The Winter Ground

By Catriona McPherson


When a circus comes to spend the winter at the neighbouring estate to Gilverton, Dandy Gilver's two sons are cock-a-hoop and they are not alone in their excitement.

The allure of Tumbling Topsy Turvy, Tiny Truman and the Troupe Prebezhensky also draw the attention of the fast set, who would never normally be seen dead with the nouveau riche Mr & Mrs Albert Wilson. 'The name, darling, tells you everything you need to know.'

But when Dandy Gilver is asked to investigate a series of nasty tricks taking place in the circus she discovers, under the colourful charms on the surface of circus life, a hotbed of passion and resentment she cannot begin to understand. But, when one of the artistes suddenly dies, Dandy must somehow get behind the smoke and mirrors to find answers in a world where nothing is as it seems.

Year of Publication


A well-paced tale * Scots Magazine * Compelling * Publishers Weekly starred review * McPherson is an exemplary crime writer, effortlessly balancing the driest wit with melodramatic suspense. Her range of reference is seriously literary, her research impeccable, and her exuberance with period detail utterly beguiling. And Dandy herself is wonderful: blundering bravely through this mad and murky tale with perfect aplomb and a drop-dead vocabulary, she is a lesson to us all. * Scotsman * 'Dandy Gilver is an enthralling heroine; part Dorothy Parker, part Miss Marple, utterly engaging. [Catriona] can send chills up your spine and provoke a fit of the giggles in the space of a few short pages. Absolutely wonderful' * Kirsty Scott * McPherson is on to a winner with her 1920s society sleuth Dandy Gilver, who is the most engaging and ingenious crime-cracker I've met in ages. She is gauche but perceptive, married but unromantic (although there's a lovely frisson to her co-solver), sly but endearingly innocent. The period detail is accomplished and convincing, the crime is neatly convoluted and McPherson's prose bristles with clever asides under a lucid surface. I wouldn't be surprised if she is translated on to the small screen soon, and I can't wait for her next adventure. * Scotland on Sunday on AFTER THE ARMISTICE BALL * Dan Brown meets Barbara Pym . . . Dandy is brisk, baffled, heroic, kindly, scandalised and - above all - very funny * Guardian * Praise for the Dandy Gilver series: * - * 'As ever, McPherson's research is exhaustive and she captures the patois of the circus people beautifully . . . At the circus, things don't quite turn out as Dandy expects but this simply makes McPherson's delightful tale all the more enjoyable.' * Herald * A jaunty romp with a gripping ending... delightful * Observer *

Author Biography

Catriona McPherson was born in the village of Queensferry in south-east Scotland in 1965 and educated at Edinburgh University. She left with a PhD in Linguistics and spent a few years as a university lecturer before beginning to write fiction. The first Dandy Gilver novel was short-listed for the CWA Ellis Peters Historical Dagger 2005 and the second was long-listed for the Theakston`s Crime Novel of the Year Award 2007. Catriona writes full-time and lives on a farm in Galloway.