cover image Murder in an English Village

Murder in an English Village

Jessica Ellicott. Kensington, $25 (304p) ISBN 978-1-4967-1050-5

Set in 1920, Ellicott’s spectacular series launch reunites two old schoolmates in the U.K. When forthright American Beryl Helliwell, who attributes her youthful appearance to a “love of quality gin and an adamant refusal to bear children to any of her ex-husbands,” spots the ad for a lodger placed by her friend Edwina Davenport, a proper Englishwoman who has run short of funds, she can’t believe her luck. Retiring to the quiet hamlet of Walmsley Parva is just the reprieve Beryl wants from her madcap life, as well as from Prohibition back in America. Beryl surprises Edwina by crashing her car into one of the stone pillars flanking the drive to Edwina’s house. Soon after Beryl settles in, someone attacks Edwina while she’s walking her dog in her garden. After the friends discover a young woman’s body in a field, they take it upon themselves to fill the gaps left by the local constable’s inadequate investigation. Reflections on the changes in post-WWI society lend substance to this light mystery. Ellicott is a pen name of Jessica Estevao, author of the Change of Fortune series (Whispers Beyond the Veil, etc.). Agent: John Talbot, Talbot Fortune Agency. (Nov.)