Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Diana Winthrop #1 Singing Strings and #2 Old Fort

The Diana Winthrop series consists of six books written under the pseudonym of Kate Chambers.

1.  The Secret of the Singing Strings, 1983
2.  Danger in the Old Fort, 1983
3.  The Case of the Dog-Lover's Legacy, 1983
4.  The Secrets on Beacon Hill, 1984
5.  The Legacy of Lucian Van Zandt, 1984
6.  The Threat of the Pirate Ship, 1984

Diana and her father, Diana's blind cousin Jacintha, and Diana's maternal grandmother, Gran Culhaine, live on different levels of Gran Culhaine's house in New York City.

In Diana Winthrop #1, The Secret of the Singing Strings, Diana receives an urgent call from her cousin, Jacintha.  Jacintha works at the Mannerheim Museum of Music.  The museum has just received a miniature violin made by Stradivarius.  Jacintha's call is about the violin, but she gives no details.  Diana agrees to meet Jacintha immediately.  The meeting never occurs, because Jacintha is hospitalized, nearly killed by a hit-and-run driver.

Diana later deduces that Jacintha had the violin with her, and that it has been stolen!  Jacintha is the prime suspect, but the museum curator refuses to tell the police.  Diana is certain that someone connected with the museum is responsible for the theft.

This is an excellent story.

In Diana Winthrop #2, Danger in the Old Fort, Diana's father is working on location in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on a miniseries.  The production is being sabotaged, and Mr. Winthrop requests that Diana and her friend, Brad Ferriers, take jobs in the production so that they can work undercover. The accidents continue to occur, and Diana quickly realizes that her life may be in danger.

I really enjoyed the early part of the book, but I became partially bored as I continued to read the story.  I have developed a strong aversion to "sabotage on a movie set" plots due to some very bad titles in the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys series.  I can no longer enjoy "sabotage on a movie set" books.

Admittedly, this book is above average for this kind of plot, but it still has a few too many characters.  I kept confusing two couples, a brother and sister and a boyfriend and girlfriend.  Removing one of those couples would have made the book more enjoyable.

This book introduces Lydian Sinclair, an investigative reporter who helps Diana on some of her future cases.  By the end of the final book, it is apparent that Lydian is a love interest for Diana's father.

While I greatly enjoyed some parts of the book, I consider it just good overall.

No comments: