What I’m Reading: The Daisy Gumm Majesty Mystery Series

Hi Folks,

I’ve been reading a series of books I like very much, so much so that I paid money for them. That’s high praise from the likes of me. I’m in the middle of the series of ten books, and they’ve been getting better as I go along.


The first book in the series: Strong Spirits

Imagine it’s the 1920s and you’re in Pasadena, California. The middle class Gumm-Majesty household consists of Daisy, her husband Billy (in a wheelchair due to being gassed in the war), her parents, and her aunt. Her aunt is a cook for the Kincaids, one of the city’s wealthiest families, and is the best cook in the city (maybe the whole state). Daisy, professionally known as Desdemona (because that sounded good to 10-year-old Daisy when she first started her career, before she knew Desdemona was a literary character who got killed) is a spiritualist with a Scottish contact named Rolly. Her clients think it’s  spelled Raleigh, but again, 10-year-old Daisy picked the name.

Her aunt’s employer is a sweet, silly woman with more money than sense, who is given to fainting spells and panic attacks. She has a wicked husband, a horrible daughter, and a gay movie costume designer son, Harold, who becomes Daisy’s best friend. Billy’s best friend is a detective, Sam Rotundo, who isn’t above blackmailing Daisy to spy on her clients for him. Billy and Sam disapprove of Daisy’s work (and her best friend), but Daisy knows she couldn’t support her family on the income from a normal woman’s job, especially since she is very young, in her early twenties.

Pasadena is filled with seemingly brainless rich people, a lot of whom are Daisy’s clients. Daisy can sew up a storm and is always clothed in the latest fashion – after all, she has to keep up the spiritualist image, and she’s an expert at setting the stage, wafting around, and comforting people. She knows spiritualism is a lot of nonsense, but she believes she’s doing people a great service by offering them solace. She tries to balance things and overcome the spiritualist stigma by singing in her church choir and leading a blameless life. Trying… but she’s always getting mixed up with mobsters, embezzlers, and assorted other shady characters. I recommend sharing Daisy’s hilarious triumphs and frustrations by reading ALL of these books, which I intend getting back to, right away!

Aw Nuts!


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