Its book number two in the Dizzy Heights series from T.E. Kinsey. Having loved his Lady Hardcastle series and book one of this one, mum and I tucked into “A Baffling Murder at the Midsummer Ball”
The Dizzy Heights are back and booked for their next performance at the Biverton’s country house as the entertainment at their Midsummer Ball. The Jazz is loved by the party guests and everything seems to be going well until morning brings the realisation that a storm has stranded the band and one of the Bilverton’s family members is found dead, murder or suicide? The Dizzy’s are asked to investigate the mystery and find themselves trying to understand the complex web of familial and friend relationships.
It’s the ideal set-up for a good cosy mystery, all the guests in the house and no way to leave, more motives than can be counted but no opportunity, how will they unravel it? Not all the steps in the solution felt entirely plausible to me but then, it is a mystery being investigated by a Jazz band so perhaps that’s not entirely surprising! Mingled into the detective work is lovely banter amongst the band and a lot of fun to be had on the journey! It’s a four out of five on the enJOYment scale and I’m looking forward to the next one!
I did read book one in the series, so was familiar with the delightful performers of the Dizzy Heights, their relationships and the banter amongst them. This aspect of the series is most enjoyable.
This is a much more of a typical cozy mystery than the first and there were many elements that didn’t surprise me (could be because I read more in this genre) with a couple of red herrings along the way. I guessed. whodunnit, you can follow the clues, and I love that! I like an author that provides ‘bread crumbs’ for the reader to follow, although I do still find it a bit of a stretch that the jazz band identifies clues and resolves the murder so effectively.
The rest of the ensemble of characters were OK, I struggled a little with the lack of mourning amongst them, they also felt a little hard-hearted. Hmm!
I really do enjoy this period, the author’s style and his exploration of the rhyming Cockney slang etc. I think the next in the series will benefit from the change in scenery.
We received complimentary copies of the book from Thomas and Mercer through NetGalley. The opinions expressed in these reviews are completely our own.
From the back cover:
A locked room. A mysterious death. Just another gig for the Dizzy Heights.
When London’s finest jazz musicians, the Dizzy Heights, are booked to play the glitzy Midsummer Ball at a country house in Oxfordshire, they expect a weekend filled with flappers and toffs having a roaring good time.
But the festivities at Bilverton House take a turn for the worse when the group are stranded by a summer storm. And when a member of the Bilverton family turns up dead in a locked room in an apparent suicide, Skins, Dunn and Ellie realise this is going to be a much tougher gig than they thought.
But here’s the lick. What if it was in fact cold-blooded murder? And what if the killer is still at large? It’s up to the Dizzy Heights to once again put down their instruments and get improvising if they want to solve this confounding mystery.