Murder in an English Glade
Book 5 now available
American adventuress Beryl Helliwell and reserved Brit Edwina Davenport may seem an unlikely pair, but they have reinvented themselves in the lean years following World War I as private enquiry agents. Now they’ve been engaged to stage a faux investigation—until murder makes it all too real…
When a member of the Walmsley Parva upper crust, Constance Maitland, seeks to hire Beryl and Edwina for a sham investigation into an alleged dalliance by her sister-in-law Ursula to quell potentially scandalous accusations by an unstable cousin, it is with mixed feelings that they agree to pose as guests at her home, Maitland Park. Edwina is uncomfortable with the ruse, but Beryl is eager to escape tension with their feisty housekeeper and hobnob with bohemians as the Maitland family hosts an artists colony.
But when the painter suspected of having an affair with Ursula is found strangled beside his easel in a glade, the pretense turns into a genuine murder enquiry. With Maitland Park overrun by artists, every guest—not to mention family member—is now a suspect.
Beryl and Edwina must determine if they are dealing with a crime of passion or if there are more complex motives in play, which may include the family cigarette business, cutthroat artistic competition, or secrets from the war years. In any case, the intrepid sleuths will not leave until they have smoked out the real killer…
Murder Comes to Call
The lean years following World War I can lead to desperate acts—even in the quiet English village of Walmsley Parva. When a series of burglaries seems to culminate in murder, brash American Beryl Helliwell and proper, buttoned up Brit Edwina Davenport (and her dog, Crumpet) are eager to solve the case in Jessica Ellicott’s fourth Beryl and Edwina Mystery…
World-renowned adventuress Beryl Helliwell cited for “reckless” motoring? Why, the very idea! Constable Gibbs just has it in for her. The solution? Charm the magistrate, of course. But days after Beryl’s appearance before the bench, she and Edwina pay a visit to the magistrate only to find his home ransacked and the man himself lying dead at the bottom of a grand staircase.
Given the state of the house, his death appears to be connected to a rash of robberies in the village. Declan O’Shea, the handsome helper Beryl hired to assist their aged gardener Simpkins, falls under suspicion after having had his own run-in with the magistrate—but mostly, Beryl believes, because he’s Irish.
While unofficially looking into the magistrate’s murder, the ladies are hired in their official capacity as private inquiry agents to find census reports that have gone missing. Is someone trying to hide something from the census takers–and could that theft have anything to do with the magistrate’s death? Beryl and Edwina are once again in fine form as they engage in a little reckless sleuthing to bring these assorted mysteries to a speedy conclusion…
Murder Cuts the Mustard
In the lean years following World War I, brash American adventuress Beryl Halliwell and prim and proper Brit Edwina Davenport form a private inquiry agency to make ends meet, hoping that crime does indeed pay…
The latest occurrence to disturb the peace in the quaint English village of Walmsley Parva hits rather too close to home – in fact, the prime suspect has taken up residence in Edwina’s potting shed. Her elderly gardener Simpkins has been secretly sleeping there after a row with his disreputable brother-in-law and housemate, Hector Lomax.
When Hector is found murdered in the local churchyard, Constable Gibbs comes looking for Simpkins, who was last seen arguing with his kin in the pub the night before. Based on the sad state of her garden, Edwina has grave doubts that the shiftless Simpkins could muster the effort to murder anyone. The two sleuths throw themselves into weeding out suspects and rooting out the real killer.
But this is no garden variety murder. The discovery of a valuable ring, a surprise connection to Colonel Kimberly’s Condiment Company, and a second homicide all force Beryl and Edwina to play catch-up as they relish the chance to contain the culprit…
Murder Flies the Coop
One would hardly call them birds of a feather, but thrill-seeking American adventuress Beryl Helliwell and quietly reserved Brit Edwina Davenport do one thing very well together—solve murders…
Sharing lodging in the sleepy English village of Walmsley Parva has eased some of the financial strain on the two old school chums, but money is still tight in these lean years following the Great War. All of Beryl’s ex-husbands have proven reluctant to part with her alimony, which is most inconvenient.
So when the local vicar—and pigeon-racing club president—approaches them with a private inquiry opportunity, the ladies eagerly accept. There’s been a spot of bother: the treasurer has absconded with the club’s funds and several prized birds.
Beryl and Edwina hope to flush out the missing man by checking his boardinghouse and place of employment at the coal mine. But when they visit the man’s loft, they find their elusive quarry lying in white feathers and a pool of crimson blood, stabbed to death—the only witnesses cooing mournfully.
After a stiff gin fizz, the ladies resume their search for the missing funds and prized birds—and now a murderer. Beryl and Edwina aren’t shy about ruffling a few feathers as they home in on their suspects. But they had better find the killer fast, before their sleuthing career is cut short…
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…
—Publishers Weekly, starred review
—Library Journal, starred review