Blotto, Twinks and the Dead Dowager Duchess

The second book in this series of Blotto and Twinks has the 2 intrepid upperclass British twentysomethings investigating the death of the Dowager Duchess of Melmont.  Not that many are mourning her loss, but investigate they must.  Time setting is just after World War I and the setting is the English countryside, of course.

Blotto and Twinks are the second and third children of The Dowager Duchess of Lyminster and live in their ancestral family home of Tawcester Towers.  Twinks (really the Lady Honoria Lyminster) is the brains of the duo or a "brainbox" as Blotto lovingly refers to her.  She has a photographic memory, great detective skills, knows everyone and speaks 37 languages.  Blotto, on the other hand seems to be just along for the ride.  His skills are mainly physical.  He apparently can best anyone with his cricket bat.

Blotto, Twinks and their mother are invited to a weekend house party at  Snitterings, the home of the Melmonts.  The Melmonts want Blotto to marry their insipid daughter, Laetitia, whose sole aim in life is to snare a husband, notably Blotto.  Blotto hates weekend house parties because someone always gets murdered.  How right he is!!
The duchess is found dead in her garden with a red hand print on her back. Everyone is out hunting so who possibly could have done this?  Twinks decides the red hand print is very important to the case and contacts her friend, Professor Erasmus Holofernes a college professor.  He claims the hand print refers to the "Crimson Hand," a socialist group bent on the destruction of the British aristocracy.  And so the story starts.

The story line is pretty straight forward.  Find the murderer and destroy the Crimson Hand.  Blotto and Twinks have some extraordinary skills, as well as good looks, money and charm.  These are all put to use in solving the crimes they unwittingly become involved in.  The local police barely rate a mention.  The book is filled with lines like, "great slithering sea snakes" and "so snubbins to you, Twinks."  But the book is a lighthearted mystery perfect for a summer read and  from a press called Felony and Mayhem how could it not be?

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