Meanwhile, at the Dernstrum Institute… by Catherine Griffin (Mystery)
England, 1923: Following the death of her eccentric inventor father, Constance Wright has no money and no prospects. She takes a secretarial job at the scientific institute founded by her late godfather. There, in between learning to type, fending off her boss, coping with the Giant Walking War Machine, ghosts, and a dangerous variety of cabbage, she discovers her godfather left her a trail of clues to follow. Clues that might lead her to a fortune… if she can find it. And someone else is already on the trail…
Eccentrics are the norm at the Dernstrum Institute, where inventors of oddball things come to live and work in the isolated town of Uggley-on-Sea on the Somerset coast. Told in the first person by young Constance Wright, this story comes complete with the sinister director of the institute, the crabby housekeeper/cook, the con artist, the medium, the vicar, and a couple of well-intentioned but misguided inventors. We get a glance at life in the 1920s, while also facing the mystery of what really caused the death of Professor Dernstrum, and what is he trying to tell his god-daughter with his posthumous clues? The narrator’s wry observations are part of the fun, and while the story is so-so, it provides a light, entertaining read.
Grandma gives Meanwhile at the Dernstrum Institute… four stars.