After the Armistice Ball by Catriona McPherson

This is the first Dandy Gilver mystery and it was published in 2005. I had previously read the fourth in the series, The Winter Ground, which I liked enough to want to start the series from the beginning.

I enjoyed After the Armistice Ball even more than I thought I would, for one thing it was nice to discover how the upper-class Dandy and her sidekick Alec got together as a couple of amateur sleuths. Alec is also well-heeled but hails from Dorset, he is due to get married to Cara Duffy who comes from Edinburgh and Perthshire. The Duffy family diamonds have apparently gone missing, thought to have been stolen from Croys, a large house near Kingussie which belongs to the Esslemonts. It’s now 1922 and since the end of the Great War there has been an annual Armistice Ball at Croys and Lena Duffy is going around telling everyone that the diamonds must have been replaced by paste during her visit to Croys.

Daisy Esslemont asks her friend Dandy Gilver to investigate the whole thing, which involves blackmail and subsequently murder, or was it suicide? On the whole I found this book to be really entertaining, it might have been improved with a bit less travelling backward and forward to Galloway, but it has a good feel of the period and I found Dandy and Alec to be likeable and realistic characters. Dandy has a nice line in sarcastic wit.

6 thoughts on “After the Armistice Ball by Catriona McPherson

  1. I quite enjoyed this book, although it dragged in the middle for me as Dandy and Alec went over and over, and over the events and theorised about what had happened and why and I did find the ending rather confusing, so much so that I had to re-read parts of the book to sort out what I thought had happened. But as you said it has a good feel for the period and the characters are well drawn.

    • Margaret,
      I think I got the ending, but I’m not saying anything as it would spoil it for folks who might want to read it. It did drag slightly in parts and there were too many visits to Galloway for my liking. I always think the first in a series must be difficult. I’m looking forward to reading The Burry Man next, I think you said it’s set in South Queensferry.

    • Peggy Ann,
      I have number two in the series on request at the library, so I’ll be reading that one next. I hope you like this series, you’ll like the Scottish setting anyway!

    • TracyK,
      I hope you enjoy it when you get around to it. I always like Scottish settings, daft I know, as I’m in Scotland but I just like to be able to picture myself in Edinburgh or wherever, but I know that not everyone is going to have that reading experience.

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