With Evan Can Wait, the fifth addition to her critically acclaimed series, Rhys Bowen creates a colorful, page-turning mystery set in two eras against the backdrop of a uniquely appealing small town filled with unforgettable characters.
Constable Evan Evans, sole police officer in the charming Welsh village of Llanfair, is assigned to assist an expedition to raise a World War II German bomber plane from a lake. The whole venture is being filmed for a documentary on World War II and Evans tries to assist the film crew by finding them local people with stories to tell. Little does he realize that resurrecting the past can sometimes mean opening old wounds. After some unhappy confrontations, it is not just the villagers who are upset by the filmmakers. Evans' own life is thrown into turmoil as he discovers his girlfriend Bronwen's past relationship with someone from the film crew.
Tensions build until one of the filmmakers disappears and is eventually found dead in a nearby slate mine. The case grows more complex as Evans slowly uncovers evidence that the victim had many enemies. In the process Evans also exposes an elaborate World War II scheme to hide paintings from the National Gallery. Do these paintings have something to do with the filmmaker's disappearance? How could he be connected to events that took place over half a century ago?
When a documentary film crew arrives in the Welsh village of Llanfair to try to raise a WWII German bomber sunk in a lake, Constable Evan Evans finds he has more to do than simply keep the curious at bay in this light police procedural. The film's arrogant and conceited director, Grantley Smith, manages to offend just about everyone, including Evan. To complicate matters, Grantley's partner on the project, Edward Ferrers, turns out to be the ex-husband of Evan's sweetheart, Bronwen Price. When Grantley falls out of the local scenic railway train unharmed, it appears to be an accident. But it's clearly murder when Evan discovers his body in a pool of water in an abandoned mine, weighed down with slate. More suspenseful (and intriguing) are the recorded memoirs, interspersed with the main action, of old Trefor Thomas, who recounts how he and his greedy girlfriend schemed to steal a painting from the National Gallery collection stored in a Welsh mine during WWII. The two seemingly unrelated plot lines knit together nicely in the end. As in the four previous books in the series (Evans Above, etc.), Bowen's great strength is her endearing Welsh characters, from the modest Evan to such amusing locals as the saucy barmaid and the rival chapel preachers. This mystery is sure to appeal to those who prefer old-fashioned, heartwarming stories to tawdry tales full of graphic sex and violence.