Murder in an English Village

Murder in an English Village

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...

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Title:Murder in an English Village
Author:Jessica Ellicott
Rating:

Murder in an English Village Reviews

  • Anna Huber

    Absolutely delightful. Readers will fall in love with this intrepid new pair of sleuths as they sniff out the secrets hiding just beneath the surface of even the most unassuming English village.

  • Kristen

    I loved everything about this book! Delightful, start to finish, and I very much hope that the author has plans for more books in this series.

    This is your traditional "odd couple" story, and the two very different main characters - Edwina, the polite, slightly down-on-her-luck Brit, and Beryl, the flamboyant, well-off, and brassy American - make for a hugely fun romp of a cozy mystery!

    The contrast in Beryl and Edwina make a perfect combination, as it allows for each of them to take the lead at d

    I loved everything about this book! Delightful, start to finish, and I very much hope that the author has plans for more books in this series.

    This is your traditional "odd couple" story, and the two very different main characters - Edwina, the polite, slightly down-on-her-luck Brit, and Beryl, the flamboyant, well-off, and brassy American - make for a hugely fun romp of a cozy mystery!

    The contrast in Beryl and Edwina make a perfect combination, as it allows for each of them to take the lead at different times, and in different situations depending what's best, during their investigation of suspicious goings on in Edwina's small, supposedly quiet quaint English town, where Beryl has come to stay with her, not wanting to go back to America while Prohibition is still on.

    The two of them are wonderful in their own ways, and together they are just hilarious, clever, and the perfect complement to one another. They each also exasperate the other at times, which is its own kind of fun.

    The town is your typical small English village, but the supporting characters offer lots of fodder for goings-on and shenanigans that so often characterize such villages.

    Truly, everything about this book charmed and entertained me. I listened to this as an audio book, and had the added delight of it being narrated by Barbara Rosenblat, who is just spectacular, and who brings any book she narrates to the top of the mountain in terms of taking a book to the next level of wonderful by bringing story and characters fully to life through her narration. If you like audio format, this is a great book to listen to.

    Loved this start to finish, and already can't wait for a next book!

  • Fred

    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 an

    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.

  • Patricia

    Like all good murder mysteries, this is a solid character study; in this case, the subjects are an English village and its people after World War I. The effects of the war play an integral part in the plot—one character wears a tin mask to cover his horribly disfigured face; women and men are trying to return to the lives they lived before the war, but those lives are gone and that's not all bad; the central characters are both women who never did follow the accepted path and don't intend to sta

    Like all good murder mysteries, this is a solid character study; in this case, the subjects are an English village and its people after World War I. The effects of the war play an integral part in the plot—one character wears a tin mask to cover his horribly disfigured face; women and men are trying to return to the lives they lived before the war, but those lives are gone and that's not all bad; the central characters are both women who never did follow the accepted path and don't intend to start now, to the dismay and disapproval of the men who think they should run things. The unraveling of the crimes is clever, somewhat unexpected, and worth the read. The value of the book, though, is in its depiction of a time in history when people said "never again" to the idea of a war.

  • Mark Baker

    When Edwina’s funds get low enough, she starts advertising for a boarder. Fortunately for her, Beryl sees it. The two women, though very different, are boarding school friends, and this new living arrangement suits them both. But Beryl’s presence in Edwina’s small village creates some gossip, which Beryl fuels by hinting that the two women are actually employed by His Majesty. When someone tries to kill Edwina, the two realize there is a secret to uncover. What might it be?

    This book perfectly tr

    When Edwina’s funds get low enough, she starts advertising for a boarder. Fortunately for her, Beryl sees it. The two women, though very different, are boarding school friends, and this new living arrangement suits them both. But Beryl’s presence in Edwina’s small village creates some gossip, which Beryl fuels by hinting that the two women are actually employed by His Majesty. When someone tries to kill Edwina, the two realize there is a secret to uncover. What might it be?

    This book perfectly transports us back to 1920 and the English countryside. The repercussions of World War I are still there, and it is a fascinating look at how the war affected the rest of life. The British Edwina and American Beryl are very different, and their differences can be fun, yet they make a good detecting pair, and we feel the depth of their friendship. The plot is strong, keeping us surprised until the end.

    NOTE: I received an ARC of this book.

    Read my full review at

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  • Cathy Daniel

    Such a charming and wonderful book!! I enjoyed it so much. Edwina & Beryl are so wonderful and such good friends to each other. I love the small post WW1 little English village and the going ons and characters. Great cozy. Can't wait for more!

  • Ellen

    The world traveler and adventurer, Beryl Helliwell, realizes her old friend Edwina is in need of financial assistance when Edwina advertises for a lodger. The setting is post World War I! in a small village in England, where nefarious doings come to the attention of Edwina and Beryl. A fun start to a new cozy mystery series, with two strong female characters. Recommended for cozy lovers.

