Murder in an English Village

Murder in an English Village

by Jessica Ellicott

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As friends, the boisterous and brash American Beryl couldn’t be less alike than the prim and proper British Edwina. But as sleuths in an England recovering from the Great War, they’re the perfect match . . .
1920: Flying in the face of convention, legendary American adventuress Beryl Helliwell never fails to surprise and shock. The last thing her adoring public would expect is that she craves some peace and quiet. The humdrum hamlet of Walmsley Parva in the English countryside seems just the ticket. And, honestly, until America comes to its senses and repeals Prohibition, Beryl has no intention of returning stateside and subjecting herself to bathtub gin.
For over three decades, Edwina Davenport has lived comfortably in Walmsley Parva, but the post–World War I bust has left her in dire financial straits and forced her to advertise for a lodger. When her long-lost school chum Beryl arrives on her doorstep—actually crashes into it in her red motorcar—Edwina welcomes her old friend as her new roommate.
But her idyllic hometown has a hidden sinister side, and when the two friends are drawn in, they decide to set up shop as private inquiry agents, helping Edwina to make ends meet and satisfying Beryl’s thirst for adventure. Now this odd couple will need to put their heads together to catch a killer—before this sleepy English village becomes their final resting place . . .

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781496710512
Publisher: Kensington
Publication date: 10/31/2017
Series: Beryl and Edwina Mystery Series , #1
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 19,371
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

Jessica Ellicott loves fountain pens, Mini Coopers, and throwing parties. She lives in northern New England where she obsessively knits wool socks and enthusiastically speaks Portuguese with a shocking disregard for the rules of grammar.

