Thanks to Sarah from Bookouture for inviting me to take part in the blog tour for A Very English Murder by Verity Bright.
Move over Miss Marple, there’s a new sleuth in town! Meet Eleanor Swift: distinguished adventurer, dog lover, dignified lady… daring detective?
England, 1920. Eleanor Swift has spent the last few years travelling the world: taking tea in China, tasting alligators in Peru, escaping bandits in Persia and she has just arrived in England after a chaotic forty-five-day flight from South Africa. Chipstone is about the sleepiest town you could have the misfortune to meet. And to add to these indignities – she’s now a Lady.
Lady Eleanor, as she would prefer not to be known, reluctantly returns to her uncle’s home, Henley Hall. Now Lord Henley is gone, she is the owner of the cold and musty manor. What’s a girl to do? Well, befriend the household dog, Gladstone, for a start, and head straight out for a walk in the English countryside, even though a storm is brewing…
But then, from the edge of a quarry, through the driving rain, Eleanor is shocked to see a man shot and killed in the distance. Before she can climb down to the spot, the villain is gone and the body has vanished. With no victim and the local police convinced she’s stirring up trouble, Eleanor vows to solve this affair by herself. And when her brakes are mysteriously cut, one thing seems sure: someone in this quiet country town has Lady Eleanor Swift in their murderous sights…
If you enjoy witty dialogue, glamorous intrigue and the very best of Golden Age mysteries, then you will adore Verity Bright’s unputdownable whodunnit, perfect for fans of Agatha Christie, T.E. Kinsey and Downton Abbey!
I love a good murder mystery and A Very English Murder did not disappoint. It is the first book in a new historical ‘cosy’ crime series focused around Lady Eleanor Swift. Lady Eleanor has recently returned to Henley Hall following the death of her uncle. In addition to inheriting Henley Hall, Lady Eleanor also finds herself in possession of an elderly bulldog named Gladstone and her uncle’s stern butler, Clifford.
When a stroll around the local area results in Lady Eleanor witnessing a murder, she is dismayed to discover that the body has gone missing and the police don’t take her report seriously. Lady Eleanor is determined to prove to the police that a murder did take place by identifying the body and solving the murder herself.
The reader is then led on a merry journey as Lady Eleanor cavorts around the countryside investigating the murder, ably assisted by the long-suffering Clifford. They really are a great pairing. Lady Eleanor is clever, impulsive and not particularly subtle, traits which will undoubtedly lead her into trouble. In comparison, Clifford is steady, thoughtful and diplomatic – a perfect foil for Lady Eleanor’s more outspoken character.
The story also touches briefly on the class system in the early 1900’s and it is endearing to see how the servants at Henley Hall take Lady Eleanor under their wing and quickly make her feel like one of the Henley Hall family.
The characters really are very appealing and I’m looking forward to book number 2 in order to learn more about Clifford and Lady Eleanor’s deceased uncle and to see how the relationship between Lady Eleanor and Lancelot develops. Will there be romance in the air…?
I found A Very English Murder to be very engaging. It’s lighthearted, humorous entertaining and perfect for fans of cosy historical mysteries (which I am!).
About the Author
Verity Bright is the pseudonym for a husband-and-wife writing partnership that has spanned a quarter of a century. Starting out writing high-end travel articles and books, they published everything from self-improvement to humour, before embarking on their first historical mystery. They are the authors of the fabulous Lady Eleanor Swift Mystery series, set in the 1920s.
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