a gratifying contemporary series in the traditional British manner with hilarious repercussions (dead bodies notwithstanding). Cozy fans will anticipate learning more about these WISE ladies.” Library Journal, starred review

“An utterly charming country house mystery with modern touches, it’s perfect reading for Anglophiles…This novel should appeal to fans of Alexander McCall Smith and MC Beaton.”

“In my review of Cathy’s first book, “The Corpse with the Silver Tongue” I compared her style of writing to Agatha Christie. While this book features four protagonists, the style is still the same. I also loved the setting…I strongly recommend this book and all of Cathy Ace’s books. Five Stars out of Five.”Lynn Farris,

“Well written and unique, The Case of the Dotty Dowager will delight mystery lovers of all ages.”

“I found this an interesting read with some delightful characters, especially the WISE ladies. I also liked Althea, the Dowager Duchess who is definitely a long way from being senile. Altogether this is a well written and at times amusing mystery which is only gradually unravelled. I shall be looking out for the next one in the series.” Damaskcat on

“A delightful new cozy series with a lovely setting and four loveable heroines”



“A brilliant addition to Classic Crime Fiction. The ladies (if they’ll forgive me calling them that) of the WISE Enquiries Agency will have you pacing the floor awaiting their next entanglement…A fresh and wonderful concept well executed.” Alan Bradley, New York Times bestselling author of the Flavia de Luce mysteries.

“Start with an irresistible premise, confound expectations with four top-notch characters, and we’re off! THE CASE OF THE DOTTY DOWAGER is a fun-packed romp through three of the four UK nations, where everything from outlandish antiques to this-minute technology adds up to a devious, delicious, disarming debut. Can’t wait to meet the WISE women again in book two.” Catriona McPherson, Anthony, Agatha and Alexander winning author of the Edgar-nominated THE DAY SHE DIED.

“Charming, quirky and completely entertaining! This clever contemporary take on the traditional mystery will have you smiling on every page. The talented Cathy Ace has created an endearing quartet of heroines–hurray for WISE, and I cannot wait for the next adventure!” Hank Phillippi Ryan, Agatha, Anthony and Mary Higgins Clark award winning author of TRUTH BE TOLD

“The women of the WISE (Welsh-Irish-Scots-English) Enquiries Agency are a lovely diverse bunch who sort out a variety of personal problems while investigating a corpse seen by an 80 year old (but not yet dotty) dowager with only a bloody (literal, not expletive) bobble cap for evidence. I was drawn by the deceptively light deft tone which which gives a poignancy to exchanges such as: ‘I have never used that word [senile], Mother.’ ‘You don’t have to say it, Henry. I can hear you think it!’ And I loved the posh Welsh setting and the enchanting McFli!” Ovidia Yu, author of Aunty Lee’s Deadly Specials.

“THE CASE OF THE DOTTY DOWAGER by Cathy Ace has everything you could want in a murder story: a body in the dining room, a duke’s ancestral home, and four brilliant ladies working together to solve the case. Think MISSION IMPOSSIBLE meets Lord Peter Wimsey, except the sleuths are Welsh, Irish, Scottish, and English ladies of varying ages and descriptions. THE CASE OF THE DOTTY DOWAGER is a traditional mystery that manages to be classic and thoroughly modern at the same time. Enjoy this one over a nice cuppa, but don’t spill it when things get exciting.” James W. Ziskin, Anthony nominated Author of the Ellie Stone Mysteries, STYX & STONE, NO STONE UNTURNED, and STONE COLD DEAD

 “Cathy Ace’s new series combines the best traditions of the Golden Age of mysteries with the completely modern and appealing ladies of the WISE Enquiries Agency, with some cutting-edge science thrown in. It’s a delightful mix!” Sheila Connolly, Agatha- and Anthony-Award nominated and New York Times Bestselling Author