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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 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 . . .


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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 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 . . .

30 review for Murder in an English Village

  1. 4 out of 5

    Juli

    It's 1920. England is recuperating from The Great War. In the quiet village of Walmsley Parva, American Beryl Helliwell seeks rest, relaxation and escape from Prohibition. There will be no bathtub gin for Beryl Helliwell! Her former school chum, Edwina Davenport, advertises for a boarder and Beryl jumps on the chance. The English countryside is just what she needs. The only problem is that Beryl is quite vivacious, brash and well, just un-Edwinalike. Edwin is prim, proper and .... very British. It's 1920. England is recuperating from The Great War. In the quiet village of Walmsley Parva, American Beryl Helliwell seeks rest, relaxation and escape from Prohibition. There will be no bathtub gin for Beryl Helliwell! Her former school chum, Edwina Davenport, advertises for a boarder and Beryl jumps on the chance. The English countryside is just what she needs. The only problem is that Beryl is quite vivacious, brash and well, just un-Edwinalike. Edwin is prim, proper and .... very British. But all is not quite so simple and safe in Walmley Parva. Beryl mentions that she and Edwina will be looking into some shady dealings in the village....and maybe she even exaggerated a bit in her insinuations that they were in Her Majesty's Service.....but she didn't expect it to lead to Edwina being attacked. When the attack is followed by the murder of their housemaid.....well, things might not be all sunshine and roses in Walmsley Parva after all. Edwina and Beryl need to find out what's going on in their little village, before one or both of them end up dead. This unlikely duo makes for a fun cozy mystery. Their personalities are so different, but together they make quite the team. I liked the mix of humor and mystery. The story moves along at a nice pace and there were plenty of suspects. A few times I wanted to grab hold of Beryl and shake her....but other than that, loved the characters and the story! I can't wait to read about their further exploits! To find out more about the author, check out her website: https://www.jessicaellicott.com/ **I voluntarily read an advanced readers copy of this book from Kensington via NetGalley. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.**

  2. 5 out of 5

    Anna Lee 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.

  3. 5 out of 5

    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 Carstairs Considers.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Holly

    In a new cozy mystery series, we meet two different women who are at loose ends after the ending of the Great War. Beryl, who is an adventuress, brash, outspoken American and Edwina, who is an old-fashioned posh English woman. Both are looking to altar their situations, so when Beryl sees an ad that is requesting for a tenant at her old school friend's estate, she jumps at the opportunity. Beryl is the answer that Edwina is looking for. She's struggling to make ends meet now that she is mistress In a new cozy mystery series, we meet two different women who are at loose ends after the ending of the Great War. Beryl, who is an adventuress, brash, outspoken American and Edwina, who is an old-fashioned posh English woman. Both are looking to altar their situations, so when Beryl sees an ad that is requesting for a tenant at her old school friend's estate, she jumps at the opportunity. Beryl is the answer that Edwina is looking for. She's struggling to make ends meet now that she is mistress of her vast estate. When Beryl arrives in town a murder takes place that she finds interesting and thinks her and Edwina can solve it. Especially when the local constable is a woman that has a one track mind and dismisses the murder as an accident. I really enjoyed the two different personalities of Beryl and Edwina. Beryl gives Edwina spice to her otherwise predictable life and Edwina gives Beryl the home/warmth that she needs. There were some humorous moments between them and I think they are going to make a great team going forward. *Thank to the publisher and Netgalley for an e-copy in exchange for an honest review.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Madeleine (Top Shelf Text)

    Another promising series for fans of cozy mysteries! This first book introduces us to friends Beryl and Edwina, who set out to solve a local murder. Beryl serves as the daring and brash friend, while Edwina is much more reserved. For fans of the Lady Hardcastle mysteries (though there’s less cheekiness in this). The local villagers weren’t quite as fleshed out as I would have liked, so I’m looking forward to reading the next in the series with the hope that we’ll get to know them more!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Tari

