New Book – A Case of Murder in Mayfair by Clara Benson


Freddy is back, and I’m so glad. What a wonderful early Christmas present!!!

The beginning of the plot has Freddy waiting outside a posh hotel for some Hollywood star, Dorothy Dacres, who might be the new star in a film. As we later get to know the woman, it is clear that she is to be the victim in this case. When Freddy finds himself at Dorothy Dacres’s party after being invited along by an old acquaintance, he is also witness to the murder. There is a turmoil outside the actress’s suite, and they all learn that Dorothy has fallen from the terrace and is dead.

There are a group of characters, and all of them have a motive to kill the woman. Dorothy was quite a diva and also very disagreeable. So every single person who came across her had a reason to wish her ill.

First, there is Robert Kenrick, a British actor, who hopes to become a success in Hollywood. When he learns that Dorothy has called the newspapers to tell them that she and Robert are engaged, he is enraged. He already has a girl, Sarah, and she will be upset if she reads the newspapers. He also tells her that information will not help him with Sarah’s family, who don’t approve of him. Dorothy brushes off his concerns and even threatens him with ruining his career in Hollywood if he doesn’t go along with her story. Robert is really upset about this, and later at the party Sarah is also there and she is obviously unhappy.

Augusta Laing is a young British actress who hoped to land the role that Dorothy finally got. Augusta is an old friend of Freddy’s, who he knows as Gussie Lippincot. When Dorothy announces at the party that the role has been given to her, Gussie is not happy, and she goes as far as to confess to Freddy she wished Dorothy were dead.

Seymour Cosgrove is a photographer who apparently is or was in a relationship with Gussie. Seymour is very talented, and Dorothy likes his photographs better than anyone else’s. Seymour had signed a five-year contract to go to America, but Dorothy tells him that he can’t do that and she has already sorted out the problem and told the people in America that the contract was off. Seymour is enraged to say the least, and we have already seen his anger showing when he even shakes Dorothy.

Eugene S Penk is the producer who seems to be under the power of Dorothy.  It is clear that he wanted Augusta for the role in his next film, but he hasn’t been able to choose freely.

Kenneth Neale is a famous British director who is going to direct the film, but he also wanted Augusta in the main role. He doesn’t like Dorothy at all, and he even threatened to resign if Dorothy was given the role. Kenneth is married to Patience, and they have a little girl, Ada, who is a child star. The couple and the child also don’t like Dorothy because she treated the little girl terribly when they met last. I have to say that Ada is quite a pedantic child, and I don’t think I could stand someone like her. Yet, that doesn’t give Dorothy the right to be horrible towards her.

Cora is Dorothy’s sister, and we also see how terrible Dorothy treats her, insulting her blatantly.

I imagine that the murderer is among these people. I wonder who has done the deed. I imagine that Freddy will once again succeed in uncovering the truth.


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