Daisy Dalrymple's visit to dentist Raymond Talmadge turns out to be even more dreadful than she anticipated. Talmadge's nurse finds the dentist dead in his dental chair wearing a nitrous oxide mask.
Was it an accident? That's what his nurse believes: Talmadge sometimes sniffed gas to relax and he forgot to turn the oxygen on this time. Was it suicide? Mrs. Talmadge thinks so, reporting his distress about a failed business deal. The police, including Daisy's husband, Detective Chief Inspector Alec Fletcher, cannot rule out murder, however, especially after they uncover some Talmadge family secrets.
DIE LAUGHING is a traditional cozy set in 1924 in St. John's Wood and other sections of London, but the sense of time and setting are not strong. The story is driven by the plot rather than the characters. Dunn's 12th Daisy Dalrymple novel is a light, easy read but has little tension or suspense. (Oct., 288 pp., $23.95)