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Publisher's Summary

In September 1926, the Honorable Daisy Dalrymple Fletcher visits Sybil Sutherby, a school friend now living in Derbyshire as the confidential secretary to a novelist. Suspecting that something is seriously amiss, Sybil has asked Daisy to discretely investigate.

Upon arrival, Daisy finds a household of relatives and would-be suitors living off the hospitality of Humphrey Birtwhistle, who had been supporting them through his thrice-yearly, pseudonymous Westerns. When he took ill, though, Sybil took over writing them while he recovered, only to see the sales increase. Now, she fears that someone in the household is poisoning Birtwhistle to keep him ill and Sybil writing the better-paying versions.

But before Daisy can even get decently underway, Humphrey Birtwhistle dies under suspicious circumstances and Daisy now faces a death to untangle, a house full of suspects, and a Scotland Yard detective husband who is less than pleased at this turn of events.

©2013 Carola Dunn (P)2018 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about Gone West

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Another delightful Daisy book

Daisy Fletcher gets involved in another murder in Carola Dunn's Gone West. Invited to go out to lunch with a school friend, Daisy learns that Sybil Sutherby, a widow whose husband was killed during the war and who has to support her daughter in a good school, has been working as a "secretary" for a writer. Humphrey Birtwhistle had spent ten years in the Wild West in America, where he met Ruby, his wife. Now he has made a living by writing Westerns under a pseudonym, which Sybil initially just transcribed. But three years earlier, Humphrey fell ill with severe pneumonia that took a year to recover from, so while Humphrey came up with the plot lines, Sybil wrote the books, and it turns out she has been a much more successful writer, leading to a dramatic increase in sales. But since that bout with pneumonia, Humphrey has never been the same. Sybil suspects someone is doing something to Humphrey to make him lethargic and unable to work beyond creating plot points. Could one of his family members be doping Humphrey in order to keep the sales up with Sybil's writing? Sybil convinces Daisy to go with her to visit Aerie Farm in Derbyshire to see if she can snoop out the truth.

There, Daisy meets the family and their guests, but she doesn't see anything unusual. She visits the hydro (a kind of natural spa in England that utilizes naturally hot mineral water as treatments for people with illnesses) near Aerie Farm and the town, where she sees Lorna, Humphrey's sister, coming out of the chemist shop. But Daisy doesn't see it as suggestive enough to keep her in Derbyshire, so she makes plans to return home to Alec and her twins. But then that second night, Humphrey goes to bed, but when Ruby checks on him, she finds him dead. The family doctor, also the police surgeon, refuses to sign a death certificate because he can't find a reasonable explanation for the death. Knowing that Daisy is the wife of a detective chief inspector of Scotland Yard, the doctor brings that up, causing the local police to call in Alec.

Of course, Alec is unhappy at finding Daisy in the middle of yet another case, especially that she came to snoop without telling him. He works with the local Detective Inspector Worrell, who has joined the ranks of police eating out of Daisy's hands. The team gets to work investigating, but they also have trouble finding out anything.

The title Gone West is a double entendre, as Humphrey spent ten years as a cowboy and silver miner in America's wild West. But also the preface points out that the term in England means to die, so Humphrey went west in both meanings.

This book was another fun Daisy book. If you haven't read any Daisy Dalrymple books, you don't have to start with the first book and can start with any book, such as this one. Daisy has a special character, making people confide in her, while Alec has to put up with her.

I do sometimes get tired of the repeated sayings, which include "Daisy's guileless blue eyes" that lure people to tell her their deepest secrets. She has her "own idiosyncratic form of Pittman's shorthand" which only Daisy can read. She is always getting in trouble for "meddling," even when other people with her get commended for their assistance. Detective Constable Ernie Piper always has "an endless supply of sharpened pencils." These are others like them get a little tiring.

