Manna from Hades by Carola Dunn

Manna From Hades is the first book by Carola Dunn which I’ve read, but it won’t be the last. Although it was first published in 2009, the book is set in Cornwall of the late 1960s or 70s, as the author spent a lot of her time there when she was growing up. She has definitely captured that atmosphere.

Eleanor Trewynn has spent a lot of her life living abroad as she and her husband spent their working lives helping those less fortunate in far flung countries. Now that she is retired and she is a widow she is living in a small Cornish village, having just had enough money to buy a small house, the ground floor of which she has turned into a charity shop, while upstairs she has her home.

Whilst gathering donations for the shop Eleanor discovers a small case full of jewellery amongst the clothing but has no idea who donated it, and so begins a mystery! I’m not going to say any more about the storyline as I don’t want to spoil it for people!

This is an entertaining sort of easy reading book which harks back to the time when female detectives were a rare thing and women weren’t allowed to wear trousers to work. Something which I’m sure people can hardly believe nowadays but until the equality of the sexes laws came about in the mid 1970s that is what life was like for women.

It says on the front cover A Cornish Mystery and that was one of the reasons I chose this book because if a book is set in Cornwall then it’s a plus for me. I just realised recently that the Malory Towers series by Enid Blyton is set in Cornwall and I loved those books so they probably kick started my love for Cornwall, long before I ever managed to visit the place – and I wasn’t disappointed when I eventually got there.

Anyway, I’m keen to read more of Carola Dunn’s books, even if they don’t have a Cornish setting. Although Dunn was born and raised in England she now lives in the US – Oregon I believe.

My thanks to Jo at The Book Jotter who encouraged me to start reading Dunn’s books, although Jo hasn’t read this one yet.

6 thoughts on “Manna from Hades by Carola Dunn

  1. I read this one a while back and, although Carol Dunn’s take on Cornwall is rather romaticised, I did like it.

    And thank you for reminding me that Malory Towers is set here – I’d completely forgotten. Malory Towers and Faraway Tree books were always my favourites by Enid Blyton.

    • FleurFisher,
      I think she managed to get the feeling of those tiny lanes, you can’t really call them roads, which seem to be all over Cornwall, with those very steep banks. I’d never seen anything like it.

      I reread a couple of Malory Towers books a while ago to see what I thought of them now and was surprised to find they were set in Cornwall. I wanted to be a Malory Towers girl for quite a while when I was wee!

  2. This sounds like a book I must read by Carola Dunn, though I am still on her Daisy Dalyrmple books at the moment but I can always add more to the list I am sure!

    Glad you enjoyed it, there is something pleasurable in reading books like these.

    I was (and still) a fan of Malory Towers and now having grown up and not wanting to be a pupil there, I would not mind being a teach perhaps?

    • Jo,

      I’m going to start on the Daisy Dalrymple series, I suppose I really should read them in order.

      The Malory Towers type of school is best left to fiction I think. In reality the teachers never get away from places like that and it becomes their whole life! You can always dream though.

  3. I’ve always meant to read a Carola Dunn, I love the thought of Cornwall and I’ve never been there. I fell in love with it watching the Series Doc Martin! My library has these books I will put some on my reading list this next year!

    • Peggy,

      For some reason I didn’t get around to watching Doc Martin until they showed re-runs recently so I’ve been enjoying it too. Cornwall is a lovely part of the country, and of course it’s in the west, it’s just a shame that it’s about 600 miles from where we live! I hope you enjoy Carola Dunn’s books next year.

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