    I borrowed this from Overdrive for an online book club discussion. I really enjoyed one of the author's contemporary cozy mysteries (that she writes under a different name) so I knew that I would enjoy her historical cozy. It was well plotted and written, definitely read differently from what I'm used to reading, but it made me think more of the Agatha Christie type novel where the sleuth simply questions a lot of people. Being historical, it wasn't as humorous as her other series, but then peop I borrowed this from Overdrive for an online book club discussion. I really enjoyed one of the author's contemporary cozy mysteries (that she writes under a different name) so I knew that I would enjoy her historical cozy. It was well plotted and written, definitely read differently from what I'm used to reading, but it made me think more of the Agatha Christie type novel where the sleuth simply questions a lot of people. Being historical, it wasn't as humorous as her other series, but then people back then had a different type of humor. There were some good lighthearted moments in this though. I loved these two characters! I think opposites work great especially with women friends. It was fun to see two old friends reunited at a time when one of them needed some monetary help in the form of a lodger. Edwina was the more reserved one while Beryl was outgoing and a famous adventurer lady. I liked how Edwina came out of her shell and got more assertive with her ideas and with her questioning of the suspects. I also learned about something called the Land Army that I had never heard of before. It was all very interesting and a cleverly planned out mystery! I didn't guess the killer at all and what a great twist towards the end! I plan to read the next one in this new series.

  7. 5 out of 5

    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.

  8. 4 out of 5

    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! 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!

  9. 5 out of 5

    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.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Marta

    This was entertaining enough, but nothing special. I definitely did not suspect the culprit, as the information kept coming slowly. The characters were rather stereotypical, and much of the revelations smacked of melodrama, but I was in the mood for something light and fluffy, and it certainly fit that bill. Shout-out to the superb narration by Barbara Rosenblat. I am not usually a big fan of readers making up voices, but she was so perfect that I completely accepted them as separate characters. This was entertaining enough, but nothing special. I definitely did not suspect the culprit, as the information kept coming slowly. The characters were rather stereotypical, and much of the revelations smacked of melodrama, but I was in the mood for something light and fluffy, and it certainly fit that bill. Shout-out to the superb narration by Barbara Rosenblat. I am not usually a big fan of readers making up voices, but she was so perfect that I completely accepted them as separate characters. I suspect the story would have been less interesting if I was reading it myself.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

    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+

  12. 5 out of 5

    Annette

    Charming and delightful. A fun book. I enjoyed this first book so much I am now reading the second book and preordered the third. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading historical fiction, English village country life and the meaning of friendship.

