Posts Tagged ‘Jeanne M Dams’

Dark and Stormy Night, A (A Dorothy Martin Mystery)

Dorothy Martin and her husband Alan Nesbitt are invited to a country house weekend at atmospheric Branston Abbey.  They’re looking forward to a relaxing break but the weekend coincides with a violent storm and the Abbey is damaged as well as being cut off from the surrounding countryside by floods and by a power cut which lasts for days.  When Dorothy discovers a skeleton in the grounds revealed by the uprooting of a large oak tree it seems they have stepped into an Agatha Christie type mystery.

This is quite a dark cosy mystery with danger threatening from all sides and further murders and accidents reducing the suspects. I failed completely to work out who was responsible though the clues were there.  I thought the plot was very well done and the claustrophobic atmosphere was well created.  The author really did convey how much we rely on modern conveniences such as electricity, phones and the internet.

My only complaint about the book was something which many American authors get wrong with crime novels set in the UK  Barristers are not solicitors and a barrister would not carry out property conveyancing work. That said, the confusion was a minor part of the book and it didn’t spoil m enjoyment of the story.  This book is number ten in the Dorothy Martin series though the books can be read in any order.

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Product Details

I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley.

Dorothy Martin has agreed to go and see the opening of an exhibition by a young artist friend of hers and to combine it with a holiday for herself and her husband.  Unfortunately her husband, Alan, breaks his ankle and Dorothy must travel alone to France so that she can be there to support her friend.

By the time Alan manages to join Dorothy she has managed to get herself involved in some tantalising mysteries at atmospheric Mont St Michel even though she is hampered by her lack of knowledge of French.  One person has nearly drowned in the treacherous waters around the island, another has been attacked in the abbey itself and an archaeologist has apparently disappeared.  Dorothy has taken a young man who is acting as guide to the abbey under her wing but is his explanation for being there really the truth?

This book kept me pleasantly occupied throughout one lazy afternoon.  It really caught my imagination and I found I couldn’t stop reading.  Dorothy herself is an interesting and likeable character with insatiable curiosity and I love the way she always manages to ferret out what is really going on.  Alan, her husband, is equally curious and has his police contacts to use for access to information.

If you enjoy well written mysteries with interesting characters, not too much on the page violence and a fascinating background then this series is worth trying.  The books can be read in any order

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Dorothy Martin and her husband Alan are off to Alderney for a fortnight’s holiday.  Naturally, with their record of finding dead bodies they stumble across one while out for a walk.  It is the body of William Abercrombie – an Anglican priest from the US who seems to have polarised opinion on the island. Some people love him and think he is a force for good, others have horror stories to tell of his lack of concern for others and his suspected theft from church funds.  Which group is right or is there some truth in both viewpoints?

Dorothy and Alan are puzzled by the huge differences between the loves and hates and feel a connection to the dead man because they found his body.  This is a low key but interesting mystery in which Alderney itself is lovingly depicted.  I almost feel as though I have been there having read this book.  I enjoyed the way the author shows the inhabitants reacting to the death and the way Dorothy and Alan ask questions.

Throughout the book no one, including the reader, is quite sure whether it was murder or accident but with plenty of people having some sort of motive for murder it seems unlikely it was an accident and Dorothy and Alan feel there is something suspicious about it. I liked the way forgiveness was shown to be important in this mystery and it will make readers think about this always difficult subject and how hatred only hurts the hater and not the hated.  I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley for review.

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Blood Will Tell: A Dorothy Martin Investigation (A Dorothy Martin Mystery)

Dorothy Martin accompanies her husband, Alan Nesbit – retired Chief Constable – to a conference in Cambridge.  She wants to explore the city while he is otherwise occupied and looks forward to a quiet few days.

However, fate has something else in store of her which puts her life in danger.  When trying to find her way round the Cambridge College in which the conference is being held she stumbles into one of the science labs and sees a large pool of blood on the floor.

