Carola Dunn is a British writer (living in America) who’s known for her regency romances and, lately, for her cozy mystery novels. Her most famous work is the Daisy Dalrymple series about a freelance writer married to a Scotland Yard Detective in the 1920s who do some sleuthing with her husband.
Dunn is also a prolific romance writer with more than 30 books of that genre-set during the Regency era. But she transitioned to mystery novels to write about an older protagonist and found continuous success with it. She also wrote the Cornish Mystery series about a retired widow in Cornwall investigating murder mysteries.
How to read Carola Dunn’s Books in Order?
Carola Dunn’s Cozy Mysteries in Order
The Cornish Mystery series
Eleanor Trewynn is a recently retired widow who has moved to the small village of Port Mabyn in Cornwall. Neither frail nor retiring, after a lifetime of traveling the world, she’s ready for an uneventful life with her dog and friends in this quiet town. Unfortunately, excitement seems to happen around her (meaning: murders!).
- Manna from Hades (2009) – Eleanor Trewynn’s niece, Megan Pencarrow, transferred nearby and was recently promoted to the rank of Detective Sargent. Perhaps the only downside is that she is now working for a DI who doesn’t approve of women on the police force and who really doesn’t much approve of Megan’s aunt Eleanor, as she is something of a thorn in his rather substantial side. All of these factors collide when, the day after collecting donations, Eleanor and the vicar’s wife find the dead body of a longhaired, scruffy-looking youth hidden in the stockroom of the charity shop
- A Colourful Death (2010) – Eleanor Trewynn’s friend and neighbor, artist Nick Gresham, returns from a trip only to find several of his paintings slashed, reportedly by rival local artist Geoffrey Clarke. When Nick goes to have it out with him, with Eleanor in tow, they find Clarke’s body in his studio, fatally stabbed in the back. Accused of the crime, Nick ends up in jail, while Detective Inspector Scumble and DS Megan Pencarrow, Eleanor’s niece, investigate.
- Valley of the Shadow (2012) – While out on a walk, Eleanor Trewynn, her niece Megan, and her neighbor Nick spot a young, half-drowned Indian man floating in the water. Delirious and concussed, he utters a cryptic message about his family being trapped in a cave and his mother dying. The young man, unconscious and unable to help, is whisked away to a hospital while a desperate effort is mounted find the missing family in time.
- Buried in the Country (2016) – After many years working around the world for an international charity in the late 1960s, Eleanor Trewynn has retired to the relative quiet of a small town in Cornwall. But her quiet life is short-lived when the Commonwealth Relations Office reaches out to her to assist in a secret conference that is to take place in a small hotel outside the historical village of Tintagel. Meanwhile, her niece, DS Megan Pencarrow, is investigating the disappearance of a local solicitor when she is assigned to help provide security for the conference.
The Daisy Dalrymple series
The stories focus on the Honorable Daisy Dalrymple, a freelance writer working with Detective Chief Inspector Alec Fletcher of Scotland Yard to solve murder cases. Even if Fletcher often tries to keep Daisy far away from the crime investigations (because his superiors at the Yard demand it), she always finds a way to join him for some crime-solving. For more information, go to the Daisy Dalrymple reading order.
- Death at Wentwater Court (1994)
- The Winter Garden Mystery (1995)
- Requiem for a Mezzo (1996)
- Murder on the Flying Scotsman (1996)
- Damsel in Distress (1997)
- Dead in the Water (1998)
- Styx and Stones (1999)
- Rattle His Bones (2000)
- To Davy Jones Below (2001)
- The Case of the Murdered Muckraker (2002)
- Mistletoe and Murder (2002)
- Die Laughing (2003)
- A Mourning Wedding (2004)
- Fall of a Philanderer (2005)
- Gunpowder Plot (2006)
- The Bloody Tower (2007)
- Black Ship (2008)
- Sheer Folly (2009)
- Anthem for Doomed Youth (2011)
- Gone West (2012)
- Heirs of the Body (2013)
- Superfluous Women (2015)
- The Corpse at the Crystal Palace (2018)
Carola Dunn’s Regency Romance Novels
Miss Hartwell’s Dilemma
- Miss Hartwell’s Dilemma (1989) – Amaryllis Hartwell’s Academy for Young Ladies has been a life saver. After her father caused a scandal, and left her without funds, she made the Academy her refuge and her cause-employing her dear aunt and devoted governess and creating a worthy establishment. But the new school year brings Lord Pomeroy, her old suitor, and Lord Daniel Winterborne, a student’s disreputable father, as well as a sinister Spaniard who seems to be spying on all of them. Miss Hartwell becomes the student-who must learn to trust her own heart.
