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10 thoughts on “The Case of the Dotty Dowager (WISE Enquiries Agency #1)

  1. Susan Susan says:

    Henry Devereaux Twyst is the eighteenth Duke of Chellingworth and up to now his concerns have mostly been of the financial kind; plus a nagging sense that since his elder brother died he really needs to provide an heir to inherit his ancestral home Not that Chellingworth Hall is always a blessing as the responsibility for the upkeep is immense and necessitates opening his home to the public for part of the year which he is both grateful for and yet resents However one night he receives a call from his mother Althea the Dowager Duchess informing him that she has found a corpse in the dining room Trudging across the grounds to the Dower House Henry wonders whether his elderly mother is imagining things and possibly whether the formerly sprightly lady of nearly eighty is possibly facing dementia His fears are confirmed when he arrives to find no body anywhere Was his mother delusional or has the body simply disappeared?For help Henry contacts Christine Wilson Smythe a member of the WISE Enuiries Agency in London Christine has an aristocratic background and is happy to take the job on as the agency is facing a financial crisis as well as various personal issues and problems Carol Hill their computer expert is pregnant and looking for a uieter way of life Mavis MacDonald has a serious ill mother and Annie Parker needs money to help pay her bills Despite Annie’s unwillingness to leave London three of the women – Annie Christine and Mavis head to Chellingworth Hall in Wales to discover what is really going on At first I must admit that I struggled with this book The characters all seemed a little stereotypical – the warm hearted Annie treated very much as the naughty child of the group the wealthy Christine calm Carol and motherly Mavis seemed too disparate a group to really work together well However as the mystery went on I warmed to the characters I particularly liked some of the characters of the periphery of the story such as Alexander Bright who grew up neglected and liable to turn to crime before becoming a successful businessman and antiues and art expert The mystery was enjoyable and so was the country house setting To be honest the whole mystery was wrapped up a little too neatly to be believable but it was an enjoyable cozy mystery and I would certainly read novels featuring the members of the WISE agency Lastly I received a copy of this book from the publishers via NetGalley for review

  2. Leah Leah says:

    A fun cosyHenry Twyst Duke of Chellingworth is worried His mother the dowager duchess has phoned him in the middle of the night to say there's a dead body in the dining room of the Dower House but when he gets there no corpse is to be found At first he assumes his mother must have dreamt it or worse that she is beginning to lose her marbles but when a blood stained hat is found on the floor he begins to wonder Since the local police don't seem to be taking the matter seriously he calls in the women of the WISE Enuiries Agency; their brief – to discover if the body really existed and if so who was it?This is uite a fun cosy that is obviously intended to be the first of a series The acronym WISE stands for Wales Ireland Scotland and England – the birth places of the four women who run the agency It's not really explained how the four came together – there's a brief mention of them all having been involved in solving an earlier case but that's all – but there's plenty of potential for them to develop into a nicely mixed team so long as Ace can avoid going too far down the road of using rather clumsy national stereotypes Oddly she only stereotypes the Scot and the Englishwoman Cockney of course – the Irish and Welsh contingent seem to escape But it's reasonably minimal and hopefully will disappear completely once the characters' personalities are fully developed in later booksThere are two linked crimes in the story – one is very original and uite fun and I won't spoil it by giving any hints here The other is the murder which while it is eventually solved is left unsatisfactorily explained – it feels as if it got lost along the way as the author got interested in the other strand The WISE women's techniue is basically to use their various people skills to get people to let things slip during chit chat though one of them is a computer expert who finds a lot of background information online The chit chat element is enjoyable and the women are well enough drawn so that we see each of their different personalities affecting how they approach their tasks The online stuff is much less fun – lengthy typewritten reports full of information that it's highly unlikely anyone could find online without hacking government websites which would not be the WISE women's style at all I felt this was a way for the author to slip in information that she couldn't uite see how to have her characters uncover in credible and interesting waysOverall then there are some weaknesses in the plotting but the characters are likeable and I suspect will become so over time as the dynamics amongst them get the chance to develop fully And it fulfils well the main function of cosies – to be light and enjoyable to read First books in series are often tricky since it takes time for characters to be introduced and since this one has four main protagonists that problem is magnified in this case but Ace pulled it off well enough that I will certainly be interested in seeing how the series develops 3½ stars for me so rounded upNB This book was provided for review by the publisher Severn Housewwwfictionfanblogwordpresscom

