Jessica Ellicott’s Beryl and Edwina Mystery series is another gem uncovered by my wonderful bookworm mother. This light and interesting mystery series pairs an English Lady of manor with an American adventurer and fun ensues. This is book five in the series but reading the previous ones isn’t required to enjoy it. You will probably want to go back and read them though, they are awesome!

Kel’s Review:

Off to an artist’s retreat, under false pretenses (posing as educator and artist rather than investigators), Beryl and Edwina find themselves with a dead body at their feet once more. Is it related to the mystery they are supposed to be there investigating or something else entirely? This cast of suspects is smaller than the previous novels but I enjoyed them and the artistic flair woven through the novel, it includes some fascinating historical bits too!

There is lots of banter and bounce between the two leading ladies and I read the book straight through. With twists and red herrings, this one keeps the reader guessing to the end! So if you’re looking for a good cosy mystery, don’t miss out! It!s a five out of five on the enJOYment scale!

Karren’s Review:

Beryl and Edwina are once again a delightful duo. Their friendship and increasing understanding of each other is both charming and endearing. They really do complement each other as, once again, they are embroiled in another murder.

It wasn’t supposed to be that way. In fact, they were employed under false pretenses and there were times when the duplicity of their situation had them both feeling quite uncomfortable. And then it all changed.

This time the storyline didn’t quite capture me the way some of the others did. My suspicions regarding the murderer were confirmed eventually. Perhaps too few plausible candidates this time?

But it is a most enjoyable cosy murder mystery and I will look out for the next one in the series! Let the adventures continue for those of us who are fans! It’s five out of five!

We received complimentary copies of the book from Kensington Books through NetGalley. The opinions expressed in these reviews are completely our own.

From the back cover:

Set in a charming English village just after WWI, Jessica Ellicott’s winning series returns to the witty antics of delightfully mismatched friends and sleuths-of-a-certain-age, Beryl and Edwina. Their personalities couldn’t be more different —Beryl is a brash, adventurous American, while Edwina is a prim and proper Brit—but the pair have a knack for solving mysteries. Now they’ve been hired 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…

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