Review – In the Crypt with a Candlestick by Daisy Waugh

In The Crypt - Blog Post Cover


  • Title: In the Crypt with a Candlestick
  • Author: Daisy Waugh
  • Genre: Mystery
  • Source  NetGalley
  • Publication Date: 20 Feb 2020
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group UK
  • Format: Kindle

I can see why others compare In the Crypt with a Candlestick to Agatha Christie and P.G. Wodehouse, however, it is a zany romp all of its own making.

Sir Ecgbert Tode of Tode Hall has survived to a grand old age – much to the despair of his younger wife, Emma. But at ninety-three he has, at last, shuffled off the mortal coil.

Emma, Lady Tode, thoroughly fed up with being a dutiful Lady of the Manor, wants to leave the country to spend her remaining years in Capri. Unfortunately her three tiresome children are either unwilling or unable (too mad, too lefty or too happy in Australia) to take on management of their large and important home, so the mantle passes to a distant relative and his glamorous wife.

Not long after the new owners take over, Lady Tode is found dead in the mausoleum. Accident? Or is there more going on behind the scenes of Tode Hall than an outsider would ever guess….? Goodreads

In the Crypt with a Candlestick centres on the Tode family whose ancestral home in Yorkshire is a tourist hot-spot, great for the family’s coffers but a pain to manage for even those with an interest.  Upon the death of the patriarch, there’s a bolt for the hills by his children to take over the reins.

Fortunately, a distant relative is found to take up the mantle of keeping the family estate and its obligations up and running. Thereafter all manner of shenanigans occur involving a host of madcap characters who whilst somewhat exaggerated are no less fun for it. 

Family obligation

The murder mystery almost takes a backseat to the eccentricities of the Tode family, those who work for them and associated hangers-on.  Why there is a snobbish ghost who assists with exposition is not a question that needs to be asked. Inexplicably it works and therefore all we can do it admire their turn of phrase and stylish outfits. 

The story is told from multiple characters’ point of view, so the reader has access to the flawed, unlikeable, pretentious and even those hard done by characters. There is no real happy ever after at the end, but matters are resolved to the satisfaction of most, I include myself in that number. 


I found it witty, an astute rendering of caricatures with funny dialogue that provided several laugh out loud moments. It was an amusing, entertaining read and I thoroughly enjoyed the madcap fun that ensued.

4 Stars – Really Liked It

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Engrossed Reader

Reading whenever she can, often to the detriment of sleep. Enjoying most genres with preference for ebooks and audiobooks, mainly for convenience.

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