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Saturday, January 21, 2012

Evans Above (Constable Evan Mystery #1) by Rhys Bowen

Evan Evans, a young police constable, has traded city life for that of Llanfair - an idyllic Welsh village. Nestling in the Snowdonia mountain range, Llanfair looks to Evans like a town forgotten by time, but he quickly learns that even the bucolic countryside has its share of eccentric - and deadly - characters. Evans's new neighbours include two competitive ministers vying for the souls of their flock, one lascivious barmaid, and three other Evanses: Evans-the-Meat; Evans-the-Milk and Evans-the-Post (whose favourite hobby is to read the mail before he delivers it).

Before Evans has time to sort through the complicated relationships and rivalries of his new home, he's called to the scene of a crime as brutal and fearsome as any he encountered in the big city. Two hikers have been murdered on the trails of the local mountain, and Evans must hunt down a vicious killer - who may or may not be linked to the mysterious destruction of Mrs. Powell-Jones' prize-winning tomatoes.
Summary taken from
Length: 224 pages
Source: Toronto Public Library
Publication Date: December 1st 1998

Ahh, who doesn't like visiting new places in a cozy mystery book? I love to, especially when they take me to cute little villages and hamlets like Llanfair. This was my first time reading a book by this author and though I've seen some other books written by her I wasn't too familiar with her work.

Lucky me this one was chosen as one of the 4 monthly group reads in one of my GoodReads groups. Now while I'm glad that I gave a new author a try (I've been  trying to read a lot of new to me authors for the past year or so). I found that this book was lacking in a lot.

First off there were at least a DOZEN spelling errors in the book. A DOZEN! In one case one of the supporting character's names was spelled wrong. I for one hate poor editing in books. I know they happen but honestly 12 is 10 times to many for such a short book.

Second the story was slow. I didn't like how the story jumped around so much and I wish that Evan Evans had had more of a back story but perhaps the author saved that for later books. In any case I felt that there wasn't enough of a build up and I was left wishing to know more about Evan Evans who seemed like a likable enough chap. I felt that there could have been more effort to add substance to the characters who while amusing were lacking.

What I did like about the book though was the setting. I really got a nice feel for the setting and felt like I had been transported to Llanfair. I also thought the  quirky characters like Evans-the-meat, Evans-the-milk and others lightened the mood. I also liked the murder aspect of the story, of which I didn't see ending the way it did. I also liked the little feud between the two pastor's wives.

I just thought that this book would be more exciting than it was. Yes I understand that it is a COZY mystery but it can have some excitement as well. Even though I had some major issues with this book I will be giving the next book in the series a try just to see if it gets any better but if it doesn't I think I will have to abandon this series and perhaps the author in general. I hope it does because I'd really like to have found a cozy mystery series I can read in its entirety.

I would recommend this one to fans of this author and genre.

★ ★ 1/2


  1. what about the number one ladies detective series. You should reread those and post reviews for them

  2. I would but it's too soon for me to read all of them, plus the new book in the series comes out in a couple of months but I might next year :)

  3. There are some interesting points in time in this article but I don’t know if I see all of them center to heart. There is some validity but I will take hold opinion until I look into it further. Good article, thanks and we want more! Added to FeedBurner as well


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