St. Martin's, Sept 2003, 23.95, 286 pp.
It has been four months since the Honorable Daisy Dalrymple Fletcher has stumbled over a dead body and everyone from the superintendent of Scotland Yard to her husband Detective Chief Inspector Alec Fletcher is thrilled. Dead bodies are the furthest thing from Daisy's mind when she visits her next door neighbor Raymond Talmadge to get her sore tooth fixed. When she arrives at his office nobody is there but within minutes his nurse and his wife arrive on the scene.
They let Daisy into his office where they find Mr. Talmadge dead in the chair with nitrous oxide attached to his face. The wife thinks he committed suicide while the nurse believes it was an accident because he used it for recreational purposes, but Daisy sees evidence that leads her to wonder whether the dentist was murdered. The police agree with her assessment and find they have multiple suspects who had reason to want the dentist dead. Of course with Daisy helping the police in her own indubitable fashion, it is only a matter of time before the killer is caught.
DIE LAUGHING takes place in London in 1924 and readers get a real feel for the era because of the small historical tidbits cleverly woven into the story line. The heroine is so likable and earnest that she is totally believable even in an odd role for 1920s females; the police actually listen to her theories. Fans of Kate Kingsbury and Robin Paige will want to read this charming amateur sleuth tale.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner