Thefts and Murder
Mismatched main characters are familiar in fiction, but they aren’t quite as common in mystery fiction. But that’s what Jessica Ellicott has created in the Beryl and Edwina Mysteries, and she uses these odd couple sleuths perfectly once again in Murder Comes to Call.
If you have yet to meet them, Edwina Davenport is British and has inherited her family’s home outside the village of Walmsley Parva. Beryl Helliwell is American, famous for her dare devil stunts, and a friend of Edwina from their school days. Now middle aged, these two women are working on setting up a new business as private inquiry agents in the early 1920’s.
Beryl meets their newest client while she is court, accused of reckless driving. She immediately takes a shine to Declan O’Shea, an Irish immigrant trying to start a life in Walmsley Parva despite the prejudice against him, which is making it difficult. When Declan finds himself under suspicion for a string of thefts taking place in the village, he asks Edwina and Beryl to help clear his name.
The stakes are only raised when a dead body turns up at the scene of the latest burglary. Couple that with another client who needs his case solved right away, and Edwina and Beryl have their work cut out of them. Can they figure out what is really happening?
If you haven’t started this series yet, you could certainly jump in here. However, I don’t advise it. One of the charms of this series is watching the characters grow and their relationships deepen. You’ll miss out on some of that joy here. Series fans will be delighted to find out what is happening in the lives of these characters we’ve grown to know and love. I really do appreciate the development we are seeing in all the characters and their relationships.
The plot appears to be wandering a bit early on, but I suspected it was building toward something, and I was right. The further into the book you go, the easier it is to see how all those various threads are weaving into a whole. I closed the book impressed by how well plotted it was.
The book is set between the World Wars, and I love how the time and place are incorporated into the story. It doesn’t deal with any major events of the time, but it does use the details of life then in an English village to transport us to Edwina and Beryl’s world. As it does, it incorporates issues of the day into the story without slowing things down in the slightest.
Murder Comes to Call is an excellent trip back in time. I was fully absorbed in another time and place as I read. If you are looking for a fun historical mystery, you’ll be happy you picked up this book.
Enjoy more trips back in time with the rest of the Beryl and Edwina Mysteries.
NOTE: I received an ARC of this book.