Murder in an English Village
As friends, the boisterous and brash American Beryl couldn’t be less alike than the prim and proper British Edwina. But as sleuths in an England recovering from the Great War, they’re the perfect match . . .
1920: Flying in the face of convention, legendary American adventuress Beryl Helliwell never fails to surprise and shock. The last thing her adoring public would expect is that she craves some peace and quiet. The humdrum hamlet of Walmsley Parva in the English countryside seems just the ticket. And, honestly, until America comes to its senses and repeals Prohibition, Beryl has no intention of returning stateside and subjecting herself to bathtub gin.
For over three decades, Edwina Davenport has lived comfortably in Walmsley Parva, but the post–World War I bust has left her in dire financial straits and forced her to advertise for a lodger. When her long-lost school chum Beryl arrives on her doorstep—actually crashes into it in her red motorcar—Edwina welcomes her old friend as her new roommate.
But her idyllic hometown has a hidden sinister side, and when the two friends are drawn in, they decide to set up shop as private inquiry agents, helping Edwina to make ends meet and satisfying Beryl’s thirst for adventure. Now this odd couple will need to put their heads together to catch a killer—before this sleepy English village becomes their final resting place . . .
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.).