- Two Corinthians (1989) – Lord Pomeroy has been rejected by his long-time fiancé and must find a woman to marry for his ill father’s sake. His sister suggests Claire Sutton, who has been on the shelf for years. And Bertram is willing to consider her, except that she’s shy and her sister is such an outspoken, outrageous chit. Then there’s Lord Winterborne, heir to the Marquis of Bellingham, who pretends to court Lizzie Sutton-at her instigation-but is intrigued by her older sister Claire. Add to this bumblebroth the fact that it was Winterborne’s brother who stole Pomeroy’s fiancé, and no two couples could be more at cross purposes.
The Black Sheep series
- The Black Sheep’s Daughter (1989) – Teresa Danville, raised in Costa Rica by her “black sheep” father, presents a challenge to the diplomatic skills of Sir Andrew Graylin. Niece of an English duke, Teresa was not raised to London society, but to wielding pistols and overseeing a coffee plantation household. Bringing this exotic beauty (along with her brother and her parrot) to civilization gets the previously affianced Sir Andrew in deep trouble.
- Lady in the Briars (1990) – Rebecca Nuthall, downtrodden unpaid companion to a relative, is saved from drowning by Lord John Danville. Lord John has been ordered abroad by his father after indulging in a frivolous but near fatal duel. About to leave for Russia with his cousin Teresa Graylin and her diplomat husband, he persuades Teresa to take Rebecca along as governess for their little girl. In St Petersburg, Rebecca blossoms…until she is arrested for espionage. Once again, John must risk his life to rescue her.
- Polly and the Prince (1991) – Polly Howard, an absentminded artist, is saved from a fall by a shabby Russian vagabond. Kolya Volkov turns out to be a gentleman and a friend of her brother’s employer. Exiled from Russia, penniless, he must make his own way in England. He has nothing to offer her, and she, dedicated to her painting, doesn’t expect ever to marry. When the Prince Regent summons Kolya, Polly is afraid she’ll never see him again – until a commission brings her to Brighton as well.
The Miss Larkin series aka the Valiant Hearts Trilogy
- A Lord for Miss Larkin (1991) – Alison Larkin thought it would be romantic to be loved by a lord, and her wealthy aunt granted her a Season in London to meet the ton. Unfortunately, the first eligible gentleman who came in her way was Philip Trevelyan-a man without a title but with all the right qualifications to win Miss Larkin’s heart!
- The Road to Gretna (1992) – Jason, Lord Kilmore, a fortune-hunter, elopes with a beautiful but birdwitted heiress. Penny Bryant, escaping her wicked uncle, elopes with a kind but humorless doctor. Meeting on the road to Gretna Green, both find their plans in conflict with their hearts.
- Thea’s Marquis (1993) – Grateful for Lord Hazlewood’s quixotic aid, Thea Kilmore wishes he’d see her as more than a damsel in distress. Roderick, meanwhile, wishes she’d regard him as more than a white knight to turn to when in trouble.
The Rothschild Trilogy
- Miss Jacobson’s Journey (1992) – Having refused the man her parents chose for her, Miriam Jacobson finds herself smuggling gold across Napoleon’s France to Wellington in Spain, accompanied by two attractive young men, both of whom detest her-and each other. High adventure and romance in the best Regency tradition.
- Lord Roworth’s Reward (1994) – Sharing Brussels lodgings with a penniless officer and his admirable sister Fanny, the impoverished Felix, Lord Roworth, liaises between Rothschild and Wellington while courting Lady Sophia, a well-dowered beauty. Fanny laughs at his toplofty ways, yet when she desperately needs his help, Felix finds the Goddess’s image fading as he rushes to the rescue.
- The Captain’s Inheritance (1994) – Frank Ingram, an impecunious officer, is seriously wounded at Waterloo. Rescued by Lord Roworth, he meets Roworth’s sister, Lady Constantia, an angel of mercy. But Frank and Connie are each hiding a terrible secret they are sure will prevent marriage to anyone, let alone each other.
- Toblethorpe Manor (1981) – Richard Carstairs discovers a young woman who has suffered a riding accident and cannot remember even her own name, let alone the circumstances from which she came. Christened Clara Fell by the Carstairs family, the mysterious lady proves herself not only charming but talented. Can Richard take her at face value? And can Miss Fell trust that she will not disgrace him, when position in society is so necessary to his well-being?