  3. Yvonne Yvonne says:

    The Duke of Chellingworth Henry Twyst is than a little concerned when his aging mother calls to tell him she has discovered a dead body in the dining room He’s doubly concerned when he races over and finds there is no dead body He’s sure she is losing her mindHe seeks help to prove either his mother is telling the truth or she’s totally lost it He calls on the services of the WISE Enuiries Agency The agency is run by four women with different backgrounds – Welsh Irish Scottish and English The women go undercover to find out what is really going on at the Chellingworth Estate However they never expect to find themselves right in the middle of dangerThis series starts off exciting and doesn't let up It has the potential to be a captivating adventure with four strong women in the lead I’m looking forward to learning about these women and seeing them bond with each otherI loved the uaint setting It had the feel of an historical novel although it’s contemporary The perfect setting for a cozy mystery series It’s a fast paced mystery and can be read in an afternoon It’s filled with suspense uirky characters mystery and a touch of romance The Case of the Dotty Dowager leaves you anxiously awaiting the next escapade and wanting to see what mischief the WISE women get themselves into nextFTC Disclosure The publisher and NetGalley provided me with a copy of this book to review for this blog tour This did not influence my thoughts and opinions in any way All opinions expressed are my own

  4. Jonathan Jonathan says:

    Wow another excellent book This one was a winner I loved the concept and can't wait to read the next one Highly recommend

  5. Jim Jim says:

    Author CATHY ACE yes that is her name was recommended to me by a trusted source I am so glad THE CASE OF THE DOTTY DOWAGER is the first book in a series featuring the women of the WISE Enuiry Agency of London England There are 5 or 6 books in another seriesANNE PARKER is from London E and is an Afro Caribbean She does not drive and feels lost outside of London Her age is late 30s or early 40s She is single CAROL HILL is Welsh W She is married and only one of the four who is married and expecting her first child Carol is a wizard around computers Annie and Carol had worked for the same insurance company The former was a receptionist and the latter was in IT MAVIS MacDONALD S is from Scotland and sometimes lapses into that country’s accented language Mavis is the oldest at age 62ish and has a couple of adult aged sons She is retired from the British Army where she was a nurse and hospital matron CHRISTINE WILSON SMYTHE I is a daughter of a wealthy Irish Viscount The WISE Enuiry Agency is her first job She is trying to prove to Daddy that she can survive in the real worldThe first clients the readers meet are from Wales HENRY TWYST is the 18th Duke of Chellingworth He is about 55 His mother the Dowager Duchess of Chellingworth is ALTHEA TWYST Althea was the second wife of the 17th Duke deceased The Duke’s first wife died while giving birth to Henry’s older brother who is also deceased which is why Henry is the current Duke Henry has a younger sister Clemmie who lives in a family house in London Both Clemmie and Henry are singleAnother important character is ALEXANDER BRIGHT a wealthy London property developer with a mysterious and possibly shady background Alex is single rich charming and good lookingSo what is the mystery you might ask Althea and Henry live in separate houses on the 6000 acre estate of Chellingworth One night Althea is awoken by her dog barking She goes downstairs and finds a body or does she? in her dining room She calls her son who hustles over to his mother’s house He cannot find any body or evidence that there may have been a body Henry thinks his mother is getting a bit “dotty” They call the police but the only evidence is a mysterious stocking cap Henry has heard about the WISE Enuiry Agency and calls them in to investigate since the police have no leadsAs the story progresses Annie goes missing and Henry discovers that a mundane but very valuable collection of dentures has also gone missing Are these three crimes linked in some way? That is the mystery that the team of WISE ladies have to solveI eagerly anticipate reading stories by CATHY ACE If you are a fan of mysteries in particular British mysteries this book is right up your alley Except for the presumed body there is no physical violence or car chases There are plenty of red herring clues Have fun with this bookGO BUY READ

  6. Kristina Kristina says:

    The Case of The Dotty Dowager by Cathy Ace was a fun British cozy mystery It is the first book in A WISE Enuiries Agency Mystery series Henry Devereaux Twyst is the 18th Duke of Chellingworth He was not raised to be the Duke He was enjoying his life of painting watercolors until his older brother died Now Henry is responsible for Chellingworth Hall Henry gets a late night call from his mother Althea Dowager Duchess of Chellingworth Althea swears there is a dead man in her dining room She called her son instead of waking up any of her staff she has a cook lady’s aide and gardenerhandy man When Henry arrives at the house he finds it locked up tight with the alarm on Althea is in her bedroom with her dog McFli and a fireplace poker in her hand The body is gone All that remains is a bobble hat that Althea picked up and took with her to her bedroom Henry doubts his mother actually saw a body he has been hearing rumors that she has been talking to herselfHenry awakens the staff All of them were sleeping very deeply and were hard to awaken None of them heard a thing The police are called the next day but they do not believe the Dowager Duchess Henry decides to call the WISE Enuiries Agency they think detective sounds to American Annie Parker Mavis MacDonald Carol Hill and Christine Wilsom Smythe make up the agency Their individual skills complement each other Carol is pregnant and cannot venture far from home Her job is getting information online and via phone as well as keeping them all updated Mavis will stay with the Dowager Christine will visit Henry at Chellingworth Hall and Annie will go to the local village Each will investigate and keep the others updated Did Althea see a dead body in her dining room? If so where did it go? And most importantly why were they in the Dower House?The Case of the Dotty Dowager was an amusing British cozy I give The Case of the Dotty Dowager 4 out of 5 stars I liked the nice mix of characters as well as the lovely setting I did not though like Annie Parker’s character I found her very abrasive and hard to understand She has such a thick accent that it is hard to figure out what she is saying Mavis’ Scottish accent was much easier to figure out of course I have been watching a lot of Outlander I think if Annie’s was toned down just a little she would be a pleasing character they have her as loud clumsy and rude Overall The Case of the Dotty Dowager had good writing great mystery lovely town and some interesting charactersI received The Case of the Dotty Dowager from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review The review and opinions expressed are my ownhttpbibliophileandavidreaderblogs

