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The Mirror Dance

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Something sinister is afoot in the streets of Dundee, when a puppeteer is found murdered behind his striped Punch and Judy stand, as children sit cross-legged drinking ginger beer. At once, Dandy Gilver’s semmingly-innocuous investigation into plagiarism takes a darker turn. The gruesome death seems to be inextricably bound to the gloomy offices of Doig’s Publishers, its s Something sinister is afoot in the streets of Dundee, when a puppeteer is found murdered behind his striped Punch and Judy stand, as children sit cross-legged drinking ginger beer. At once, Dandy Gilver’s semmingly-innocuous investigation into plagiarism takes a darker turn. The gruesome death seems to be inextricably bound to the gloomy offices of Doig’s Publishers, its secrets hidden in the real stories behind their girls’ magazines The Rosie Cheek and The Freckle. On meeting a mysterious professor from St Andrews, Dandy and her faithful colleague Alex Osbourne are flung into the worlds of academia, the theatre and publishing. Nothing is quite as it seems, and behind the cheerful facades of puppets and comic books, is a troubled history has begun to repeat itself.


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Something sinister is afoot in the streets of Dundee, when a puppeteer is found murdered behind his striped Punch and Judy stand, as children sit cross-legged drinking ginger beer. At once, Dandy Gilver’s semmingly-innocuous investigation into plagiarism takes a darker turn. The gruesome death seems to be inextricably bound to the gloomy offices of Doig’s Publishers, its s Something sinister is afoot in the streets of Dundee, when a puppeteer is found murdered behind his striped Punch and Judy stand, as children sit cross-legged drinking ginger beer. At once, Dandy Gilver’s semmingly-innocuous investigation into plagiarism takes a darker turn. The gruesome death seems to be inextricably bound to the gloomy offices of Doig’s Publishers, its secrets hidden in the real stories behind their girls’ magazines The Rosie Cheek and The Freckle. On meeting a mysterious professor from St Andrews, Dandy and her faithful colleague Alex Osbourne are flung into the worlds of academia, the theatre and publishing. Nothing is quite as it seems, and behind the cheerful facades of puppets and comic books, is a troubled history has begun to repeat itself.

46 review for The Mirror Dance

  1. 5 out of 5

    Kitty McIntosh

    I’ve read a few books in this series before and really enjoyed them. Catriona McPherson’s writing is so wonderfully evocative of a bygone era and never fails to draw me in. ‘The Mirror Dance’ is another excellent story, this time set amongst the publishing houses of Dundee. Dandy Gilver is once again on the case, and with her sidekick Alex Osbourne and razor-sharp maid, Grant, she becomes embroiled in a puzzling mystery. I loved that the story was set in the publishing industry and that we got t I’ve read a few books in this series before and really enjoyed them. Catriona McPherson’s writing is so wonderfully evocative of a bygone era and never fails to draw me in. ‘The Mirror Dance’ is another excellent story, this time set amongst the publishing houses of Dundee. Dandy Gilver is once again on the case, and with her sidekick Alex Osbourne and razor-sharp maid, Grant, she becomes embroiled in a puzzling mystery. I loved that the story was set in the publishing industry and that we got to imagine what it may have been like in the heyday of Dundee’s famous newspapers and magazines. Dandy’s dogged investigation threw up some red herrings and twists and turns that I did not see coming. The ambience was perfectly done, the descriptions exquisite. The story was inventive and fascinating and the perfect cosy mystery. Thoroughly enjoyable. I was given this ARC to review.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Alison

