Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Murder on the Cliffs: A Daphne Du Maurier Mystery by Joanna Challis

Amateur Sleuth

Review by Yvonne Selander

Main Character: Daphne Du Maurier

Setting: 1928 in Cornwall, England

Point of view: First person

Taste of the Plot:  Where did Daphne Du Maurier get her inspiration for the classic tale Rebecca?  From becoming involved in a murder investigation!  When Daphne comes across the body of a woman at the bottom of a cliff she finds herself in the center of a scandal.  Did the bride-to-be commit suicide?  Or was she pushed?  There are a number of people who would want the young woman dead, but did any of them commit murder?

Style/Pacing: Methodical with a building sense of unease because you just know that one of the people our heroine is sitting next to is a murderer!

Main Character: Daphne Du Maurier.  While it can sometimes be annoying to have a real person solving unreal crimes it worked here.

Language/ writing: Flowery yet clear. The author imitates the writing style of the period.

Emotional impact/ Degree of Violence:  More uneasiness than terror.  A woman’s body is found by our heroine at the bottom of a cliff, but the scene is not graphic. 

Humor: Once the undercover Scotland Yard agent comes clean the witty banter between him and Daphne threatens to steal the show.

Sex/vulgarity: You didn’t talk of such things.  But you alluded to them over tea with great alacrity…

Issue Driven: It’s the ages old story.  Money and poverty don’t mix.

Other notes: You will want to re-read Rebecca, or at least see the movie, after reading this book. 

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