Author: A. H. Richardson

Publisher: Serano Press, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-5152-8397-3,

Oh, those British mysteries! How I love them! From Agatha Christie to Ian Rankin (OK, he’s Scottish, and I go for the Irish stories too), the Inspectors, DCIs, and detectives, pros and aficionados, have always entertained me (so much so that my new book is an homage to Christie). This one’s a who-done-it a la Christie, mostly taking part in a rural village where everybody knows everybody, and everybody seems to be a suspect!

The cast of characters—it takes a village—features Inspector Stanley Burgess, the local constable, Sir Victor Hazlitt, nephew (really cousin) of Lady Armstrong, the richest woman in the village, and almost-famous actor Beresford Brandon. The latter two men go to Little Shendon to help Burgess find the murderer of the hated Mr. Fynche who seems to have had everyone in the village mad at him for one thing or the other and not regretting his demise.

There are twists and turns and an entire collection of English characters who are delightful in their eccentricities. Who did the dirty deed? The dirty deed seems associated with other ones. What connects them all? I’ll not go into details to avoid spoilers. Suffice to say that I had two candidates among the many but wasn’t sure until the end—I was right with one, but I suppose as an author I have an unfair advantage.

This author shows her British roots even though she now lives in Tennessee. Like many of us, she had a very interesting life before she became an author and before she came to the U.S., presumably most of that interesting life in Britain. I found this to be an entertaining mystery with all the key ingredients—good plot, characterization, description, dialogue, and a wee bit of dry British humor that follows the Goldilocks Principle. I read the print version for this review, but there’s also a reasonably priced e-book version. Definitely worth a summer read if you’re a fan of this genre.

The only negative for me were the residual editing errors, particularly those associated with quotation marks. Those can be a bit confusing at times, so readers will have to get past them—it’s easy enough to do if you’re an avid reader. Perhaps my eagle-like editing eye did me no favors! If you get past them, you’re bound to have an enjoyable read.