The plot of this book involved an intriguing premise that I found creative and interesting. I didn't guess the murderer until the person was revealed either. The characters are fun, but the recurring characters have little new details to develop them, and I wish I'd seen more of Alec's staff. The main characters at Aerie Farm had some diversity, but overall, they got a little tiresome. Myra, an orphaned relation of Humphrey's family, is a real stereotype of the "bright young things" who go out into society.

I liked the performance of Lucy Raynor on the audio version of the book. She created strong accents for the American Ruby, the Irish suitor of Myra, and the Scottish doctor and other Scots in the vicinity. The voice she gave Myra got a like little shrill and annoying at times. But mostly I was happy with the performance.

Gone West is not the best of the Daisy Dalrymple books, but any Daisy book is a delight to listen to. The material prior to the murder gets a little tiresome, but it gets better once the murder takes place and Alec shows up. I give the book four stars.

4 people found this helpful

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4 and a half

This isn't my favorite book in the series but it's still pretty good. I look forward to the next book.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Meh....

This book was ok, yet at times highly annoying. Ms. Dunn, please refrain from the following sentences/concepts:
1. "Darling, don't be beastly!"
2. Tom treading with a light step for such a large man....Tom's mustache twitching....Tom's extensive vocabulary....Tom's checked suits. I'm sure your readers could write about twenty more examples, but we have you for that.
3. Ernie Piper's well sharpened pencils....his meticulously taken notes in his conspicuous notebooks....taking the sergeant's test soon and going up the career ladder.....
4. Daisy did well last book. She wasn't acting like a narcissist, whining about being left out of investigations, manipulating her poor cuckold husband. YUCK! When you wrote in this book that she was going to withhold important information from her husband to find out if SHE (because it's all about Daisy, right?) could find out more about the case and that she was even contemplating hiding in a corner of the room to eavesdrop. ...COME ON MAN!?!
I will blame Daisy no more. I'm blaming you, Ms. Dunn. You continue to write the same drivel although you are capable of so much more....My gosh, where is your editor.
I will continue on as I'm so far into this series it's not worth giving up now. However,I will keep an antiemetic at my bedside. One can never be too careful.


6 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

I keep trying to like these books

As a fan of this genre I keep trying to listen to this series. Although the stories are not too bad I cannot abide the high pitched female voices the narrator uses. Very grating on the ear. Im afraid it spoils these books for me.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • CB
  • 04-28-19

No More

Unfortunately, I have discontinued listening to this series with this narrator's artificial and jarring interpretation .

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Lucy Rayner is perfect again

I always enjoy Carola Dunn’s books but they are at their best when Lucy Rayner narrates. She is absolutely one of the best narrators in the audiobook arena.

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Gone West

Another fun addition to this series. Daisy goes to visit an old friend to see what is going on

Of course a murder happens and Alec gets involved!

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The West comes to England

Another Case for Daisy Dalrymple and her Chief Inspector husband from Scotland Yard. Everywhere she travels there is a dead body. Is Daisy a killer or a magnetic draw for murder? Good sleuthing fun in a Country House.

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    4 out of 5 stars

A bit claustrophobic, but otherwise a good, basic Dalrymple

Most all of the story — besides the opening and closing chapters, and a couple of brief forays into the town of Matlock — takes place in a remote farmhouse. A very large house with several wings, but dark, cold and not quite as cozy as one would want. Or maybe it’s the odd family therein that seems less than cozy. In any event, it’s a good mystery, but either the draft the narrator read from of the narrator herself had some minor issues that should have been corrected (and probably were in later print editions, if that’s where they originated. For example, “Uncle Lorna and Uncle Norman”? Tsk.

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loved

Really enjoy the adventures of Ms. Daisy. always a interesting and slightly complicated story. Love these historical mysteries. Fun

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Mrs. Rm Walters
  • 02-08-18

Boring

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

Getting on with the plot.

Has Gone West put you off other books in this genre?

No because I already have several which I enjoy.

What about Lucy Rayner’s performance did you like?

