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~ Daisy Gumm Majesty~

Mystery Series

by Alice Duncan

1. Strong Spirits 2. Fine Spirits

      Heroine:  average

      Redheaded Daisy Gumm Majesty is not your average 1920s spiritual medium. Rather, she's a canny and perceptive girl who lacks an actual connection to the "other side", but who uses her unique understanding of the human condition as a "spiritual counselor" to make a good living for her family, including a young husband ruined from fighting the Huns in Germany.

       Unfortunately, Daisy's chosen career is just a tad bit illegal as the police would see it more as fortune telling than psychological and emotional assistance.  Not that any of her wealthy, satisfied (if a bit flighty) customers would ever dream of turning her in, but Daisy's wheelchair-bound husband's new best friend is none other than her own archenemy Detective Sam Rotondo, a cranky police officer who just misses catching her in the act of her questionable occupation with alarming frequency.  But the brusque cop may be willing to overlook Daisy's profession as it appears that her countless social connections would make her an excellent unofficial snoop for his cases.

       Now if only this card-carrying choir member con-artist can just get past her morally superior ethics and agree! 

What worked for me:

       Sweet and lovable Daisy is just darling, if a bit garrulous!  She's so sincere in her belief that she is helping people that you almost forget that she's truly a con-artist in the eyes of the law.  The rest of the cast of characters are also very real and sympathetic.  I easily could envision before and after "the Big War" images of Daisy's broken young husband Billy. (Shades of Lord Chatterley, anyone?)

      Size-wise Daisy is a bit curvier than is fashionable for the era of boyish flappers, but she doesn't reflect on it very much.  She is like many young women, however, in that she's a bit taken aback when she sees a larger, older woman wearing bright colors or getting down on her hands and knees to play with puppies.  Life as a large woman is a foreign concept to Daisy for now, but she owns that it may become more familiar to her one day thanks to her fondness for her Aunt Vi's fine cooking.

        What didn't work for me:    

       I don't have a problem with it, but those who have strict genre preferences might.  This series defies simple categorization having elements of both cozy mysteries and romance, but you could just as easily consider it light historical fiction with occasional dealings in darker matters like the treatment of homosexuals or the suffering of war veterans.

      There were a couple of passages that were so information intensive that I felt like I was getting a history lesson, but aside from that it was smooth sailing.

Overall:

       Charming and delightful, Daisy is sure to please readers of many genres, especially fans of novels set in the Roaring Twenties.

     If you liked the Daisy Gumm Majesty mystery series you might also enjoy the "Daisy Dalrymple" mystery series, the "Miss Marple" mystery series ,"The Edge of Town", "High on a Hill" "A Place Called Rainwater", "Lady Chatterley's Lover", "Babbit", or "Ulysses".

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