Great review on DL

DorothyL is an elist for mystery-lovers. The other day, a member posted  a great review of Manna from Hades:

There’s always a bit of trepidation on the reader’s part when a
favorite author starts a new series. Am I going to like it as well as
the old favorite, or will I think it was a mistake? My fears were
quickly dismissed as I settled in to enjoy MANNA FROM HADES: A CORNISH
MYSTERY, Carola Dunn’s inaugural book in a new series.
MANNA FROM HADES has both differences and similarities to Ms.
Dunn’s Daisy Dalrymple series. Where Daisy’s adventures take place in
the 1920s, this book appears to be set in the 1960s (although the clues
to that are fairly subtle). And where Daisy is based in London but
travels widely, Eleanor Trewynn and her niece, DS Megan Polcarrow, are
firmly rooted in Cornwall after their own travels. But the common
threads are the strong female characters and the cooperation between
amateur sleuth and police officer.
Widow Eleanor Trewynn has retired to her native Cornwall after a
lifetime of traveling the globe with LonStar, an NGO apparently based on
Oxfam. She lives above the LonStar shop (=thrift store) and spends a lot
of time driving about the countryside in her ancient Morris Minor,
collecting castoffs for the shop. Her niece Megan, a detective sergeant
who has transferred to the Cornish police force from London, must
contend with a supervisor and colleagues who aren’t too sure about women
in the force, and “Aunt Nell’s” involvement in a murder case doesn’t
make things any easier. Among other characters I expect and hope to meet
again are the artist next door; the kind but scarily efficient vicar’s
wife and her rather foggy husband; Megan’s boss, who seems like a good
guy at heart despite his old-fashioned views; and Teazle, Eleanor’s West
Highland terrier.
Returning from a collecting trip, Eleanor finds a briefcase full of
jewelry (which she assumes to be good copies) among the books and old
clothes, with no idea where it came from. The next morning, there is an
even more shocking discovery. Although Megan and the other police,
through good solid detective work, do most of the investigation, it is
Eleanor’s good works that bring matters to a head and enable the solution.
Eleanor Trewynn reminds me a bit of Mrs. Pollifax in that people
tend to underestimate her abilities. A charming and well-described
Cornish setting adds to the engaging characters and intelligent plot to
make me hope this is the first of a long series. The dustjacket is the
most beautiful I’ve seen in a long time, and the title, too, is worthy
of applause. Highly recommended.

Nikki Strandskov


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