Malice in Miniature (Dorothy Martin Mysteries, No. 4)

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9780061013454: Malice in Miniature (Dorothy Martin Mysteries, No. 4)

Dorothy Martin's husband, the illustrious Chief Constable Nesbitt, has long claimed that if the Olympics held an event for conclusion jumping, Dorothy would be a contender for the gold medal. Her bold American ways occasionally offend the Brits' proper sensibilities, but even her husband can't deny she has a nose(or perhaps the nosiness) for first-rate investigative work.

When a friend enlists Dorothy to clear her son--who has a wee problem with the bottle--of thievery charges. Dorothy dons one of her most outlandish hats and sets out for the Doll House Museum at the imposing Brocklesby Hall. But two murders put more than a miniature Sevres tea set at stake and Dorothy finds herself maneuvering a complicated plot that is trickier and more dangerous than any of England's daunting roundabouts.

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Review:

Jeanne M. Dams continues her successful venture into writing mysteries featuring protagonist Dorothy Martin with Malice in Miniature. Dorothy, an American matron, has remarried and resettled in the fictional cathedral town of Sherebury. In the midst of toast and tea on a November afternoon, Dorothy and her husband, Alan, are startled by the arrival of Dorothy's friend Ada Finch, who is in a state of panic. Ada's son (Dorothy's gardener) has been arrested for stealing, and while Bob may have a soft spot for liquor, he is no thief--particularly when the article concerned is a 17th-century tea set created for a doll's house.

Dorothy agrees to help clear Bob's name, but she soon realizes that something more is afoot at Brockelsby Hall and its Museum of Miniatures than a mistake over a tea set. A few well-placed questions and Dorothy's growing interest in the dolls' houses and furnishings contained in the Victorian pile has her on the spot when the Danvers-esque housekeeper is poisoned. Bob is once again a suspect, but Dorothy is determined to find the real culprit. While Dams's prose is confident and polished, Dorothy as a nosy American sorting out British justice can be a bit grating. But the novel is amusing--our heroine's hat collection is a treat--and a proper follow-up to the author's previous Dorothy Martin novels: The Body in the Transept, Trouble in the Town Hall, and Holy Terror in the Hebrides. --K.A. Crouch

About the Author:

Jeanne M. Dams lives in South Bend, Indiana. A Notre Dame graduate and retired teacher, Ms. Dams is also the author of The Body in the Transept, winner of the Agatha Award for Best First "Malice Domestic" novel, and Trouble in the Town Hall. She is currently at work on Dorothy Martin's next investigation.

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