  7. Jenn Estepp Jenn Estepp says:

    I'm a bit baffled at how positive reviews of this book are At first I thought it was just a goodreads thing and maybe people being swayed by netgalley approval into rave ratings but then I saw that it was starred by Library Journal and had a relatively positive review from Kirkus so not a goodreads thing I don't get it For a great swath of this book I was pretty sure I was going to one star it It's not that it's so terrible although it isn't very good as it is just messy and confusing and awkward Like to the point that I wondered if it had had beta readers or an editor There's a whole lot of assumed backstory but also huge bits of info dumping The main characters four female enuiry agents are tediously described and only distinguished for the first 23 of the book by their uirks which are annoying The supporting characters are a little successful the dowager of the title for example but it's difficult to see what some of them are doing there The entire mystery first a murdered body that disappears then a robbery then a kidnapping hinges on a collection of antiue dentures which what? I don't know but I think it's kind of terrible That said I ended up not wanting to throw it across the room because once Ace focuses on one of the detectives even though that character starts out as shallow and dumb as the others only not literally because we are constantly reminded that she has a Mensa level i it moves swiftly and has a glimmer of capability It's still hella awkward and I doubt I'd recommend it to anyone but I MIGHT be willing to read the next in the series assuming there is one just to see if it improves

  8. Damaskcat Damaskcat says:

    This is an entertaining mystery and the first book in a new series Henry 18th Duke of Chellingworth fears his mother might be losing her faculties when she telephones him in the middle of the night because she has found a dead body in her house When he goes to investigate there is nothing there and her house alarm is still set and in working order The only thing which makes him think she might not have imagined the body is the blue and black knitted bobble hat with blood on it The police do investigate but also draw a blank It seems like a good case for the four women of the WISE Enuiry Agency Carol with her computer skills; Annie with her ability to talk to people and be nosy; Mavis with her long experience of people during her nursing career and finally Christine with her aristocratic connections Henry contacts Christine and asks if she can help Three of the four women visit the area for a weekend leaving Carol in London to co ordinate their efforts I found this an interesting read with some delightful characters especially the WISE ladies I also liked Althea the Dowager Duchess who is definitely a long way from being senile Altogether this is a well written and at times amusing mystery which is only gradually unravelled I shall be looking out for the next one in the series I received a free copy of the book from NetGalley for review purposes

  9. Doward Wilson Doward Wilson says:

    A wonderfully entertaining series debut The characters represent varied backgrounds ages and uirks They are fully fleshed out and pull you into their lives with friendly ease The setting a castle and village in Wales with London in the background are so alive that you are right there I really liked the murder plot with many twists and turns and entertaining red herrings The four ladies from the WISE Enuiries Agency come to Wales to investigate the disappearing dead body that the Dowager Duchess of Chellingworth claims she found in her home the Dower House on the estate This was one of the most entertaining and fascinating murder plots that I have ever read I enjoyed being back in the British Isles with all the varied but entwined cultures This is a MUST READ BOOK for cozy mystery fans who enjoy seeing the world and making new friends in far places I can't wait to read the next one

  10. James Ziskin James Ziskin says:

    Fabulous I loved this book THE CASE OF THE DOTTY DOWAGER combines the best of traditional mysteries with modern day technology Cathy Ace writes in a lilting friendly prose that fluffs up your pillows and asks if you'd like a cuppa as you read Delightful book great characters and all the loose ends tied up perfectly Highest recommendation

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The Case of the Dotty Dowager (WISE Enquiries Agency #1) ❰Download❯ ➽ The Case of the Dotty Dowager (WISE Enquiries Agency #1) Author Cathy Ace – Henry Twyst eighteenth Duke of Chellingworth is convinced his mother is losing her marbles She claims to have seen a corpse on the dining room floor but all she has to prove it is a bloodied bobble ha Henry Twyst eighteenth Duke of of the MOBI õ Chellingworth is convinced his mother is losing her marbles She claims to have seen a corpse on the dining room floor but all she has to prove it is a bloodied bobble hat Henry is worried enough to retain the women of the WISE Enuiries Agency but the truth is deadly than anyone could have foreseen.