I'd have to go with "brain candy" as the best description of this Edwardian period mystery. Chesney (Beaton) is a highly prolific mystery writer whose other series include Agatha Raisin and Hamish Macbeth. The scenes are short, with a dashed-off-in-5-minutes quality to the writing; the plot starts with a series of small detective-in-action mini-mysteries, which I liked, but then devolves into the standard Clue "Manor House" mystery.
There is an odd mash up of period detail (step-by-step instructions for washing colored stockings) with characters so uninhibited they feel like banana trees in an apple orchard. Mostly, I think Chesney doesn't land on tone: whimsical, comedic piles of coincides weave throughout talk of veneral disease and brains leaking out on the rug. A fast read, and some reviewers on Good Reads do like her, but just too empty for my taste.