  13. 4 out of 5

    QNPoohBear

    1920 England: The post-war boom has ended and the economy is in trouble, which is why Miss Edwina Davenport must advertise for a lodger. oh dear! She's never been so embarrassed in her life. Up to now anyway. Little does she know her life is about to take a different and exciting turn when her old school mate Beryl Heliwell, an American adventuress literally crashes into the village of Walmsley Parva! The whole village was gossipping about Edwina's pecuniary difficulties and now they have someth 1920 England: The post-war boom has ended and the economy is in trouble, which is why Miss Edwina Davenport must advertise for a lodger. oh dear! She's never been so embarrassed in her life. Up to now anyway. Little does she know her life is about to take a different and exciting turn when her old school mate Beryl Heliwell, an American adventuress literally crashes into the village of Walmsley Parva! The whole village was gossipping about Edwina's pecuniary difficulties and now they have something new to gossip about! Beryl decides to save her friend from embarrassment by declaring the two of them are actually top-secret government spies! It's almost too much for Edwina to take. When Edwina is attacked in her own garden at night, she becomes more determined than ever to get to the bottom of the mystery of the Land Army girl who went missing during the war years. The local constable, deploring unladylike women, dismissed the disappearance and that was that. After questioning a maid about her old boss, the girl turns up dead. Edwina and Beryl now have another mystery to solve! This is a really fun British cozy mystery. You have to ignore the obvious stupidity of two middle-aged women lying about being government spies even after being attacked and just go with the flow to enjoy the experience. The mystery is really tight. I went "a ha!" a few times at what I thought might be clues but nothing was adding up and the suspects were too obvious. I did eventually figure it out just before Beryl and Edwina and I figured out the motive just before the reveal. The motive was a let down. It was not what anyone had guessed. There's one additional plot twist to keep you on the edge of your seat. The writing style isn't bad. I can easily tell the difference between the ways the two main characters speak/think so the head jumping wasn't difficult to experience. I found the mystery went on too long. They kept questioning suspects and I knew they were questioning the wrong one since there was so much more book to get through. I mostly enjoyed the 1920s setting. I learned about the Land Army during WWI, something I was only familiar with from the second world war. Post-WWI and post-Spanish Influenza was such a dark time. This book doesn't shy away from the difficult realities of post-war economic depression, soldiers with "shellshock", disfigurements, deaths from the flu and even some other nitty gritty details. The author also seamlessly weaves in the changes to British society after the war. You have new advances in technology creating new jobs for people. The cinema brought new ideas into girls' heads and made them aspire to life above their "station" and thus fewer old-school style servants. The story also considers the expectations and treatment of women in the early 20th century. Things were changing slowly and village life changes even more slowly. Beryl is a force of nature. I'm not sure I really like her. The way she's written is very flat. While she has a lot of personality, there isn't much backstory or character growth. Beryl is just Beryl. She's larger than life and full of the devil. I really didn't like the lie she told the village gossip. It nearly cost her her friend's life. I was left wondering if she hadn't spread that rumor if Polly would still be alive. Beryl is funny. She adds the humor to this story. She also illustrates the difference between American and British conventions. While Edwina would never invite her jobbing gardner Simpkins into her home for a cup of tea, Beryl does (for something stronger, anway). Beryl sees people for who they are not the situation into which they were born. Not to say that Edwina is a snob, she is just socialized to believe this is the natural way of life. People who do menial labor are not those she socializes with. Edwina is solidly middle class with middle class values and respectability. She's a bit timid at first, being a very conventional spinster but her friend's arrival changes her life for the better. If you don't like Edwina at first- keep reading because she does start to change her views and stand up for herself. I like her character growth a lot. The village contains an assortment of quirky characters. Some are fun, some obnoxious and others deeply touched by the war. Prudence Rathbone, the village postmistress, is the most infuriating, annoying woman. She abuses her position to snoop on everyone else and spread their secrets far and wide. There is no village large enough to hold me and THAT WOMAN! I'd surely be inclined to murder her by now. Mamie Mumford is Prudence's bosom friend and partner in the gossip vine. She turns out to be a more well-rounded and likable character than Prudence. How can you not like the village baker and tea shop owner? Her husband, the cinema owner, leaves a lot more to be desired. Beryl takes his measure right away and I think anyone less naive than Edwina does too. Jobbing gardener Simpkins is a hoot. I don't understand his little long-running feud with Edwina but his friendship with Beryl is fun. He reveals a few surprises about himself that made me smile. Mr. Jarvis, Edwina's lawyer and possible love interest, infuriates me with his treatment of Edwina. He thinks he's being kind but he's just patronizing. Dr. Nelson also makes me angry with his comments on hysteria. I really don't care for him much even after all is revealed. Finally, there's Crumpet. Edwina's dear little dog. He doesn't have a large role in this story yet but he seems to know when people need him for comfort and he is very loyal to those he loves. The Wallingford Estate is at the center of the mystery. During the war the house was turned into a hospital for convalescing soldiers and the grounds became a government run farm. The farm was operated by the Women's Land Army. Several of the characters are involved in this part of the mystery. Hortense Merriweather managed the agricultural portion of the estate. She's not a super likable person. A typical English countrywoman, she manages efficiently but not with kindness. She is having a hard time adjusting to post-war society. Agnes, a young woman who managed the land girls, disappeared during the war. Her disappearance bothers Edwina for Edwina knew the girl as hard-working and reliable. Polly was one of the girls in Agnes's "gang" during the war. Now Polly works as a daily maid and she's not very good at it. Polly is a bit naive but I can't blame her for wanting a better life. I kind of liked her except for one bit at the very end I thought was a bit mean maybe. Does she know what happened to Agnes? Someone may think so and it costs Polly her life. Suspects include Michael, a mechanic and former soldier who suffered from shellshock. He formed a strong attachment to Agnes during his recovery but became quite possessive and scary. I feel really horrible for him to have to go through all that and then lose the one person who helped make him feel alive again but his interest in Agnes was unhealthy. His sister Norah seems like a capable girl but she's also intelligent enough to know how to hide things she doesn't want others to know. Then there's Norman Davies who ran the farm on the Wallingford Estate. Polly's ex-boyfriend was also seen to be getting violent with Agnes. He claims he's just trying to start up his own farm and make a life for himself but does he know what happened? Could he be a killer? I didn't really like him that much. From excessive drinking to excuses, anger and passion, he is a difficult man. Another ex-soldier is the mysterious Walter Bennett who runs the projector at the cinema. Disfigured in the war, his face is literally impossible to read. Who is he and what does he know about Polly? I really like him. He's such a sympathetic, gentlemanly man BUT could he be hiding something from his past that Polly knew? This book is very different from Jessie Crockett's contemporary cozy mysteries but still fun. I look forward to reading more about Beryl and Edwina in the future.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Missi Martin (Stockwell)

