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Catriona McPherson was born in the village of Queensferry in south-east Scotland in 1965 and educated at Edinburgh University. She left with a PhD in Linguistics and spent a few years as a university lecturer before beginning to write fiction. The first Dandy Gilver novel was short-listed for the CWA Ellis Peters Historical Dagger 2005 and the second was long-listed for the Theakston's Crime Novel of the Year Award 2007. Catriona writes full-time and divides her time between southern Scotland and northern California.
In a deep dark Scottish wood there stand two houses, a mile apart. Between them stands a hallowed building. A chapel? A crypt? And close by runs a river with a rickety bridge, a Devil’s Bridge. In the garden of one house is a rocking standing stone, all this adds a creepy atmosphere to a fine mystery. Once, one of the houses was a progressive hippy school which closed when a 12-year old lad committed suicide. Now, twenty-eight years later one of those original children is enticed back to the area. He is scared of something and an old friend takes him in and hides him. She is our narrator. What she unearths to help her friend grows more mysterious as she attempts to unearth what happened to those kids over the years. Layer on layer of mystery builds to an unexpected climax. Tight, well observed with a sinister sense of place and with a nod to the supernatural , this is an intriguing read. Highly recommended. ~ Sarah Broadhurst
On the rain-drenched, wave-lashed, wind-battered Banffshire coast, tiny fishing villages perch on ledges which would make a seagull think twice and crumbly mansions cling to crumblier cliff tops while, out in the bay, the herring drifters brave the storms to catch their silver darlings. It's nowhere for a child of gentle Northamptonshire to spend Christmas. But when odd things start to turn up in barrels of fish - with a strong whiff of murder most foul - that's exactly where Dandy Gilver finds herself. Enlisted to investigate, she and her trusty cohort Alec Osborne are soon swept up in the fisherfolk's wedding season as well as the mystery.
Perthshire 1929 and the menfolk of the Gilver family have come down, between them, with influenza, bronchitis, pneumonia and pleurisy. Dandy the devoted wife and mother decides it is time to decamp; Dandy the intrepid detective, however, decides to decamp to the scene of a murder she would dearly love to solve. The family repairs to the Borders town of Moffat, there to drink the sulphurous waters straight from the well and to submit to the galvanic wraps and cold salt rubs of the splendid Laidlaw Hydropathic Hotel. But all is not well at the Hydro. The Laidlaw family is at war, the guests are an uneasy mix of old faithfuls and giddy upstarts, and the secret of the lady who arrived but never left cannot be kept for long. And what of those drifting shapes in the Turkish bath? Just steam shifting in the air? Probably. But the Hydro was built in the lee of a Gallow Hill, and in this town the dead can be as much trouble as the living...
A cosy Dandy Gilver mystery set in 1920s Scotland. For fans of PG Wodehouse, Alexander McCall Smith and Agatha Christie. 'Dan Brown meets Barbara Pym . . . Dandy is brisk, baffled, heroic, kindly, scandalised and - above all - very funny.' Guardian 'One of several authors recreating the Golden Age of the British crime novel and a legion of fans adore the tongue-in-cheek cases that come the way of Dandy Gilver, a very Scottish middle class sleuth.' Northamptonshire Evening Telegraph Friday 3rd June, 1927 Dear Alec, 'Careful what you wish for, lest it come true' is my new motto, and here is why. I was summoned to Dunfermline, that old grey town, in the matter of a missing heiress. She had flounced off in a sulk over forbidden love and I, suspecting elopement, was loath to take the job of scouring guesthouses to find the little madam and her paramour. Before I could wriggle out of it, though, there was a murder in the mix - or was it suicide? I had hardly begun to decide when it happened again. Then I was sacked. Actually sacked! By two separate people, and both dismissals in writing. And that's not even the worst of it, darling: matters here are careering downwards much in the style of a runaway train. Please hurry - or who knows where it might end, Dandy xx Catriona McPherson's latest novel in the series, Dandy Gilver and a Spot of Toil and Trouble is now available for pre-order.
A cosy Dandy Gilver mystery set in 1920s Scotland. For fans of PG Wodehouse, Dorothy L Sayers and Agatha Christie. 1st May 1926 - Dear Alec, Just when those who should be working are all downing tools for this wretched strike (and I still can't believe it - I mean to say: riots, Alec - in Edinburgh of all places) guess who is setting her virgin shoulder to its very first wheel? I am dressed in serge and sensible footwear, sleeping in an iron bed and dining off pickled tongue at six o'clock each day. I am, in short, that nice young Mrs Balfour's new maid. But don't worry, Alec dear: things haven't got as bad as all that. It's just that that nice young Mr Balfour is going to kill his wife. At least, she thinks so, and the more I hear about him from butler, cook and bootboy the more I'm inclined to agree. So I'm undercover, in disguise, bent upon foiling. And jolly hard work it is too - tomorrow is my half-day free if you'd care take me out for a restorative bun. (Every maid needs a beau to buy buns for her.) Yours, Dandy xx p.s. Ask for Miss Rossiter: below stairs I am she. Catriona McPherson's latest novel in the series, Dandy Gilver and a Spot of Toil and Trouble is now available for pre-order.
Dear Alec, Remember my engagement yesterday? The annual duty luncheon for the Reverend Mr Tait from which and whom I expected only boredom? I could hardly have been more wrong, Alec dear, and I am this minute packing to follow the Reverend home to his manse in Fife, there to attend a meeting of the Rural Womens' Institute. Hardly a house party at which one would usually leap, I grant you, but not only is the man himself a perfect darling - imagine Father Christmas shaved clean and draped in tweed - but his parish, it seems, heaves with more violent passions than a Buenos Aires bordello. A stranger, you see, is roaming the night and pouncing on the ladies of the Rural. At least that's the tale they're telling and the one that Mr Tait told me, but since half the village think he's a figment and he only ever strikes at the full moon, I cannot help but wonder if there's something even odder going on . . . Much love and remember me fondly if the dark stranger gets me, Dandy xx Catriona McPherson's latest novel in the series, Dandy Gilver and a Spot of Toil and Trouble is now available for pre-order.
A classic murder-mystery set among the struggling upper classes of 1920s Perthshire as, in the aftermath of the First World War, their comfortable world begins to crumble. Dandy Gilver, her husband back from the War, her children off at school and her uniform growing musty in the attic, is bored to a whimper in the spring of 1923 and a little light snooping seems like harmless fun. Before long, though, the puzzle of what really happened to the Duffy diamonds after the Armistice Ball has been swept aside by a sudden, unexpected death in a lonely seaside cottage in Galloway. Society and the law seem ready to call it an accident but Dandy, along with Cara Duffy's fiance Alec, is sure that there is more going on than meets the eye. What is being hidden by members of the Duffy family: the watchful Lena, the cold and distant Clemence and old Gregory Duffy with his air of quiet sadness, not to mention Cara herself whose secret always seems just tantalizingly out of view? Dandy must learn to trust her instincts and swallow most of her scruples if he is to uncover the truth and earn the right to call herself a sleuth.