Oregonian Carola Dunn is the author of the successful and fun Daisy Dalrymple cozy series, set in the 1920’s. This is her first offering in what would seem to be a new series.
Born and raised in England, Dunn takes us this time to the Cornish seaside where widow Eleanor Trewynn has retired to a small fishing village. Her background in foreign travel to exotic parts of the world with her husband has exposed her to sights, food and customs that make her feel the the Cornwall town of Port Mabyn will be quiet. Eleanor volunteers for the charity shop occupying the first floor of her cottage, the same organization she and her husband worked for so many years abroad before his death.
Eleanor helps out by traipsing the countryside with her little terrier Teazle, collecting donations and practicing her Aikido. One unexpected donation of jewels, coupled with the body of a youth found in the charity shop’s storeroom, leads to Eleanor’s unexpected close involvement in theft, murder, and a big dose of danger.
Helping her aunt is Eleanor’s niece, newly promoted DS Megan Pencarrow with the North Cornish police, completely hindered by her boss, the aptly named DI Scumble. There are several interesting side characters we hope to see again.
Eleanor’s distracted memory can at times be tedious, and in the first part of the book the pacing lags as Dunn introduces her characters and defines their personalities, but it picks up admirably as the plot twists and double crosses pile up to a satisfactory conclusion. Good summer brain candy.