- Lavender Lady (1983) – Hester Godric’s grandfather was in trade, but her stepmother had taught her to be a lady–before leaving Hester with four half-siblings to raise. The victim of a carriage accident lands in her home to recover, but does not reveal that he is the Earl of Alton. Hester learns his identity only when the whole family descends on London–and involves my lord in a variety of scrapes.
- Angel (1984) – Lady Evangelina Brenthaven (inappropriately called Angel) is determined to marry someone who actually loves her and not just her fortune, aristocracy or beauty. So she assumes a plain Miss Evelyn Brand identity and tumbles her cousin and everyone else into a summer of schemes and chaos. But can she recognize the real Lord Dominic, or discover whether it’s Sir Gregory or Lord Welch who’s treacherous?
- The Miser’s Sister (1984) – Lady Ruth Penderric lives with her miserly brother and selfish sister in a moldering castle. But when she is kidnapped for ransom, Oliver Pardoe, a banker’s son, rescues her. His offer of assistance leads her to London, where she is courted by a lord. Her heart has been won by the gallant Oliver-but his scruples keep him from declaring himself.
- Lord Iverbrook’s Heir (1986) – On his return from Jamaica, Viscount Iverbrook learns that his sister-in-law, Selena Whitton, has been made guardian of his brother’s son. With every intention of restoring the child to the family estate, Iverbrook appears at Milford Manor where Selena, her mother, sister and young Peter compose a delightful household. Would it be fair to remove the child-and why has Iverbrook grown so fond of pretty, outspoken Selena?
- The Man in the Green Coat (1987) – Gabrielle Darcy and her brother Gerard must escape France on the brink of war. A dying English spy gives Gabrielle a message for The Man in the Green Coat, who turns out to be Mr. Everett. Though Gabrielle and Everett are attracted, they are also suspicious of each other. Once again Everett aids the Darcys and Madame Aurore, only to find them all embroiled in adventure.
- Smugglers’ Summer (1987) – When Octavia Gray is summoned to join her beautiful cousin Julia at an isolated estate near Plymouth, she gladly accepts. Her duty is to persuade Julia to marry the charming Sir Tristram Deanbridge and abandon her passion for the firebrand James Wynn. But, amidst adventures with smugglers and the haut ton, things don’t quite work out that way…
- A Susceptible Gentleman (1990) – Sarah Meade, a parson’s sister, had known Viscount Cheverell all her life and thought him a paragon. But the viscount was susceptible to maidenly charms-as witnessed by the descent upon Sarah of his mistresses! And then there were the three debutantes brought in to lure him into marriage. Whimsical, practical Sarah was just the one to rescue this rake…
- A Poor Relation (1990) – Rowena Caxton, formerly mistress of an estate, is reduced to being a “poor relation” in her beautiful cousin Millicent’s home. When the new Lord Farleigh, former major from the Peninsula wars, arrives in the neighborhood, Millicent immediately attempts to attach him. But it is Rowena who teaches the earl about orchards-and about his own heart.
- Byron’s Child (1991) – Jodie Zaleski meets Giles Faringdale, a lord no less, in contemporary Oxford-only to find herself transported with him back to his ancestral home in Regency times. An impetuous and determined researcher, Jodie lands Giles and his ancestors in more than one scrape as she explores London of 1816, and attempts to rescue Byron’s daughter. There’s timid Emily Faringdale, engaged against her wishes to the awesome Lord Thorncrest, and her sister-in-law Charlotte, who learns a lesson in maneuvering her overbearing husband Roland, the current Lord Faringdale. But mostly there is Giles, who must find a way back home for this amazing woman who has made a journey in time with him.
- The Fortune-Hunters (1991) – Jessica Franklin came to Bath to marry a rich man-and she was delighted to find handsome Matthew Walsingham with every qualification. Matthew, however, had come to Bath for the same purpose, regarding Miss Franklin as the perfect wife-wealthy and beautiful. When they discovered the truth, they had to reassess the situation-and their hearts.
- The Frog Earl (1992) – Escaping into the countryside to nurse his wounded pride and heart, Simon Hurst encounters the lovely but eccentric Mimi (half English, half Indian and all mischief) who promises him three favors-then only grudgingly doles them out. If he can capture that last one-that kiss-before she learns the truth about his identity, he should transform into an earl once again.