    Murder in an English Village by Jessica Ellicott takes the reader on a pleasant journey back in time....a time when things are just getting back to some kind of normalcy as a village recovers from the Great War. We meet Edwina Davenport who has to advertise for a lodger as a result of the after effects of the war....but luckily for her one of the people who responds to the advertisement is her old friend from boarding school, Beryl Helliwell. Edwina is having a hard time getting back in the good Murder in an English Village by Jessica Ellicott takes the reader on a pleasant journey back in time....a time when things are just getting back to some kind of normalcy as a village recovers from the Great War. We meet Edwina Davenport who has to advertise for a lodger as a result of the after effects of the war....but luckily for her one of the people who responds to the advertisement is her old friend from boarding school, Beryl Helliwell. Edwina is having a hard time getting back in the good graces of some members of the village due to her lack of funds so Beryl goes into town and tells Prudence Rathbone, the local gossip in town, a little lie that her and Edwina are investigators working for the King and that Edwina's hardships are actually a cover for their work. Beryl herself is kind of a celebrity as her adventures are well documented in the newspapers. Unfortunately even though it is a lie that Edwina and Beryl are investigators, someone in the village attacks Edwina the night that the lie was told. This forces Edwina to look back to when a local young girl went missing while working the fields while the men were at war and the local police didn't do much in the way of investigating. Edwina and Beryl find themselves asking questions and looking into things when they find another local girl dead in a field and again the local police are doing very little with the case ruling it as an accident. Havinig been the ones to find the girl and look around the scene, they are certain that it was not an accident..... Ellicott takes the reader on an adventurous journey and introduces them to some interesting characters in this quiet little English village and the twists and turns will captures the readers attention and keep it throughout this book. The reader will enjoy getting lost with Edwina and Beryl as their guides as they nagivate through the village finding justice for two young women......

  15. 5 out of 5

    Gaele

    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 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. Review first appeared at I am, Indeed

  16. 4 out of 5

    Linda Baker

    It's 1920 in England, the Great War is over, but it's devastating effects are still widespread and deeply felt. Beryl Helliwell, much-married and divorced aviatrix and adventurer has returned from her latest headline-grabbing escapade but is feeling at loose ends. While perusing the newspaper, she discovers an advertisement for a lodger in the home of Edwina Davenport in the quiet village of Walmsley Parva. Beryl may be an American, but she went to boarding school in England, and Edwina was her It's 1920 in England, the Great War is over, but it's devastating effects are still widespread and deeply felt. Beryl Helliwell, much-married and divorced aviatrix and adventurer has returned from her latest headline-grabbing escapade but is feeling at loose ends. While perusing the newspaper, she discovers an advertisement for a lodger in the home of Edwina Davenport in the quiet village of Walmsley Parva. Beryl may be an American, but she went to boarding school in England, and Edwina was her dearest friend. Beryl knows that nothing other than dire financial emergency would induce the spinster Edwina to place such an advertisement. It's Beryl to the rescue in her flashy red touring car. Besides, a bucolic village might be just the place for a rest. As all devotees of Miss Marple know, just about any evil can happen in an English village. Edwina's finances are as dire as Beryl suspected but still worse is the fact that the entire village knows it. The family home is deteriorating, she has had to let her already minimal help go except for an aging gardener, and she owes money to all the village shops. Beryl's solution is to settle Edwina's accounts and along the way spread the rumor that both she and Edwina are agents of the crown to the worst gossip in the village. This wacky tale backfires, however, when Edwina is attacked while out walking her dog. Who could have swallowed the wild tale whole and is afraid of what Edwina might know? Edwina thinks that it may be connected to the disappearance of a "Land Girl" working on a neighboring estate during the war. The local constable wrote it off as female flightiness, but Edwina pressed the issue as long as she could. The young woman in question had never shown any signs of irresponsibility. Bodies and suspects begin to pile up, with more possible motives than can be counted. Murder in an English Village is a delightful and often humorous cozy mystery. Edwina and Beryl are opposites in so many ways but still fast friends who complement each other. Well-grounded in historical fact, the novel takes a look at the many changes in social mores occurring at the time and lingering class-based prejudices. Barbara Rosenblat narrates the story with her mostly seamless switching between Beryl's American and British voices. I am looking forward to more of the adventures of these ladies of a "certain age." RATING- 4.5 Stars

