's weak points (Dandy Gilver and an Unsuitable Day for a Murder, I'm looking at YOU), overall I think it is a rewarding series. I love McPhersons strong Scottish voice, her complete mastery of the 1920s, and her wonderful dry wit.
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Read information about the authoraka Catriona McCloud
Catriona McPherson was born in South Queensferry. After finishing school, she worked in a bank for a short time, before going to university. She studied for an MA in English Language and Linguistics at Edinburgh University, and then gained a job in the local studies department at Edinburgh City Libraries. She left this post after a couple of years, and went back to university to study for a PhD in semantics. During her final year she applied for an academic job, but left to begin a writing career.
These days, McPherson lives with her husband on a farm in the Galloway countryside, where she spends her time writing, gardening, swimming and running.
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