It’s time to check back in with everyone’s favourite girlish detectives, Daisy and Hazel, in this second novella (but fourth-and-a-half offering in the series), The Case of the Deepdean Vampire by Robin Stevens. I’m very glad that these novellas exist because they at least keep me in touch with the series given that I’m now three books behind since the announcement of an April 6th release date for Cream Buns and Crime, an anthology of Daisy and Hazel short stories. Anyhow, “just keep plodding along” is my motto for these books, so here’s the blurb from Goodreads:
Of all the mysteries that Hazel and I have investigated, the Case of the Deepdean Vampire was one of the strangest. It was not a murder, which was a pity – but I did solve it very cleverly, and so I decided it ought to be written down, so that other people could read it and be impressed.
Camilla Badescu is in the fifth form, and has pale skin, dark hair and red lips. She comes from Romania (which is practically Transylvania). She doesn’t eat at meals. And she seemed to have an unhealthy influence over another pupil, Amy Jessop. Now, I do not believe in vampires – I am the Honourable Daisy Wells, after all. But when I heard the rumour that Camilla was seen climbing head-first down a wall, I knew it was time to investigate…
Much like The Case of the Blue Violet, the other novella in this series, The Case of the Deepdean Vampire is a bite-sized snack of a mystery, narrated by Daisy, rather than Hazel, who is the narrator of the full length novels. In this particular novella, Daisy recounts her triumphant solving of a case that has the Deepdean girls all of a dither: is Camilla really a vampire? And if not, how can one explain the, frankly, supernatural behaviour that she has been exhibiting of late? Of course Daisy, being a natural skeptic, manages to confound any latent whisperings of vampirism by performing some quite spectacular physical feats and making the links that others have failed to notice.
I have to say that I didn’t find this one quite as engaging as a short story as the Blue Violet, simply because the premise was hinged on a supernatural phenomenon and readers of this series will know that supernatural happenings are not an accepted part of the deal. From that standpoint then, the mystery could only have a perfectly ordinary explanation and when it came it wasn’t quite as exciting or tricky as I was hoping it might be. I felt a little as if there hadn’t been enough clues left out for canny readers to solve this one themselves, so wasn’t quite as invested in the reveal as I may have otherwise been.
So while not the most gripping of the girls’ adventures so far, this is still a fun interlude between books for fans of Daisy and Hazel and the Detective Society.
Until next time,