Wednesday, October 17, 2012


 Carola Dunn

My first Cornish Mystery, Manna from Hades, is now out in paperback.

After a life of travelling the globe working for an international charity, Eleanor Trewynn retires to Cornwall when she's widowed. She buys a cottage in the fishing village of Port Mabyn on the North Coast, and turns the ground floor into a charity shop, while living above with her Westie, Teazle.

Eleanor expects a placid retirement after decades of adventure, but her  life is turned upside down when the shop receives a donation of valuable jewels from an unknown benefactor, followed by the discovery of a body in the back room.

Is there a connection between the jewellery and the murdered youth! Eleanor's police detective niece, DS Megan Pencarrow, and her irascible boss investigate.
...this well-plotted and atmospheric mystery has a finely calibrated edge to it, almost an attitude of defiance just below the surface, that belies the initial impression of just a nice little cosy. For Nell is a woman of substance and strengths, who knows many of her limitations and finds ways to work within and around them. And she does not actually solve the crime - that is left to the professionals - but her information and perception do help the detectives along the way, resulting in a quite satisfactory and rather more realistic solution than those which are, alas, too frequently found in cosy mysteries.
Carola Dunn's characters, especially Nell, are superb creations, for she carefully layers their personalities and attitudes, behaviors and inclinations, until these seem like people you've known for a very long time and would gladly have as friends. In addition to Nell herself, we have her niece Detective Sergeant Megan Pencarrow, one of the few women in the North Cornwall Constabulary; Inspector Scumble, opinionated, irascible and short-tempered but not too old or proud to learn something from a woman if it will help solve his mystery; an artist, an extremely organized vicar's wife and her absent-minded husband, several rather lost young folks, and a lovely little dog named Teazle. In the hands of a less gifted writer these might have been caricatures but each has a distinct personality, becoming more interesting as the story progresses. 
Reviewing the Evidence

Adept at showing character through witty dialogue, Dunn paints an amusing picture of a small town that readers will want to visit again soon. 
Publishers Weekly

  “Dunn has a knack for writing meatier-than-usual cozies with strong female characters, and she has another charming winner here.”
-- Booklist

“Eleanor is a wonderful, multi-faceted heroine and Manna from Hades is a first-rate story…Carola Dunn demonstrates the same smooth writing and seasoned storytelling that readers have come to expect from her.”
--- Mystery News

The second in the series, A Colourful Death, is available in hardcover and ebook. The third, The Valley of the Shadow, comes out in December.

1 comment:

Jaden Terrell said...

Thanks, Carola, for the chance to experience this lovely terrain vicariously, at least. Between you and Leighton, I'll soon be a [virtual] world traveler.