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Book Title: Dandy Gilver and the Proper Treatment of Bloodstains|
The author of the book: Catriona McPherson
Edition: Hodder & Stoughton
Date of issue: March 1st 2010
The size of the: 795 KB
City - Country: No data
Loaded: 1106 times
Reader ratings: 3.7
ISBN 13: 9780340992968
Format files: PDF
Read full description of the books:
It is difficult always to remember how far I have travelled along the road from where I used to be, where she still was, in that warm glade of gentle womanhood where such things would never occur to one. I felt as though I should have narrowed eyes and a cigarette in one corner of my red lips as I grilled her.
I don't know what to say.
This is the 5th book in the Dandy Gilver mystery series, and boy, has this series been a roller coaster ride for me! McPherson's writing is all over the place. Some entries in this series are wonderful (The Winter Ground and Bury Her Deep) while others are just okay.
This book falls into the 'just okay' category.
Dandy Gilver is a 1920s rich lady who is a detective. Married, a mother of two boys, Dandy is a rarity in the in the 'mystery novel' world.
In this book, it's 1926 and Dandy receives a letter from a woman who believes she is going to be strangled to death by her beastly husband. Dandy (who is a rich, upper-class person) goes undercover as a lady's maid to ingratiate herself into the household and find out what is going on.
Well, this could have been all sorts of clever. Upper-crust lady going undercover as a maid! I was expecting some revelations on the part of Dandy as to the plights and tribulations of people who actually have to work for a living, but no. Nothing.
Then there's this subplot about a strike and people protesting horrible working conditions. I thought Dandy, who at the beginning is very anti-worker's-rights (in the bubble of the upper-class who believes that coal miners "live in cute houses" and "get all the free coal they want" and other weird conceptions she seems to have) would wake up and see what coal mining REALLY entails and it's damages on the human body firsthand - but nope, nothing.
Why bring up these things if you are not going to explore them to the full extent? I was excited and eager, only to be let down by McPherson just lackadaisically ignoring these topics. And I know she could have done a stellar job of it, too. She's an amazing author and great at subtly bringing things around. She's wonderful at being subtle. But here, if she were trying to make any sort of statement or inner revelation in Dandy, she was so subtle that I couldn't pick it up. o.O What a waste.
Another thing I'd like to comment on is the fact that McPherson's wonderful prose is very toned down in this novel. Usually when reading a Dandy Gilver mystery, I am quoting it right and left - because McPherson has some wonderful writing, infused with a kind of dry wit that is just amazing.
In this book, I think I only got 8 quotes from it. This was very disappointing.
I could feel a nasty prickling creeping up my back towards my neck, where a nasty shrinking feeling in my scalp waited to meet it.
Dandy makes some wild leaps in this book that I can't follow. This is a common problem for McPherson - Dandy often comes to conclusions that (to me) seem out of left field. I can't understand how she gets from Point A to Point B sometimes.
This isn't helped by the fact that the ending and the whole reasoning behind the mystery is SO BIZARRE and very unrealistic. (view spoiler)[Hypnotism? Really? A skilled hypnotist was living in the house and he is easily and instantly able to hypnotize anyone at any time? Just by saying "look into my eyes" and crap? What a load of bullshit. I don't believe in that shit. Ridiculous. (hide spoiler)] No wonder Dandy's reasoning seemed bizarre in this novel, the whole ending/reveal is crazy-insane and will leave you shaking your head like, "WTF did I just read?" Not a good choice on the author's part, in my opinion.
Tl;dr - Just ho-hum instead of the powerhouse I expected - the novel this COULD have been. Disappointing. It's still getting three stars from me, because it's a decent book and a decent read, but just not capable of blowing your mind or making you excited.
P.S. I love the title of this book, and the book cover is fabulous. The front is a maid with an apron which has the title on it in blood-red. When you turn the cover over, the back shows the maid's back, and she's hiding a knife behind her back! So cool. Great cover design.
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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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