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The Deadly Mystery of the Missing Diamonds:…

The Deadly Mystery of the Missing Diamonds: 1 (A Dizzy Heights Mystery, 1) (udgave 2021)

af T E Kinsey (Forfatter)

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484414,665 (3.75)11

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Jazz Age, jazz-musicians, England, situational-humor, verbal-humor, laugh-riot, law-enforcement, laugh-out-loud, amateur-sleuth, family-dynamics, friendship, murder, theft*****

These jazz musicians are good friends of Lady Hardcastle in this first-in-series spinoff of another hilarious cozy mystery series. It starts off with a lot of background stuff involving previous encounters with Scotland Yard (positive), Lady Hardcastle, and The Great War before getting into why the guys were tapped to help out Superintendent Sunderland. The story is really good and full of jazzy cant and references to musicians and films from America. I loved it and laughed my way through it in one dreary afternoon!
I requested and received a free ebook copy from Thomas & Mercer/ Amazon Publishing UK via Netgalley. Thank you! ( )
  jetangen4571 | Mar 4, 2021 |
I have long been a fan of T.E. Kinsey's humorous Lady Hardcastle historical mystery series, so when I found out that he was branching out, I jumped at the chance to read The Deadly Mystery of the Missing Diamonds. While I didn't find it quite as much fun as following Lady Hardcastle and her redoubtable maid Florence Armstrong on their adventures, the potential is certainly there, and I look forward to reading the next book in the series.

The strongest parts of this first Dizzy Heights mystery are its setting in Jazz Age London when people are still reeling from the slaughter of World War I and its superb mystery that kept me guessing every step of the way.

There are three main characters in The Deadly Mystery of the Missing Diamonds. We're first introduced to Skins Maloney's American heiress wife, Ellie, by her letters written to Florence Armstrong while Ellie was a nurse during the war. Ellie first met Skins in 1910 when he was in a band playing ragtime, and when they eventually married, the executors of her father's will invoked the "gold diggers" clause to prevent Skins from running off with all Ellie's money. They are truly in love, have a wonderful family life, and really don't care that they have to wait until their tenth wedding anniversary to come into Ellie's inheritance. Barty Dunn, on the other hand, is the quintessential single man-about-town who can't settle down and lives in a flat with a doting landlady and an old prune next-door who makes it her life's ambition to get him thrown in jail.

Part of the humor in this Dizzy Heights mystery concerns Ellie being from across the pond, and I laughed when I read this line: "I asked Cook to get corn on the cob but apparently the greengrocer looked at her like she was asking for mermaid tears collected in a unicorn horn." The differences between our two cultures are always good for a laugh, and although I didn't feel that the dialogue sparkled as much as it can (and does) in a Lady Hardcastle mystery, I know that Skins, Ellie, and Barty haven't quite hit their stride-- and I'm looking forward to the time when they do. ( )
  cathyskye | Feb 21, 2021 |
I don't recall how I learned about this new mystery series but I was intrigued to read it. It's 1925 and musicians are delighting the party-goers out for a night on the town with the music of the era which includes the ragtime Charleston as part of the dancing music reportoire. The music for the Charleston is in quick 4/4 time with syncopated rhythms although I found the pace of the mystery to be in the quieter pace of smooth jazz (not elevator music simply nice and easy).

One detail in the story that really made me smile is that an upcoming birthday is mentioned for one of the friends and the birth day is the same as mine. That was a "1st time ever" experience in all of my years of reading and I will confess that I loved it! It was so unexpected! :)

This is the first time I've met members of the band becoming amateur sleuths but they were delightfully effective especially as the band leader's wife is best friends with Lady Hardcastle and Flo Armstrong who have apparently been quite successful in assisting with murder investigations and were happy to share some tips for "cracking cases." I'm not sure if I'll continue reading this series but I would like to read the author's "A Quiet Life in the Country" (Lady Hardcastle Mysteries, Book 1). ( )
  FerneMysteryReader | Feb 19, 2021 |
Jazz Age Cozy
Review of the Thomas & Mercer Kindle eBook edition (to be released March 1, 2021)

The Deadly Mystery... was one of the 9 possible selections in the 2nd month of the Amazon First Reads program which offered 1 free Advance Reading Copy (ARC) selection to Prime members in Canada (2 copies in the USA).

This is a spin-off from the author's other popular cozy series the Lady Emily Hardcastle & Florence Armstrong mysteries. Musicians Ivor "Skins" Maloney and Bartholomew Dunn have made several guest appearances in that pre-World War I series. This new Dizzy Heights series jumps forward in time to 1925 where Skins & Dunn now play in a jazz band called the Dizzy Heights.

Things are kept fairly light throughout with much of the time taken up by banter between the musicians and their interactions with members at a club where they are undercover in order to assist the police with a possible deserter and diamond smuggler enquiry. Skins and Dunn spend more of their time bantering and it is left to Skins' wife Ellie to take a firmer hand in order to bring the investigation to a conclusion. Ellie has an occasional correspondence with Flo Armstrong which provides an opportunity to update Hardcastle series readers on those characters.

The Deadly Mystery... was definitely in very light cozy territory but did have a strong element of authentic research behind it. The author's note gives some details in that regard. There are no notes about the music authenticity but every single work mentioned that I previously knew about was authentic to the period (e.g. King Oliver's "Dippermouth Blues", George Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue", etc.) ( )
  alanteder | Feb 15, 2021 |
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