Murder Through the English Post by Jessica Ellicott

EXCERPT: The envelope seemed to be a perfectly ordinary sort. In fact, there was nothing about it that called any notice. It certainly did not seem the sort of thing to provoke offense. In fact, the hand writing was extremely tidy and legible. It was addressed to Michael Blackburn at the garage and had been neatly slit open with a letter opener. There was no return address and it had been postmarked for the previous week. Edwina slipped her hand inside and extracted a sheet of paper. She unfolded it and, to her surprise, saw before her a document comprised of letters and words cut from newspapers and magazines. She quickly read through the information it contained then looked back at Michael.

‘I can see why you would be infuriated by receiving this.’ She turned towards Norman. ‘Norman, did you tell customers at Mr Scott’s shop that Michael had not in fact received his injury by fighting the enemy but rather had been shot while trying to desert his unit?’ Edwina asked, tapping her finger against the offensive document.

She kept her eyes trained carefully on Norman Davies face. She considered herself to be quite a good judge of dishonesty and all she saw flickering across his face was complete and total bafflement. He shook his head slowly as if stunned by what he was hearing.

‘I would never say a thing like that. I would never even think of things like that. Michael and I have been friends since we were boys and I know exactly what kind of man he is. Who would say such a hateful thing about him, or about me?’ Norman said turning back towards the assembled crowd in the gallery.

Who indeed? Edwina wondered.

ABOUT ‘MURDER THROUGH THE ENGLISH POST’: A rash of poison pen letters has enveloped the sleepy English village of Walmsley Parva in cloud of suspicion and paranoia. But when rampant aspersions culminate in murder, enquiry agents Beryl Helliwell and Edwina Davenport must stamp out the evil-minded epistles . . .

What began for two dear if very different friends–an American adventuress and a prim and proper Brit–as a creative response to the lean times following the Great War has evolved into a respectable private enquiry business. So much so that Constable Gibbs calls upon Beryl and Edwina to solve a curious campaign of character assassination.

A series of anonymous accusations sent via post have set friend against friend and neighbor against neighbor. In her new position as magistrate, Edwina has already had to settle one dispute that led to fisticuffs. Even Beryl has received a poison pen letter, and while she finds its message preposterous and laughable, others are taking the missives to heart. Their headstrong housekeeper Beddoes is ready to resign and one villager has attempted to take her own life.

The disruption of the peace goes far beyond malicious mischief when another villager is murdered. Now it’s up to the intrepid sleuths to read between the lines and narrow down the suspects to identify the lethal letter writer and ensure that justice is delivered . . .

MY THOUGHTS: Delightfully entertaining.

Although this is #6 in a series, and I haven’t read any of the previous books – something I intend remedying – I had no problems with either the storyline or the characters. The author kindly provides just enough background on the characters so that the reader knows a little about them and how they came to their present positions, and each book is a ‘self-contained’ mystery.

This series is set after the war in the English village of Walmsley Parva, where life proceeds at a slow pace and, if you want to know the current gossip you pay the local postmistress a visit. There’s a village pub, a village doctor, a store, a church or two, and the gardening circle.

Edwina has been in some financial difficulties, making it necessary for her to take in lodgers, resulting in somewhat unusual living arrangements, themselves the cause of some village gossip. Beryl, an American, has been slow to have been accepted by the locals, her different background and lack of knowledge of etiquette causing a few problems. Simpkins, the second lodger, was the gardener and husband of the Edwina’s recently deceased housekeeper.

Edwina and Beryl have started a Private Investigators Agency, something totally unheard of for two women to undertake in this era! It is to them that the local constable turns when a rash of poison pen letters start being received in the village. Through their investigation we meet many of the villagers, and I had to wonder, as the contents of the various letters were revealed, if there couldn’t be a grain of truth in at least some of the accusations.

The author kept me interested throughout this book. She gave nothing away and there were no obvious suspects. I was kept guessing right up to the very satisfying conclusion. I enjoyed the main characters’ quirks and the easy relationship between the three housemates. The dialogue is well written and flows easily, as does the plot.

Altogether a fun and satisfying read. I was lucky enough to be provided with both a digital and audio copy of Murder Through the English Post, and enjoyed both equally.

⭐⭐⭐.6

#MurderThroughtheEnglishPost #NetGalley

I: @jessicaellicottauthor @kensingtonbooks @recordedbooks

T: #JessicaEllicott @KensingtonBooks

#cosymystery #historicalfiction @recordedbooks

THE AUTHOR: Jessica Ellicott loves fountain pens, Mini Coopers, and throwing parties. She lives in northern New England where she obsessively knits wool socks and enthusiastically speaks Portuguese with a shocking disregard for the rules of grammar.

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Kensington Books for providing the digital ARC and RB Media for providing the audio ARC of Murder Through the English Post by Jessica Ellicott for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

For an explanation of my rating system please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com

This review is also published on Twitter, Amazon, Instagram and Goodreads.com

Advertisement

Author: sandysbookaday

I love good quality chocolate. I love the ocean and love to be in, on or beside it. I read any and every where. I am a proud mum and Nana. I like wine, gin, Southern Comfort, a cold Heineken on a hot day. I am very versatile like that. I cross stitch, do jigsaws, garden, and work on a farm. I am an occasional scribbler. I have far too many books I want to read to ever find the time to die. I am an active member of Goodreads as Sandy *the world could end while I was reading and I would never notice* and review on Amazon under the name Sandyj21. My Goodreads reviews are automatically linked to my Facebook page. Groups I belong to and participate in on Goodreads include: The Mystery, Crime and Thriller Group; Mysteries and Crime Thrillers; Psychological Thrillers; Reading for Pleasure; Crime Detective Mystery Thrillers; English Mysteries; Dead Good Crime; Kindle English Mystery, All About Books and NZ Readers. April 2016 I made the Top 1% of Goodreads reviewers (As follows) Hello Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*, In our community of readers, you stand out in a notable way: You're one of the top 1% of reviewers on Goodreads! With every rave and every pan, with every excited GIF and every critical assessment, you've helped the Goodreads community get closer to a very important milestone – the 50 Million Reviews mark!

5 thoughts on “Murder Through the English Post by Jessica Ellicott”

  1. I don’t read a lot of historical cozy mysteries, but this one sounds good. I have looked at this series a number of times, so now to see if my library has them or not. I do like the sound of the setting. Great review, Sandy.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: