It has been six months since Dyce walked away (relatively unscathed) from the last murder mystery in Goldport, Colorado. In the past six months things have settled down a little, and she is finding her feet with her new boyfriend Cas and enjoying all the pitfalls that come with any new relationship. E is finally talking around other people which has eased her mind a little, but sometimes he comes out with some "Ben-isms" which are not so suitable for mixed company. Things are going slowly with Cas because Dyce doesn't want to confuse E if things don't work out long term, but they take the first step towards a more serious relationship when Dyce agrees to French polish a piano for Cas.
In the process of stripping the piano Dyce discovers a nest full of baby rats hidden inside the piano - along with a very old letter from a person who mysteriously disappeared many years before. With the baby rats safely collected, and with the help of Ben hand raised, Dyce is free to start thinking about that letter and the people who wrote and received it. Dyce should know better than to stir up the past though - if she learned anything from her last adventure it should have been that it is usually better to leave the murder solving to the professionals. Nothing sinister seems to be afoot though, it just seems as though there is some subtle manoeuvring to stop Dyce getting the information she needs - but that is just at first. It soon becomes clear that someone doesn't want Dyce to learn the truth, and they will stop at nothing to keep their secrets safe.
French polished murder is the second book in the Daring Finds series and is as delightful and entertaining as the first book in the series - although there are still some of the same language quirks that bugged me a little with the first book in the series. Dyce is still far from perfect, and she is more than a little neurotic about the oddest things - but that just makes her more endearing. I have come to really love little E too, he adds a touch of humour that can not be matched in any other series, and I love the expanded cast of rats and Peesgrass (partly because I am pretty sure I have a Peesgrass of my own).
The developing relationship between Dyce and Cas also adds to the drama / romance / humour, as does the relationship between Ben and Dyce. I think it says a lot about this series that even though sometimes the writing bugs me a little (and it is a very personal taste thing) I still eagerly look forward to the next book in the series to see what happens next for Dyce and her "team" - and what mishap and near miss she encounters next. Loads of fun and laugh out loud moments that seem something of a "crime" in a murder mystery series - should you really have so much fun when someone has died?