A Very English Murder (A Lady Eleanor Swift Mystery Book 1) by Verity Bright (2020)
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!
A light-hearted and enjoyable escapade involving Lady Eleanor, her butler and various sidekicks.
Lady Eleanor, or Ellie as she refers to herself, is charming and outgoing. Her questioning skills are quite hilarious and enjoyed following her on her investigations.
She has a lovely relationship with her butler and the rest of the household staff. Eleanor's uncle sounds like he had a lively and dangerous past and so I'm looking forward to finding out more about him as the series continues.
Eleanor's love life is also a source of great amusement. She is quite flirty and has caught the eye of more than one man. Lord Lancelot Germain Benedict Fenwick-Langham, or Goggles as she has nicknamed him, is good fun, very charming but immature and a little bit mental in a 'bright young thing' kind of way. Their banter is delightful and one of the things I liked most in the book. Eleanor is smitten but I'm hoping the Detective Inspector gets to play a romantic role further down the line.
It was fairly obvious, to me, from their very first interaction, the person most likely to be the culprit. It didn't come as any great surprise at the end. I did enjoy getting sidetracked with the red-herrings but with the awareness that that's exactly what they were.
I'm looking forward to reading more in this series.