  17. 5 out of 5

    FangirlNation

    Edwina Davenport gets into reduced circumstances and has to advertise for someone to rent a room from her in Murder in an English Village, set in 1920, by Jessica Ellicott. She is happy when her brash, internationally adventurous famous friend from their youth, Beryll Helliwell, responds to the ad, coming to her rescue both financially and socially. But the same night that Beryll suggests to the local busybody that Edwina has really been serving undercover with Beryll for the king and is setting Edwina Davenport gets into reduced circumstances and has to advertise for someone to rent a room from her in Murder in an English Village, set in 1920, by Jessica Ellicott. She is happy when her brash, internationally adventurous famous friend from their youth, Beryll Helliwell, responds to the ad, coming to her rescue both financially and socially. But the same night that Beryll suggests to the local busybody that Edwina has really been serving undercover with Beryll for the king and is setting out to solve some secret case, someone tries to strangle Edwina with her scarf. Read the rest of this review and other fun, geeky articles at Fangirl Nation

  18. 5 out of 5

    Christine Woods

    This was a really great Audible read. Well narrated and enjoyed it. A lot like an Agatha Christie whodunnit. If you read it just enjoy the story and don’t even try to figure out whodunnit because it won’t happen.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jayne

    I got this book at a 2 for 1 sale on Audible, and it was just ok. I wasn’t terribly taken by the characters. Even though cozy mysteries are one of my guilty pleasures, I doubt I’ll read anymore in this series unless I can get them for free.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Katherine

    Cozy mystery that was kind of boring; two former schoolmates reconnect after WWI and investigate a murder in a small English village. Rather than being cute and quaint, it was a bit drab and lacked engaging characters. Only recommended if you really like cozy mysteries.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    An outstanding first book in a new series. I kinda pride myself on being able to tell who/what/when/why/how by about the third or fourth chapter, but not this time. Everything was going along swimmingly and I was very satisfied with my sleuthing skills, convinced I knew who-dunnit, and then the author throws a twist in that I never saw coming. From that point on I was totally at the mercy of the author's unfolding plot. I loved it!! And then, still convinced I knew who-dunnit, everything changed An outstanding first book in a new series. I kinda pride myself on being able to tell who/what/when/why/how by about the third or fourth chapter, but not this time. Everything was going along swimmingly and I was very satisfied with my sleuthing skills, convinced I knew who-dunnit, and then the author throws a twist in that I never saw coming. From that point on I was totally at the mercy of the author's unfolding plot. I loved it!! And then, still convinced I knew who-dunnit, everything changed again. The plot was wonderful, the characters are someone to relate to and the village charming. I was on the hook right up till the very last twist, which was almost the last chapter. I can't wait to get into the next installment of Beryl and Edwina and see what they are up to now. I HIGHLY recommend this book!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Susan Dunn

    This book was a real disappointment. The setting, characters and plot sounded like a lot of fun. It didn’t even come close to living up to that potential. The characters are two-dimensional at best and they were anachronistic in the extreme. I usually give a new series the benefit of the doubt and wait to review it until two or three books have been published. This gives the author a chance to develop their characters more fully. This time, I won’t be trying whatever comes next. It’s just not wo This book was a real disappointment. The setting, characters and plot sounded like a lot of fun. It didn’t even come close to living up to that potential. The characters are two-dimensional at best and they were anachronistic in the extreme. I usually give a new series the benefit of the doubt and wait to review it until two or three books have been published. This gives the author a chance to develop their characters more fully. This time, I won’t be trying whatever comes next. It’s just not worth the time and effort.

  23. 4 out of 5

    RoseMary Achey

    This period mystery has some charming laugh out loud lines and I totally missed "who done it". A portion of the book moved a bit slowly but overall a fun read.

  24. 4 out of 5

    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."

  25. 4 out of 5

    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!

