Murder in an English Glade

Jessica Ellicott. Kensington, $26 (304p) ISBN 978-1-4967-2485-4
Early in Ellicott’s delightful fourth 1920s mystery featuring American Beryl Helliwell and her English friend, Edwina Davenport (after 2020’s Murder Comes to Call), the two proprietors of the Davenport and Helliwell Private Enquiry Agency are approached by Constance Maitland, of “an old, highly respected family” in Walmsley Parva, England. Mrs. Maitland says she suspects her sister-in-law is having an affair with a guest at an artists’ colony she’s hosting at her estate, Maitland Park. Beryl and Edwina agree to pose as guests, even though it soon becomes clear that their client wants them to conduct a sham investigation for her own nefarious purposes. When one of the guests at Maitland Park is strangled, the duo are in place to gain the confidences of household members in an effort to identify the killer. Shifting viewpoints move the plot briskly along right up to the surprising conclusion. Along the way, Ellicott does a good job conveying the fluidity of the British social order after WWI and how the paucity of men opened many opportunities for women. Downton Abbey lovers should be pleased. Agent: John Talbot, Talbot Fortune. (Nov.)
Reviewed on : 08/20/2021
Release date: 10/26/2021
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
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