  • Susan

    As her income erodes after the end of World War I, gentlewoman Edwina decides to advertise for a boarder. Who should see her ad but her old finishing school friend, brash American Beryl, who has become notorious for her travel and adventures, but who is--between you and me--rather tired of her exploits and hoping for a rest. When Beryl tells the gossipy village shopkeeper a lie about the women's aims to save Edwina's face, Edwina becomes the target for attempted murder. Something is rotten in th

    As her income erodes after the end of World War I, gentlewoman Edwina decides to advertise for a boarder. Who should see her ad but her old finishing school friend, brash American Beryl, who has become notorious for her travel and adventures, but who is--between you and me--rather tired of her exploits and hoping for a rest. When Beryl tells the gossipy village shopkeeper a lie about the women's aims to save Edwina's face, Edwina becomes the target for attempted murder. Something is rotten in the village of Walmsley Parva, and it's up to the ladies to find out what it is.

  • Dorothy Hodder

    If someone tried to choke you with your own scarf as you walked your dog in your own garden the night after a mischievous friend put it about that you and she were investigating shady dealings in bucolic Walmsley Parva, would you then start seriously investigating instead of calling the local police constable? If you discovered your housemaid obviously murdered and dumped in a muddy field, would you simply roll your eyes and investigate on your own when the admittedly closed-minded, incompetent

    If someone tried to choke you with your own scarf as you walked your dog in your own garden the night after a mischievous friend put it about that you and she were investigating shady dealings in bucolic Walmsley Parva, would you then start seriously investigating instead of calling the local police constable? If you discovered your housemaid obviously murdered and dumped in a muddy field, would you simply roll your eyes and investigate on your own when the admittedly closed-minded, incompetent police constable ruled the death accidental, instead of calling for a supervisor up the line in London? And if someone walked in your unlocked front door a couple of days later, bashed you on the back of your head as you sat at your desk, and stole the Great War-era ledgers and journals you were combing for clues, would you continue investigating instead of consulting Scotland Yard or at least paying more attention to locking up? And would you and your friend blithely continue to split up to cover more ground with your investigations, each of you walking alone into suspects' lairs and asking baldfaced leading questions, even after you had been attacked twice already? If not, you are obviously not ready to star as an amateur lady sleuth in a cozy English village mystery. Edwina Davenport and her American schoolgirl chum turned international adventuress Beryl Helliwell carry on intrepidly in the style of Miss Marple and Jessica Fletcher, and survive to uncover nefariousness and foil amateur thuggery another day in what one assumes may become a new series.

    I read an advance uncorrected edition.

  • Lesa

    Jessica Ellicott introduces two delightful characters in the first in a new series, Murder in an English Village. Travel back in time to 1920, just after the First World War, or The Great War, as it's called in England. Beryl Helliwell is a famous American adventuress who has piloted planes, married several times, and is quite unhappy when the United States institutes Prohibition. When her former schoolmate, Edwina Davenport, advertises for a lodger, someone to help with expenses at her house in

    Jessica Ellicott introduces two delightful characters in the first in a new series, Murder in an English Village. Travel back in time to 1920, just after the First World War, or The Great War, as it's called in England. Beryl Helliwell is a famous American adventuress who has piloted planes, married several times, and is quite unhappy when the United States institutes Prohibition. When her former schoolmate, Edwina Davenport, advertises for a lodger, someone to help with expenses at her house in the English village of Walmsley Parva, Beryl finds it the perfect opportunity to escape America.

    Beryl crashes back into Edwina's life. In fact, her gorgeous red motorcar crashes into the pillars at the end of Edwina's drive. Beryl soon realizes she's arrived to add adventure and spice to Edwina's boring life. It only takes a story to the local village gossip, saying Edwina is a secret agent working for the king, to spark a change in the village outlook, and in Edwina's life. Of course, that means Edwina is attacked in her garden. To Beryl, it's obvious that someone in Walmsley Parva has a secret to keep hidden.

    Edwina can only think of one mystery in Walmsley Parva. During the war, one of the Land Girls, the young women who came to the country to help with farm work, disappeared. She seemed dependable, and not at all the time to leave. Beryl and Edwina decide to divide and conquer, asking questions of various residents. When another young woman is murdered, they're sure that they have stirred up trouble.

    Murder in an English Village is a quiet story in which the amateur sleuths investigate by questioning and talking with residents. The two characters together make an admirable duo in this enchanting story. While Edwina is a little afraid to investigate, and questions Beryl about her past experiences, Beryl responds. "What I have is a faultless sent of adventure and an enormous talent for making the best of things...Both of which I am attempting to share with you."

    Murder in an English Village is the perfect mystery to recommend to fans of Agatha Christie or the Jessica Fletcher stories. "Walmsley Parva was a beautiful little place. If you didn't mind the odd murder."

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