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The Mirror Dance

By Catriona McPherson

Dandy Gilver sets out to confront a traveling Punch and Judy man about a simple, straightforward case of plagiarism. Her client was direct; Dandy had to talk to the man and ensure he stopped infringing on the rights of the local family-run publisher, Doig’s.

In the summertime shade of Dundee city park, Dandy finds happy children enjoying the show but fails to see evidence that the performer uses puppets that don’t belong to him. At intermission, she goes to the man’s tent to deliver her client’s message. Unfortunately, someone got there first—with a fatal message.

Dandy summons her faithful colleague Alec Osborne, and the two private detectives set out to determine how the puppeteer died. No one had the opportunity to slip into his tent during the show, but they did: the knife wound is irrefutable evidence.

With scant help from the police, Dandy and Alec immerse themselves in the publishing business: the gloomy offices, hallways, and oppressively noisy presses of Doig’s. They discover that the publication’s cheerful, entertaining stories in The Rosie Cheek and The Freckle series might hide a dark tale.

Dandy’s and Alec’s case becomes further jumbled by the appearance of the victim’s bereaved brother and, shortly afterward, the dead man’s mysterious girlfriend. Soon, Dandy and Alec are racing from the printing press to the world of academia to dressing rooms of local theaters, searching for their killer. When the missing Rosie and Freckle puppets turn up in a staff room at Doig’s, Dandy and Alec fear someone has changed the script.

The Mirror Dance has Dandy, Alec, and readers questioning everything they see. This is the fifteenth novel in the series, and when not scratching your head trying to identify the killer, you’ll be laughing at McPherson’s incredible whit. It’s a terrific historical mystery series, especially for those who like to keep one foot above and one below stairs!

In addition to the Dandy Gilver series (The Mirror Dance, nominated for the Lefty Award for Best Historical Novel 2022), McPherson writes the Last Ditch series, and its fifth installment, Scot in a Trap, is a finalist for the Lefty Award for Best Humorous Mystery 2023. Catriona McPherson was born and raised in Scotland and now lives in California. She’s a former academic linguist and now writes full-time.

She is also the author of a dozen contemporary standalone mysteries. The multi-award-winning and nationally best-selling author is active in Mystery Writers of America, The Crimewriters’ Association, The Society of Authors and Sisters in Crime, of which she is a former national president.

Follow Catriona on Twitter at @CatrionaMcP on Facebook @Catriona McPherson, and email her at


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