    2020 has been the year that resurrected my love of the historical mystery aka the cosy mystery. In my teens and 20s I devoured some of the greats: Agatha Christie, Georgette Heyer, Dorothy L Sayers etc. If there was a member of the British aristocracy solving a crime then I loved it. Time passed, my tastes changed, and TBH they all started to feel a bit same-same. Then 2020 happened and suddenly all I wanted to read (apparently) were historical detective stories. Ashley Weaver, Allison Montclair 2020 has been the year that resurrected my love of the historical mystery aka the cosy mystery. In my teens and 20s I devoured some of the greats: Agatha Christie, Georgette Heyer, Dorothy L Sayers etc. If there was a member of the British aristocracy solving a crime then I loved it. Time passed, my tastes changed, and TBH they all started to feel a bit same-same. Then 2020 happened and suddenly all I wanted to read (apparently) were historical detective stories. Ashley Weaver, Allison Montclair and Anna Lee Huber appeared on my radar. I think the stylistic covers drew me in to start with. Anyhoo, a long-winded way of explaining why I requested an ARC of this book, despite it being the 15th book in the series! Dandy Gilver lives on a country estate in Scotland. A 50-something year old woman with a husband and adult children, in fact a grandmother. She and a (younger) male neighbour called Alec have had some success in solving mysteries with, I gather, some assistance from her husband Hugh and her lady's maid Grant. One sleepy Sunday afternoon Dandy receives a call from a magazine owner in Dundee asking her to intervene with a Punch and Judy show which is using copyrighted images of their cartoon characters in its act. A rainy Bank Holiday Monday excursion with her female employees to Dundee to see the Punch and Judy show ends in tragedy when Dandy discovers his body, foully murdered (as they say). An impossible murder, with an invisible murderer in front of an observant audience, a plethora of red herrings and impossibilities, a link to a similar murder 50 years earlier and a behind-the-scenes look at the art of the theatre. I came to this book fresh and, although it is the 15th book in a series, I found it easy to read as a stand-alone. I love the harking back to a different era, with different moral values, different standards and yet still an era in a state of change. On to the mystery, I was on the right lines, I caught some of the clues, and yet I didn't guess the murderer. Satisfying, plausible, clever and ultimately satisfying. I will definitely read more of this series. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Annarella

    This is the second book I read in this series and thoroughly enjoyed it. It's a complex, humorous, engrossing and highly entertaining mystery that kept me hooked. The plot is tightly knitted, fast paced and very complex with plenty of red herring, twists and turns. I was happy to catch up with the characters and I found them fleshed out and likable. The historical background is vivid and the solid mystery kept me guessing and I was surprised the the solution. I can't wait to read the next book in thi This is the second book I read in this series and thoroughly enjoyed it. It's a complex, humorous, engrossing and highly entertaining mystery that kept me hooked. The plot is tightly knitted, fast paced and very complex with plenty of red herring, twists and turns. I was happy to catch up with the characters and I found them fleshed out and likable. The historical background is vivid and the solid mystery kept me guessing and I was surprised the the solution. I can't wait to read the next book in this series, recommended. Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine

  4. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie Dagg

    This book was my introduction to this series, but I was able to get stuck in straight away. There is no doubt an added richness from following the series from its start, but the degree of enjoyment is not affected in the slightest. This is a charming and clever book. I like how it’s a mix of factual setting in the publishing industry in Dundee, and fiction. And there’s another element too. Stories set in this era always have an added poignancy. People are so optimistic after pulling their lives This book was my introduction to this series, but I was able to get stuck in straight away. There is no doubt an added richness from following the series from its start, but the degree of enjoyment is not affected in the slightest. This is a charming and clever book. I like how it’s a mix of factual setting in the publishing industry in Dundee, and fiction. And there’s another element too. Stories set in this era always have an added poignancy. People are so optimistic after pulling their lives and society back together after the first world war. The reader knows that everything is about to come tumbling down again. The genteel ways of the upper middle class and above, with their households of servants and gardeners, are about to end forever. This is the atmosphere that emerges in this beautiful book. Dandy is a likeable, energetic heroine, ably assisted by Alex with whom she has a slightly nuanced rapport, and her indomitable maid Grant. Together they wade into this particular mystery with enthusiasm and persistence. The plot is original and clever, and the story is absorbing and immensely enjoyable.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ann

