I’m delighted to help kick off the blog tour for Death Among the Diamonds by Fliss Chester! This is the first in her Cressida Fawcett series, and it is a treat.
Everyone in 1920s London knows the Honourable Cressida Fawcett: fiercely independent (though never apart from her little pug Ruby), lover of martinis and interior designer extraordinaire. She’s solved many crimes of fashion… so how about murder?
Cressida Fawcett is heading to the English countryside for a weekend of cocktails and partying at her friend’s glamorous mansion, the location of a recent diamond heist. But just hours after her arrival, Cressida is woken by an almighty scream. Rushing to the landing, she looks down into the great hall to find a trembling maid standing next to the body of Harry, the friendly young chandelier cleaner.
Everyone believes Harry’s death was an accident. But as Cressida examines the opulent hall and the beautiful grounds, she thinks something darker is afoot. Why clean a chandelier in the early hours of the morning? And who overheard Harry boasting about coming into unexpected wealth? A small piece of torn silk found near the body has Cressida looking at the guests’ elegant clothes with fresh eyes…
The short-tempered Detective insists that she keeps her curious nose out of the investigation, but it’s Cressida who realises the stolen diamonds were hidden in the sparkling chandelier. Convinced there is a connection between the theft and the murder, the case takes a sinister turn when a guest is killed in his sleep after a brandy-fuelled night of cards. With everyone unable to leave, can Cressida’s sharp eye for detail catch the killer before another life is taken?
I adore the Lady Eleanor Swift series by Verity Bright, so when I had the chance to read and review Death Among the Diamonds, another cozy series set in 1920s England, I jumped at it. I’m so glad I did!
The Hon. Cressida Fawcett is a young woman ahead of her time. Single and well to do, she’s enjoying her life, not looking to make a good marriage match as so many young women are. She lives with her pug, Ruby, and she’s quite happy that way.
When she travels to the countryside for a weekend at the home of her friend Dorothy, she certainly never expects to be caught up in a crime scene. But diamonds have been stolen, and the young, affable chandelier cleaner is found dead. Suddenly anyone there on the estate is a suspect, and no one is free to leave.
This book is simply enchanting! Cressida’s world of money and the high life is far from my own middle-aged mom existence, but it’s a lot of fun to read about. Cressida herself is refreshing, a woman not afraid to buck expectations and do what makes her happy. Ruby is a fun addition to the story, and often a help to Cressida. (And now I want a pug.)
Fliss Chester creates characters that are a joy to read about. (Basil really came off as a creep, though. I think Dorothy can do better.) The story moves along at a nice clip, and there were twists and turns enough to hold my interest. She does a nice job with the locked-room mystery, and I look forward to reading more in the series.
I highly recommend Death Among the Diamonds if you love clean historical cozies. I think I’ve found a new author to add to my favorites!
About the author:
Fliss Chester lives in Surrey with her husband and writes historical cozy crime. When she is not killing people off in her 1940s whodunnits, she helps her husband, who is a wine merchant, run their business. Never far from a decent glass of something, Fliss also loves cooking (and writing up her favourite recipes on her blog), enjoying the beautiful Surrey and West Sussex countryside and having a good natter.