Sentence: "Gingerbread? You're sure it was gingerbread
she asked for, Gracie?"
Death comes to a country estate when Lady Truelove is killed
by a horse known for becoming violent. Or was she? Scotland
Yard Assistant Commissioner Joe Sandiland is asked to investigate
but the situation is complicated by Joe's dislike of Sir James
Truelove, who is also patron of Dorcus Jolifee, the woman
Joe hopes to marry.
Cleverly excels at creating a sense of time and place. Here,
we have a very clear picture of the titled/social set in the
1930s from dialogue, which is reflective of the time and suitable
to the various classes; to food
"Joe was glad he'd
taken the hint and declared for the strawberries; the plump
miracles of summer magic were duly served on Delft-patterned
dishes with a matching pot of yellow Devon cream so think
it had to be spooned from the jug."; to dress, "Suit
is from Monsieur Worth and perfume from Mademoiselle Chanel,
Officer." One also can't help but enjoy the inclusion
of several literary passages.
This is very much a character/relationship-driven story with
wonderful characters. It is rather nice to learn that the
protagonist has shortcomings and to learn more about his background.
However, there is one scene where one might be a bit disappointed
by his attitude. Although Dorcus-known to readers of previous
books-only plays a minor role here, the return of Lily Wentworth,
former PC now working as a private enquiry agent, is delightful.
Dr. Adelaide Hartest is also a wonderful addition to the story.
Enter Pale Death lures you in with bucolic descriptions,
underlain with tension, escalating to a rather shocking scene.
That said, the interesting and unexpected ending could leave
one feeling a bit disconcerted. It will be interesting to
see where things progress from here.