  26. 5 out of 5

    LindaJ^

    3.5 rounded up to 4.0 I quite enjoyed this thriller in which 2 middle-age women investigate the disappearance of one girl and the murder of another, when no one else, including the constable, have any desire to do so. Edwina and Beryl attended finishing school together. Now it is 30 plus years later - 1920. Beryl, an American woman who flaunts the traditional role but is tired of the spotlight, sees an advert her finishing school buddy Edwina put in the paper for a boarder. Edwina, frequently rem 3.5 rounded up to 4.0 I quite enjoyed this thriller in which 2 middle-age women investigate the disappearance of one girl and the murder of another, when no one else, including the constable, have any desire to do so. Edwina and Beryl attended finishing school together. Now it is 30 plus years later - 1920. Beryl, an American woman who flaunts the traditional role but is tired of the spotlight, sees an advert her finishing school buddy Edwina put in the paper for a boarder. Edwina, frequently reminded that she is a spinster, is living in the family home but her finances are basically exhausted. Beryl shows up and Edwina is quite pleased to have her stay with her. Beryl manages to stave in the front of her cherry red car trying to make the turn into the driveway and in the process knocks herself out. Beryl is often in the headlines, so is quickly recognized by the gossipers in the village of Walmsley Parva. Beryl tells the biggest gossip that she and Edwina are King's investigators looking into the wo-year old disappearance of a young lady. The ladies proceed to investigate, causing two attempts on Edwina's life and the uncovering of bits of scandal. There are mini-clashes between Edwina and Beryl, mostly based on Beryl being American and Edwina British, over such things as having the gardener in for lunch and Beryl's driving. Overall it was quite good fun.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Linniegayl

    This sounded like something I would love: a cozy/historical mystery set in a small town in England after WWI. The series features former school friends Edwina and international adventuress (and much married) Beryl. Beryl is at loose ends and when she notices an ad Edwina has posted in a paper for a lodger, Beryl rushes to Walmsley Parva to stay with Edwina. Beryl quickly realizes Edwina is impoverished and in a bad state, so decides to bring some “adventures” into her life. Soon, Beryl has peopl This sounded like something I would love: a cozy/historical mystery set in a small town in England after WWI. The series features former school friends Edwina and international adventuress (and much married) Beryl. Beryl is at loose ends and when she notices an ad Edwina has posted in a paper for a lodger, Beryl rushes to Walmsley Parva to stay with Edwina. Beryl quickly realizes Edwina is impoverished and in a bad state, so decides to bring some “adventures” into her life. Soon, Beryl has people believing the two were secret agents during the war, and they’re investigating a missing woman, and then a murder. Sadly, I found this quite boring, and didn’t care much for either Edwina or Beryl. I listened to it in audio, and the narration was fine, it was just the story and characters that were lacking. Unfortunately, I purchased it in one of Audible’s deals, and believing I would like the series, purchased the second as well. At some point I’ll listen to the second, and hope the series picks up, and that Beryl and Edwina become more interesting. Overall I’d give it a D, so two stars here.

  28. 5 out of 5

    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.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Judith

    The first book of what I would call a cozy English village mystery is a hit. The two main characters, Edwina and Beryl complement each other very well and have distinctive characters. The other (usual) suspects in the murder are also nicely and amusingly drawn. The time setting is soon after WWI when Britain is beginning to suffer economic doldrums; this is an unusual time setting so it is interesting to see how Elliott handles it. Equally amusing is the village, which in a sense is "one time fo The first book of what I would call a cozy English village mystery is a hit. The two main characters, Edwina and Beryl complement each other very well and have distinctive characters. The other (usual) suspects in the murder are also nicely and amusingly drawn. The time setting is soon after WWI when Britain is beginning to suffer economic doldrums; this is an unusual time setting so it is interesting to see how Elliott handles it. Equally amusing is the village, which in a sense is "one time forgot," enduring the lack of men (due to the war) and a place "where nothing happens"--until the (in)famous Beryl comes to visit her former school girl chum. A nice, light, entertaining read and I look forward to installment #2

  30. 5 out of 5

    Andrea

    Great Classic Cozy Mystery! t very much felt like I was watching a great classic mystery movie as I listened to this book on Audible. The narration is excellent! I loved the mystery, no gore at all, it was fun trying to figure out who did it. I loved Beryl and Edwina's sleuthing skills. I also love the excitement Beryl brought to Ed's life. I look forward to hearing/reading more of Beryl and Edwina's adventures!

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