With the warmth, charm, and wry sense of humor that won readers' hearts in Evans Above, Rhys Bowen offers a delightful installment to an already cherished mystery series: Evan Help Us.
Evan Evans is settling into his role as Constable of Llanfair, a small town nestled in the mountains of North Wales. Here, he has been a mediator of the minor disputes of the locals, between competing ministers, country merchants, and seemingly every Welch eccentric throughout the region. But an unusual series of events brings unseen hostilities to light, and Evan realizes just how deep the townsfolk's passions and hostilities lie.
While the village of Llanfair has always been at odds with the neighboring town of Beddgelert, an intriguing archeological find in the nearby hills brings that rivalry to dangerous extremes, and creates a circus of local enthusiasm and gossip. The circus quickly turns deadly, however, when Llanfair's prodigal son, Ted Morgan, announces plans to erect an amusement park over the site's excavation. Soon Constable Evans is drawn into a whirl of cultural pride, deception, and greed, and while he's at it uncovers the town's undaunted ambition - to earn the right to the longest name in the world.
The pseudymous Bowen, a veteran English mystery author, continues the estimable cozy series starring Constable Evan Evans (Evans Above, 1997). Llanfair, North Wales, has suddenly become a hotbed of change: a single woman and her daughter move into the village; Colonel Arbuthnot, a yearly visitor from London, discovers a ruin in the nearby hills he claims is the relic of Camelot; and native Ted Morgan returns to his hometown with grandiose plans to turn an abandoned mine into a theme park. That the Colonel dies after he has sown visions of fame and plenty among Llanfair residents raises suspicions of homicide in Evans. When Morgan is found shot to death, Evans is convinced that the two incidents are related. With the help of Sergeant Watkins, he attempts to establish a connection between the prodigal former resident, the beautiful young woman and the elderly visitor. The only apparent link seems to rest in London, prompting the intrepid Welshmen to brave the metropolis and solve the case. In the course of tracking down the killer, Evans becomes the object of desire for the new woman, a turn of events that jeopardizes his relationship with a local teacher. Bowen's quiet humor and her appreciation for rural village life make this a jewel of a story.