Requiem for a Mezzo is the third book in the Daisy Dalrymple Mysteries by Carola Dunn.
When Daisy’s next door neighbour gives her tickets to the opera at the Albert Hall, she has her fingers crossed for a quiet evening out with the dashing Detective Chief Inspector Alec Fletcher of Scotland Yard. Things are going swimmingly until after the interval when one of the soloists drops dead on the stage. And it quickly transpires that the victim, Bettina Westlea, made many enemies in the musical circle she moved in, the majority of which were with her on stage at the time of her death…
(2 favourites this time as I couldn’t choose between them!)
Tall and sleek, she wouldn’t have been caught dead in last year’s calf length hems, though her budget was as limited as Daisy’s; she made her own clothes and spent on materials and trimmings the equivalent of what Daisy put into books and gramophone records.
‘Daisy! Don’t tell me you’ve fallen over another dead body?’
I am a big fan of Daisy Dalrymple. I like the way perfect strangers just walk over to her and unburden themselves of all they know about whatever crime the Detective Chief Inspector Alec Fletcher is working on, much her to bemusement and his annoyance. How can he keep her safe if she finds herself right in the middle of everything? It’s also nice to see how much Alec recognises and respects Daisy’s intelligence and independence.
There is such an interesting list of characters in this instalment, hailing from all corners of Europe. This adds flavour and colour to the story, and as the majority of the cast are all singers, they have entertaining artistic temperaments too.
Light and easy to read, these books are full of the charm of the era in which they are set, though you will find mention of some of the main events that had a tremendous effect on people at the time: the First World War, the influenza epidemic and the Russian Revolution.
If you like cosy mysteries set in 1920s England, I think you will enjoy these books, as you will if you enjoy Kerry Greenwood’s Miss Phryne Fisher stories or pretty much anything written by Agatha Christie.