When several people go to investigate, the blood has disappeared. Convinced she didn’t imagine it, Dorothy is reluctant to let the matter drop.  This is an intriguing cosy mystery with plenty of twists and turns in the plot before everything is finally unravelled and resolved.

The book is well written and entertaining and Dorothy herself is a practical down to earth person with a sense of humour which allows her to laugh at herself.  I liked the other characters too – her husband, Alan and Elaine who is in charge of the investigation into the missing pool of blood and the various other disturbing events which stem from it.

The book is part of a series but can be read as a standalone story. I received a free copy of the book from NetGalley for review.

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The Gentle Art of Murder: Dorothy Martin Investigates (A Dorothy Martin Mystery)

I have read and enjoyed several books in this series of cosy mysteries featuring retired teacher and ex-pat American, Dorothy Martin who is married to Alan Nesbit, retired Chief Constable and living in a four hundred year old house in Sherebury in the English countryside.  Dorothy manages to stumble across more dead bodies than the average person and this book is no exception.

Dorothy and Alan are invited to a reception at the local art college to support a friend of a friend who has just started work there and the body of the head of the college is discovered at the bottom of the lift shaft.  Did he fall or was he pushed?

Dorothy and Alan find themselves involved in the investigation as they try to protect Gillian – the new employee at the college – who starts receiving threatening phone calls. The plot is complex and there are plenty of twists and turns and several suspects which will keep readers guessing for most of the book.

I thought this latest episode in the series was well up to this author’s usual standard and if you look mysteries with little on the age violence and no swearing then this may be the series for you.  The books can be read in any order.  I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley for review purposes.

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Day of Vengeance: Dorothy Martin Investigates Murder in the Cathedral (A Dorothy Martin Mystery)

Dorothy Martin – ex-pat American living in a cathedral city in England – often finds herself mixed up in real life murder mysteries. This time she becomes involved through her husband, Alan Nesbitt, retired Chief Constable of Belleshire who is a member of the appointments committee which is in the process of selecting a new Bishop. One of the candidates is murdered – and loyalties and feuds are brought into the light of day during the course of the investigation.

I have read several of the books in this entertaining series and this is the latest book – number fifteen in the series. Dorothy and her husband together with their many friends and acquaintances need to find out precisely who is responsible for the death and with members of the appointments commission under suspicion – not to speak of other candidates for the bishopric the investigation needs to be conducted fast and with tact and diplmacy.

I thought the background to this story was interesting as were the references to some of the classics of detective fiction. You may either love or hate Dorothy but it is always interesting to see what she makes of English society and customs. This is an interesting cosy mystery with plenty of suspects and plenty of clues and anyone who enjoys their crime novels without on the page violence and bad language will enjoy this series which can be read in any order. I received a free copy of this book for review purposes.



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Malice in Miniature (A Dorothy Martin Mystery)

Bob Finch – son of Ada Finch – and gardener to Dorothy Martin and her new husband Chief Constable Alan Nesbitt is accused by one of his employers of theft.  Dorothy is convinced Bob is not guilty and at Ada’s request she agrees to investigate.


Alan is away on police business and visiting a local stately home which houses a huge collection of miniatures and whose owner is accusing Bob of theft seems like a good way to pass the time.  Brocklesby Hall is a Gothic nightmare but the dolls houses and their miniature contents soon fascinate Dorothy though she is less keen on their owner – Sir Mordred.


This is an interesting mystery with a fascinating background of the miniature world of dolls houses.  The characters are well drawn and the plot suitably complex.  The murder of Sir Mordred’s housekeeper – who seems to have been hated by everyone on the staff at the hall – provide something else for Dorothy to exercise her powers of detection over.


The book is well written and have touches of humour.  Dorothy is all too well aware of her own faults and frequently unsure of whether she should be involved in detection.  I think the author captures the characters and behaviour of Dorothy’s two cats extremely well and their interference complicates anything she tries to do in her own home.  I like the way the author is developing the relationship between Dorothy and her new husband.  This series is an entertaining read for anyone who doesn’t like on the page violence or bad language.

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