It’s publication day for A Very English Murder, and this is a wonderful book to escape into and forget about the world around you for a little while!
I think I’ve said this before, but I’m going to say it again … I don’t know why I’ve always avoided the ‘cosy mystery’ genre because it’s absolutely delightful!
Eleanor Swift has arrived back in England after the death of her uncle. She’s inherited his home, Henley Hall, and also the title of ‘Lady’, which she prefers not to use. She’s been an intrepid world adventurer for the last few years and is in a quandry about returning to her homeland. In fact, she returned on the first (hazardous) flight from South Africa, which included 2 crash landings!
She reaches her new home, which she actually hasn’t visited since she was a child, and has only vague recollections of, to a rather chilly reception from her uncle’s butler, Clifford, who is of indeterminate age. She feels sure he must be much older than her uncle was, but thinks it must be quite rude to go and die on one’s employer’s time, which is why he’s still around. Finding herself at a bit of a loss as to what to do with herself, she decides to go exploring, which is what she generally does best. So off she goes, despite the fact that there are stormy skies above, which she doesn’t seem to notice. She takes a companion with her. Her uncle’s adorable dog, Gladstone is desperate for an escape from the musty old mansion, and so he goes with.
Predictably, the weather quickly turns foul, and caught in a terrible storm, Ellie and Gladstone look for somewhere to shelter. She sees a light up ahead through the trees and heading towards it, seeing someone through the window, is relieved that someone is home to receive them. But just as soon as she sees this person, she witnesses them being shot! She rushes as fast as she can to the scene, but strangely, there’s no blood and no body.
She gets back to Henley House and immediately tells Clifford what she’s seen. He convinces her to call the police which she does. However, she now needs to convince them that a murder has indeed taken place. Not surprisingly, with no evidence to show, they don’t believe her. Not being one to shy away from a challenge, and thrilled that what she thought was going to be a boring life in the English countryside has now turned into somewhat of an adventure, Ellie sets out to to prove that a murder did actually take place. Not only that, but she is going to find the victim and the perpetrator, with or without the help of the local constabulary. Help comes from surprising places, and Clifford (and Gladstone) proves to be quite the impressive sidekick.
This is a rollicking read. Ellie is really quirky and so likeable. This is 1920’s rural England, and the locals don’t quite know what to make of her – she’s independent and outspoken, not shy and introverted and young English ‘roses’ are expected to be. She knows what she wants and she’s not afraid to go out and ask for it. She’s an awesome trailblazer and I can’t wait to read more about her adventures and what she’s going to get up to next!
4 stars for this lovely, refreshing read! Thank you to Bookouture for inviting me to tour with them once again. Take a look at what other bloggers are saying about A Very English Murder …