- My Lord Winter (1992) – Lady Jane Brooke sought shelter when her coach broke down, and found herself at the Earl of Wintringham’s estate. Trying to conceal her identity, she introduced herself as a governess. Lord Winter, as the apparently cold earl was called, thawed in response to the delightful Miss Brooke, but she knew he would never approve of her deception.
- Ginnie Come Lately (1993) – Justin, Lord Amis, returns from Vienna to find his reclusive father has remarried and filled his home with a horde of stepchildren. Though the eldest, Ginnie, is damnably attractive, he finds himself at war with the interlopers. It takes the whole family to teach him the perils of pride and prejudice and to show the way to true love.
- The Actress and the Rake (1995) – Sir Barnabas’s Will requires granddaughter Nerissa Wingate and godson Miles Courtenay to live together chastely in his house for six months in order to inherit his estate. He assumed they’ll fail. Fuming but penniless, they accept the challenge, but a host of hopeful relatives is determined to throw them into each other’s arms, and Sir Barnabas’s cantankerous ghost lends a hand!
- The Tudor Secret (1995 aka The Tudor Signet) – Mariette Bertrand held up Lord Malcolm’s carriage on the Devon moors to retrieve the signet ring, a family heirloom, that her cousin lost at cards. When she was injured in the attempt, Lord Malcolm took her to his sister’s house. Love blossomed, but could it survive if he arrested her cousin as a French spy?
- Scandal’s Daughter (1996) – Stranded in Istanbul when her scandalous mother dies, all Cordelia wants is to go home to England and lead a respectable life. Yet she finds herself setting off with James Preston, a rogue sought by the Turkish authorities. Their travels over the mountains and over the waves are dogged by mishap, disaster, and catastrophe… But love will find the way.
- A Christmas Courtship (1996) – A collection of yuletide novellas includes Carola Dunn’s “The Christmas Party,” in which a mismatched couple finds romance; “Under the Mistletoe,” in which a ghost seeks true love; and “The Christmas Beau,” in which a highlanders tempts a debutante.
- The Babe and the Baron (1997) – The pregnant widow of a scapegrace cousin-whatever his wishes, duty requires Gareth, Lord Wyckham, to take her into his household. Soon Laura finds her way into his family and his heart. When her adorable baby is born, he has to persuade her it’s not just Priscilla’s Papa he wants to become, but Laura’s loving husband.
- Mayhem and Miranda (1997) – Miranda, companion to amiable but eccentric Lady Wiston, is suspicious when her ladyship’s ne’er-do-well nephew Peter Daviot turns up. All my lady’s previous companions have married her nephews. Can she intend penniless Miranda to make a match with the equally penniless Peter? But deeper plots are afoot and it takes the joint efforts of Miranda and Peter to rescue Lady Wiston.
- The Improper Governess (1998) – Who is Lissa Findlay? What secret prevents her confiding in Lord Ashe, when he plucks her from the opera chorus to be governess to his invalid nephew? What will his sister and mother do if they discover her past? And can she ever trust him, after he made her a very improper offer indeed?
- Crossed Quills (1998) – Wynn Selworth writes Gothic novels as “Valentine Dred,” and Pippa Lisle writes radical articles as “Prometheus.” Now Wynn’s a lord and needs Prometheus’ help with his maiden speech. With Pippa as “go-between,” can each keep the secret from the other? And from the prying, sneering London Ton?
- Christmas in the Country (2010) – Two novellas: “A Match for the Season”-Lady Cecily has snared the heir to a dukedom, but it’s his cousin, a mere doctor, who makes her heart beat faster; “He Stoops to Conquer,” previously published as “The Christmas Party”-Lord Rusholme tries to win Prudence, an actress playing in She Stoops to Conquer for his father’s Christmas house party, by taking the role of the oafish Tony Lumpkin.
- The Magic of Love (2010) – Three Regency Fairytales and a Halloween ghost story: RUMPLESTILTSKIN-with an unexpected hero; ALADDIN’S LAMP-turns up in Regency Oxford, jinnee and all; and THE FIREBIRD-with a wer-fox as heroine; plus Superstition-a Halloween short story, in which a Gypsy’s fortune-telling proves doubly accurate.
If you like the Daisy Dalrymple series, you may also want to see our Kate Shackleton reading order, or Molly Murphy reading order. Don’t hesitate to follow us on Twitter or Facebook to discover more book series.