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Murder in an English Village 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A good first novel. Would read more in the series if they are available. Many village characters were introduced who could feature in future novels.
gaele More than 1 year ago
AudioBook Review: Stars: Overall 4 Narration 4 Story 4 Edwina Davenport couldn’t be more different from her school-friend, American adventuress Beryl Helliwell, but the proper Englishwoman Edwina needs both a friendship and the money that Beryl provides. Edwina had finally decided to advertise for a lodger, perfect timing for Beryl who wants a quieter pace, removed from her ‘always on show’ life. Seeing the advert, Beryl drives to Walmsley Parva, and reenters Edwina’s life with a bang, literally. But, claiming to want a quieter life, and actually achieving that goal, along with a fierce need to ‘protect’ her friend, Beryl drops hints that the two actually are working for His Majesty’s Service, looking into some shady happenings in the village, the story takes a series of twists that she never could have imagined. Such a clever set-up with laugh out loud moments from events and particularly the interactions and differences in style between Edwina and Beryl, they are soon faced with an attack on Edwina and their housemaid’s murder. Perhaps Beryl wasn’t too far off the mark when she suggested that all was not as it seemed in the little village. More considered and cautious Edwina contrasts nicely with Beryl’s more exuberant ‘grab an idea and go’ approach, which leads to several suspects of the moment, before the culprit and motive are found. Secondary characters, drawn in by Beryl’s almost childlike friendliness (she’s like a puppy where Edwina is more feline in her reserve) bring laugh out loud moments when Edwina’s sense of propriety clash with the very real and unfussy Simpkins, the slightly condescending Constable Gibbs and the other residents add layers of interest and a sense of village to the story. Fast-paced, intriguing and engaging, this is a lovely start to a new series with a touch of the times and sense of what was to add interest. Narration for this story is provided by Barbara Rosenblat, who epitomizes the reserve and proper Edwina easily, with a touch more youthful exuberance to Beryl that helps to bring their contrasting personalities and styles to the forefront. Secondary characters are presented with subtle changes in enunciation and pace, making them distinct in impressions as the visual imagery catches up to the listener: even without a ‘biographic’ detail of characters, one can hear the difference in social levels and education instantly. A lovely listen that kept the story moving forward without becoming confusing or rushing through important elements necessary to the solution. I received an AudioBook copy of the title from Recorded Books for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed it and recommend it highly.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Some readers may find the pace slow but I enjoyed the character development. I plan to purchase the next in the series and I hope there will be many more to come.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
BeagleGirl123 More than 1 year ago
Very nice start to (hopefully!!!) a new cozy series set in post-WWI rural England, with two longtime friends - Beryl the famous adventuress and Edwina the quiet spinster - as our lead heroines. The mystery was very well-written (lots of suspects!!!) and I really enjoyed the setting. Absolutely recommend to fans of English cozies! A+
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
PatD More than 1 year ago
Murder in an English Village is a wonderful beginning to a new series set in post-WW1 England. Our two sleuths, Beryl and Edwina, meet again after many years and help each other out, financially and emotionally. The personal pasts are hinted at, but not fully explored in this first mystery. I look forward to discovering more about these ladies and what events brought them to their current situations. The two tackle the disappearance of a Land Girl during the war and the accidental death/murder? of a former Land Girl in the present time. Quiet English villages are anything but!
Carstairs38 More than 1 year ago
War and Murder As a traditional/cozy mystery fan, there are so many sub-genres to pick from that it can be overwhelming at times. One I generally don’t read is the English village myster. For some reason, that doesn’t usually grab my attention, which might help explain why I have read so few Agatha Christie books. But when Jessica Ellicott (also known as Jessie Crockett and Jessica Estevao) released Murder in an English Village, I immediately planned to give it a try since I’ve enjoyed her other books. This book transports us to 1920 and the small English village of Walmsley Parva. Lifelong resident Edwina Davenport is having a hard time making ends meet, so she places an advertisement for a boarder. The last person she expects to answer is her old boarding school friend Beryl Helliwell. Beryl is an American famous for her adventures all over the globe. But Beryl is at loose ends and looking for a little quiet and stability. On her first afternoon in the village, Beryl drops some hints to the local gossip that the two are secretly working for His Majesty, hoping to help Edwina save face concerning her finances. Instead, someone tries to strangle Edwina that night. Obviously, someone has a secret to hide. The only thing Edwina can think of is the disappearance of a young woman who was in the area working on the local farm during the recently ended Great War. Edwina always felt that this disappearance didn’t get the attention it truly deserved, so the two friends begin to hunt for someone who might know what really happened. What will they uncover? There really is much to praise in this book. Let’s start with the vastly mismatched main characters. Edwin and Beryl are a ton of fun together. Edwina is from a proper British family that has fallen on hard times, so she is used to having servants and the class system that goes with them. Beryl is the complete opposite, and some of their interactions are funny as a result. Yet, no matter how different they are, we still get a good sense of their friendship. Through the rest of the characters, we get a real sense of what the War to End All Wars really did to the people who stayed home. In fact, the events of World War I, which ended just a couple of years before this book is set, drive much of the plot. This backstory also really helps flesh out the suspects and the setting. The plot is strong as well. I’m only teasing the very beginning, but as events proceed and layers are unpeeled, we find more secrets than Edwina would have guessed her neighbors are hiding. I did figure out the solution about the same time that Edwina and Beryl did, but even then, there was another couple twists I didn’t see coming. The book is told third person from both Edwina and Beryl’s points of view, with a few passages from others slipped in. This is never confusing since we always get a clear breaking point when the point of view is changing and really strengthens the story. Now that I’ve found a home for myself in Walmsley Parva, I hope to be back to visit my new friends Edwina and Beryl again soon. Murder in an English Village is a fun series debut that will leave you anxious for a return trip back in time. NOTE: I received an ARC of this book.
ArizonaJo More than 1 year ago
Murder in an English Village by Jessica Ellicott was an enjoyable historical cozy mystery. The writing is descriptive as readers are introduced to Beryl, American advenutress, and Edwina, British woman of a higher social class, and the village of Walmsley Parva after WWI. Beryl and Edwina met in school and then drifted apart. Now Beryl is looking for some quiet in her life and Edwina needs some monetary help as England is recovering during the post war era. The story is smoothly paced and well written and there was actually more than one mystery to be solved in this book. I did find that a couple of times during the story I stopped reading because I was questioning their common sense as they continued to split up during their "investigation". However, the characters were well developed and Walmsley Parva was a fine example of village life in England during it's WWI recovery. I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book from Kensington via NetGalley. All of the above opinions are my own. My rating is 3.5 stars.
chefdt More than 1 year ago
Murder In An English Village is the first book in the Beryl And Edwina Mystery series. It’s 1920 and Beryl Helliwell, an adventuress has decided that she needs a little peace and quiet and heads to her sleepy childhood village of Walmsley Parva. As she is looking through the local newspaper she notices an advertisement by her childhood friend, Edwina Davenport, for a genteel lodger. Beryl immediately motors over to her friends. She soon learns that Edwina has been having financial difficulties and rumors are being spread around the village that she is destitute. Beryl comes up with a plan to put the rumors to rest about Edwina’s financial situation and heads to the business area of Walmsley Parva, seeking out gossip-monger, Prudence Rathbone. Beryl “lets it slip” that she and Edwina are secret agents for His Majesty and are doing top-secret work in Walmsley Parva, which they’re not, but know that word will be known by everyone in the village in a matter of seconds. That evening while Edwina is walking her dog in her garden, she is attacked and somebody tries to strangle her. Later Edwina and Beryl are discussing the event and begin to wonder if the story about they’re investigating something led to the attack on Edwina. The only thing mysterious that has happened in the village was the disappearance of Agnes Rollins, a well-liked young lady who had been working with the Land Army during the WWI at Wallingford Estate. Evidently, no in the village has heard from her and people aren’t sure if she is dead or alive. Beryl and Edwina set off to investigate the Rollins disappearance and have interviewed several people who were known to have had contact with her while she was working in the Land Army. Then, when a day maid from the village is found dead in a field at Wallingford Estate and Constable Gibbs rules it an accident. Beryl and Edwina saw evidence that they think clearly points to murder and they begin to believe that the two are related. The story is well-plotted and told story with an interesting cast of believable characters. The characters I enjoyed the most were Beryl and handyman Simpkins. Simpkins, a widower, will never appear on the cover of GQ, but he is a character to be reckoned with and even thought Edwina is aghast at him sitting at her dining room table with his dirty boots and clothes, she learns of a few admirable qualities. Even though Beryl seems to be a full steam ahead lady, one has to enjoy her take charge demeanor. This was a very enjoyable introduction to post WWI rural England and its residents. I will definitely be awaiting the next book in the series.
Vesper1931 More than 1 year ago
1920 and in the village of Walmsley Parva Edwina Davenport gets more than she bargained for when old friends Beryl Helliwell replies to her advertisement for a lodger. Trying to help out her friend Beryl insinuates that they are detectives looking into the secrets of the village, not helped by the total ineptitude of the local untrained constable. An unlikely pair, but a delightful pair, a well-written easy to read mystery and look forward to reading the next in the series Received an Advanced Reader Copy