Wednesday, 25 April 2018

A Colourful Death by Carola Dunn

books set in Cornwall, cozy mystery

Inconspicuous little ladies who like to poke their noses where they shouldn't and enjoy solving mysteries do hold a special place in the cozy mystery genre, from Miss Marple to Miss Maud Silver, from Tish Carberry to Jessica Fletcher (spin-off the TV series Murder, She Wrote).
An elderly widow Eleanor Trewyn appears in the Cornish mystery series by Carola Dunn.

A Colourful Death by is the second book in the series.
The main protagonist and sleuth Eleanor is an oddball who enjoys Aikido and who has travelled the world before settling in a small Cornish town, working for LonStar (a variation of Oxfam) charity shop.
She is endearing and annoying in equal measure. Like most amateur sleuths in books, she accidentally happens to be in the right place when the crime has been committed (or should that be the wrong place?).
Eleanor loves her little dog and companion Teasle. She doesn't have children of her own, so she sort of adopts her neighbour next door, the local artist Nick Gresham.
He is in a big pickle this time, being accused of the murder of another local artist Geoffrey Monmouth. It so happens that Nick's paintings have been slashed in a pique by the resentful Geoffrey (who as an artist was less talented and successful).
Nick, and Eleanor who felt she had to tag along, of course, go to have it out with him, and arrive to the studio to find a stabbed body in a pool of red (hence the colourful death of the title).

The victim is so ridiculously horrid, it's a wonder he actually survived for so long. Hardly anyone can say anything nice about him, apart from his hysterical girlfriend who accused Nick of slaying Geoffrey.
As the story unfolds, you meet a colourful array of the arty commune, who all live on a farm.
All the arty characters are wonderfully stereotypical, one way or another. They all have a reason to dislike or even hate Geoffrey.

As in the first book, we meet Eleanour's best friend Jocelyn (she's the vicar's wife).
The grumpiest DI Scumble and DS Megan Pencarrow (the first female police officer in the area) who happens to be Eleanor's niece are assigned to investigate the murder.
But of course, it's Eleanor's sleuthing skills that help solve the murder.

The setting is quite amusing and entertaining, if you like cosy mysteries set in quaint little places.
Unfortunately, I guessed who-done-it very early in the book.

It's a quick and easy read, albeit predictable, with a rather obvious ending.
I will keep reading the books in the series, since I actually bought a whole set of four from The Book People. It's the Cornish setting and pretty covers that have enticed me yet again. Can't resist a book set in Cornwall.

cozy mystery, books set in Cornwall

If you enjoy reading books set in Cornwall and liked my review, may I bring your attention to the other reviews I wrote on books set in Cornwall:

The Cornish Guest House by Emma Burstall

Christmas at the Cornish Cafe by Phillipa Ashley

In a Cottage in a Wood by Cass Green

Meet Me At Wisteria Cottage by Teresa F.Morgan

The Cornish House by Liz Fenwick

I'd be happy if you could recommend me a good story set in Cornwall (apart from the usual suspects, like Jamaica Inn or the Poldark series).


  1. Until I started reading your reviews, I never realised there were so many books set in Cornwall ! It sounds like an interesting read, although I do prefer it when characters are more rounded and less one-dimensional.

    1. Thank you, Cheryl! I have quite a collection of paperbacks, set in Cornwall, it is my little obsession, lol.