Synopsis I found online :
When the adventurous Zarl Osterley is invited to an English country house for the weekend, she is told to bring her monkey Percy. She also takes her friend, who is disguised as a maid and monkey-minder.
During their stay the peaceful, idyllic atmosphere of Tattingwood Hall is wrecked by a dastardly crime. Famous diamonds go missing, the Chief Inspector called in to investigate is discovered horribly murdered.
The monkey, the maid and the magnetic Zarl all get inextricably involved in the whole nasty business, and it takes the women’s brains and shrewdness to sort out a mess that spoils the weekend for everyone.
I love the monkey’s name: Percy Macacus Rhesus y Osterley – it’s two times longer than my name, so pretentious… *shake my head*
A classic whodunit novel set in an English country house filled with a movie star dripping in jewels, love affair, a murder, a maid who is not a maid, and a cheeky monkey.
By the above synopsis, I thought Zarl is the main character / narrator but she’s not. The narrator (no name, unless I completely missed it!) is Zarl’s friend – the “maid”. Intelligent and observant in all sorts of circumstances, will her qualities assist her in solving this mystery?
It was an easy read though it was a little bit confusing at the beginning due to the language but once you got into it, it was a breeze. Near the end, I thought this would be one of those ‘un-solved’ mystery and then… I was stabbed – completely thoroughly stabbed in the back.
My favourite part:
“…I must have a monkey to keep me from doddering into a complete stodge.”
“A monkey would hasten that,” I contended. “You’ve seen those old women with poodles – can’t tell the women from the poodles – pathetic derelicts – ugh! A monkey would do that for you – only more so.”
It is available (free) online as ebook.