Author Frances Evesham is an unabashed fan of Agatha Christie, Murder She Wrote and the like. A Village Murder is the start of a new series featuring retired copper (and new pub owner) Adam Hennesey, a stray dog named Harley and possible multiple murders in a quiet Somerset country village.
Landscape gardener Imogen Bishop has inherited her father’s hotel after his death. As she is debating whether or not she wants to take on the challenge of running the hotel her husband turns up dead in the orangery – it’s a greenhouse, I had to look it up. Apparently everyone in this tiny village knows what an orangery is, because they refer to it constantly (I listened to the book on Audible, read by Charlotte Strevens, complete with West Country accents.)
Agatha Christie fans will recognize some nods to Murder is Easy, especially in the final chapters. A Village Murder is a quick fun read (or listen). The mystery itself is rather slight, not quite as engaging as the village and its inhabitants. But it does pick up near the end and narrator Strevens gives it her all. I’m not sure I will continue with the series, unless I can be assured that professed cat lover Hennesey will add a kitty to the village population. Harley needs his Hastings, after all.