It wouldn’t be a country house weekend without a little murder. . .
Three rival actresses team up to solve a murder at the stately home of Lettice Davenport, the author whose sleuthing creation of the 1930s, Dahlia Lively, had made each of them famous to a new generation. A contemporary mystery with a Golden Age feel, perfect for fans of Agatha Christie and Jessica Fellowes – and Janice Hallett and Richard Osman, of course!
In attendance at Aldermere: the VIP fans, staying at house; the fan club president turned convention organiser; the team behind the newest movie adaptation of Davenport’s books; the Davenport family themselves; and the three actresses famous for portraying Dahlia Lively through the decades.
There is national treasure Rosalind King, from the original movies, who’s feeling sensitive that she’s past her prime, TV Dahlia for thirteen seasons, Caro Hooper, who believes she really IS Dahlia Lively, and ex-child star Posy Starling, fresh out of the fame wilderness (and rehab) to take on the Dahlia mantle for the new movie – but feeling outclassed by her predecessors.
Each actress has her own interpretation of the character and her own secrets to hide – but this English summer weekend they will have to put aside their differences as the crimes at Aldermere turn anything but cosy.
When fictional death turns into real bodies, can the three Dahlias find the answers to the murders among the fans, the film crew and the family – or even in Lettice’s books themselves?
This was a fun murder mystery novel which had a real golden age vibe within a modern setting. Full of traditional red herrings and family secrets along side the more modern day troubles of it’s three main characters, I found this a fun and enjoyable read.
In the home of Lettice Davenport, deceased author of Golden Age crime novels featuring her heroine Dahlia Lively and her detective sidekick, we are brought into the modern age with a convention taking place in the country house, now owned by her nephew, to celebrate her books and a new film which is about to be made. Three actresses come together, all who have or are about to have played Dahlia over the years.
True to style, a murder is committed and everyone is under suspicion. The three actresses, although far from friendly at the start, soon realise they have to club together, in order to solve this mystery, as they all soon realise that only Dahlia Lively can get to the bottom of what’s been happening, as she has done so many times before, but in this case, it may take 3 of them to solve this crime!
I enjoyed reading this new debut crime novel by author Katy Watson and am pleased to see that this is the first in this new series, with (at least) 2 more in the pipeline. With a brilliant country house setting and an array of different characters all, it seems, with something to hide, there were plenty of twists and red herrings to get stuck into. I loved the chapter headings, taken from the ‘fictional’ original Dahlia Lively novels, which each set the tone for what was to happen next. It really helped to cement the story of this golden age author and made me want to read her books too!!! Except obviously, I can’t!
If you enjoy ‘cosy crime’ type novels and country house murders then this new series will be sure to please.
Quick shout out to the person who created the cover art. It’s really striking!
Many thanks to the publishers for my digital ARC via NetGalley. The Three Dahlias is released July 21st. Do follow the author on her social media accounts too! Plus check out her newsletter which include some great book recommendations.