    Catriona McPherson never disappoints. In this pre-WWII romp, Dandy and Alec find themselves investigating murder in a Punch and Judy show. Their adventures take them from a children's show in the park to the dark docks of Dundee, accompanied by lady's maid, Grant, who has promoted herself to detective extraordinaire -- well, detective anyway. As always, the characters are well developed, and humor abounds, with a poignant reminder of Dorothy Sayers and Agatha Christie, with a soupcon of Nancy Mi Catriona McPherson never disappoints. In this pre-WWII romp, Dandy and Alec find themselves investigating murder in a Punch and Judy show. Their adventures take them from a children's show in the park to the dark docks of Dundee, accompanied by lady's maid, Grant, who has promoted herself to detective extraordinaire -- well, detective anyway. As always, the characters are well developed, and humor abounds, with a poignant reminder of Dorothy Sayers and Agatha Christie, with a soupcon of Nancy Mitford.

  6. 5 out of 5

    M.K. Graff

    Another Dandy winner A terrific sleight-of- hand plot tops this new Dandy Gilver mystery. Set in the threatening shadow leading to WWII, Dandy and Alec’s investigation takes them to Dundee and the world of magazines and puppet shows.

  7. 5 out of 5

    M.J.

    The Mirror Dance is my first encounter with Dandy Gilver, even though this is book 15 of a 1930s mystery series. The story is told from Dandy Gilver's point of view, and while she does sometimes share thoughts and speech which are a little wordy, it doesn't detract from the storyline, which is satisfying and quite deliciously complex. Even though the voice of the narrator, Dandy, gives a few hints that all is not as it seems, I genuinely didn't work out what had happened until it was revealed at The Mirror Dance is my first encounter with Dandy Gilver, even though this is book 15 of a 1930s mystery series. The story is told from Dandy Gilver's point of view, and while she does sometimes share thoughts and speech which are a little wordy, it doesn't detract from the storyline, which is satisfying and quite deliciously complex. Even though the voice of the narrator, Dandy, gives a few hints that all is not as it seems, I genuinely didn't work out what had happened until it was revealed at the end. A really enjoyable and entertaining read. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for my review copy.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Terry Corzine

  9. 5 out of 5

    Catbr

  10. 4 out of 5

    Mrs D Nastri

  11. 5 out of 5

    Elaine Dickinson

  12. 5 out of 5

    Helen Howerton

  13. 4 out of 5

    Wendy Jones

  14. 5 out of 5

    Lee Sauer

  15. 5 out of 5

    lisa

  16. 5 out of 5

    Lena

  17. 4 out of 5

    Mrs P A Forde

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

  19. 5 out of 5

    Wendy

  20. 4 out of 5

    M.J.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Louise Kelly

  22. 5 out of 5

    Bridget

  23. 5 out of 5

    Joanna

  24. 4 out of 5

    Evaraine82yahoo.co.uk

  25. 4 out of 5

    Deb Trantina

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jessica F

  27. 4 out of 5

    Joan

  28. 4 out of 5

    Danielle

  29. 4 out of 5

    Diane Close

  30. 5 out of 5

    Sheila

  31. 5 out of 5

    Karen

  32. 4 out of 5

    Meg

  33. 5 out of 5

    Janice

  34. 4 out of 5

    Laura Banks

  35. 5 out of 5

    Annie

  36. 5 out of 5

    Peter Mc

  37. 4 out of 5

    Alexandra

  38. 5 out of 5

    Jane France

  39. 4 out of 5

    Cathryn

  40. 4 out of 5

    Leslie Smith

  41. 5 out of 5

    Nofar Spalter

  42. 5 out of 5

    Beth

  43. 4 out of 5

    Melissa H.

  44. 5 out of 5

    ME

  45. 5 out of 5

    Emma Sharp

  46. 4 out of 5

    Kim Harmon

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