She is the best thing about the book

What character would you cut from Gone West?

Too many to mention

Any additional comments?

I have lost the will to live with this book as it is so slow. Don't want to hear the rest, so I am returning it in favour of something I know I will enjoy later in the month.

3 people found this helpful

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  • alan hunt
  • 01-26-19

Zzzz..

So dreadfully overlong and boring that only the murder of Daisy Fletcher nee Dalrymple would have livened it up. If you can't sleep, listening to this will soon have you snoring.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Charlie Watson
  • 05-21-22

Saluting …

Love the books … but please someone tell Carola Dunn that saluting does not occur unless the officers (both those saluting and those who they are saluting) are in uniform.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • P Farley
  • 05-03-22

not that good

I nearly didn't finish listening to it , the narrator grated on me and the book was story was boring

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Fothergill
  • 04-24-22

That voice!!!!

What is it about this series that attracts the most awful narrators?
Really quite entertaining dialogue and plot ,murdered by this terrible
overdone self important ‘ nightmarish’ voice. If there was a zero that would be it.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Demelza Harris
  • 04-22-22

Not great but grating

I very rarely give a bad review but Unfortunately my experience was not enjoyable at all.
The Narrating was not good in fact very annoying.
Her prissy cut glass English accents were squeaky and irritating for the characters of Sybil and Daisy ,and Moira was just awful.so very plumy and drawling.
The regional accent were all over the place for the maids
The men faired no better .
a Scotsman, an Irishman Variety of English men…
sound like the beginning of a joke and that’s what this audible book felt like.
Sorry but this was quit an effort to keep going.
Somehow I struggled on.
just as well this was included in my membership otherwise I’d have said “I’ve been robbed! “Which would have been more exciting than this sorry excuse for a crime drama.
I read about the narrator on a bio and she spends time in America perhaps that’s why her American accent was much better than the English/ Scottish/ Irish ones.
The story was long drawn out drivel.insubstantial plot with lots of repeated facts .-how useless Moira was -and that Daisy’s s husband was a police inspector from Scotland Yard and that Sybil was the Author.
Not much investigating by the Heroine,as her Policeman husband solved the murder it in the end. No surprise A posh Twat did it .
I Didn’t find empathy with any of the characters.
Hoped one point they would all die of poisoning including Daisy which would have been a relief.
Alas the ending was rubbish and very disappointing.
Don’t inflict your ears !




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  • Steph H
  • 12-24-21

Very good

Another very good installment in this series, lots of fun. Only thing I would say is some of the female characters are a little annoying, I'm finding Lucy rather difficult to like at times. Otherwise love it.

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  • Mrs. C. Hunt
  • 11-02-21

Gone West

A terrific mystery, where it slowly builds until you are all turned around. Did not get this one at all. Read brilliantly again by Lucy Rayner.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • imcl
  • 10-09-21

posh

only for posh people. I had trouble understanding the upper crust accent. not for ordinary folk

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • sue Sargent
  • 02-12-18

good listen.

enjoyable although I found the narrator's interpretation of the characters a little unreal and grating.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Beth
  • 01-23-22

A Country House Murder

A clever plot brings together a curious mix of characters and which keeps the listener enthralled to the twist at the end. Charmingly narrated by Lucy Rayner who captures the youthful essence of the 1920s.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Sharyn Hutchens
  • 10-21-21

Enjoyable light listen

This story was spoilt by the sometimes shrill voice of the narrator. Please find an alternative.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • melanie
  • 10-17-21

Performance was to offputting for me to finish it

Well this maybe how people spoke in the 1920s it made it very irritating to listen to

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Jennifer
  • 06-27-21

Couldnt listen to this.

The dreadful exaggerated voices made it hard to listen to. The pompous voice of Humphrey would be ludicrous from
someone who had travelled in the wild west of USA so seemingly widely, quite apart from the other silly voices for the women characters. I wont be finishing this