Title: Murder in Little Shendon
Author: A.H. Richardson
No. of pages: 248
Genre: Murder Mystery, Detective
Publication date: August 28th 2015
Date read: September 16th 2017
Picture, if you will, a picturesque village called Little Shendon, suddenly caught up in dealing with a murder of one of its citizens – not a particularly well-liked one at that. Which makes it all the more intriguing because the list of suspects becomes very long. This tantalizing tale unfolds with delightful twists and turns to find out whodunit to Mr. Bartholomew Fynche, the murdered shopkeeper. Fear grips the community as the investigation slowly progresses. Everyone is interviewed; everyone is suspect! From the murdered man’s housekeeper to Lady Armstrong, her staff and her nephew. Or could it be the shy librarian new in town? Or the defiant retired army major and his ladyfriend, the post mistress? Or perhaps the weird sisters who live on the edge of town? Then there is the couple who own the local inn and pub, along with the two Americans who are staying there? Even the vicar and his wife fall under the gloom of suspicion. Uncertainty, wariness, and terror reign as neighbors watch neighbors to discover the evil that permeates their upturned lives. No one feels safe in this charming little village. A.H. Richardson, noted author, places in your trembling hands a mystery murder that will keep you reading until you learn the details, uncovered by Police Inspector Stanley Burgess and his two amateur detectives, his friend Sir Victor Hazlitt and the famed Shakespearean actor Beresford Brandon. Scratch your head with them over the strange clues that turn up. Follow them as they tread carefully among the landmines that appear innocent as they lie hidden beneath the surface of mystery. Something evil skulks in this tiny country village. Who is the murderer? And why was this strange uncivil man dispatched in such a seemingly civil community? You are challenged to discover the culprit before the last few pages. And no fair looking ahead – it’s the journey that proves the most enticing.
When I still lived at my parent’s home, I loved watching “cosy” murder mysteries with my Mum. I just love the suspense and detective stories like “Midsomer Murders” never go too fast. I love the, what seem to be, idyllic villages and their inhabitants. Every little village has its own secrets that you can only discover when you look a little closer. I really miss watching these series, so when I got the opportunity to read and review Murder in Little Shendon, I knew I had to take it!
And this detective story is a perfect cosy murder mystery! It’s set in a picturesque British village that seems to be closed off from the rest of the world: the villagers just live their lives and don’t seem to need more than what they have. Most think they know their fellow villagers, but nothing’s further from the truth! When a murder is committed everybody is in shock: “this just has to be a stranger, it couldn’t be one of us right?”
It was thrilling right until the ending. This was something I liked, but also didn’t. You couldn’t really solve the puzzle before the detectives did, which I’d loved to be able to do, and I was trying really hard! But on the other hand, it’s also more believable that the evidence you get throughout the story doesn’t pinpoint only one suspect, otherwise it would be way to easy. And a murder case is almost never easy (then again, I think I would make a horrible detective: I’m way too impatient for such puzzles).
All in all: I really enjoyed reading Murder in Little Shendon and I really hope to read more murder mysteries by A.H. Richardson in the future! Mostly because this was a “typical” murder case, and therefore less thrilling than I thought it’d be … Other tiny troubles I had were the characterisations of the women in the village: most were not really … emancipated imo, but those troubles were not that big as to me loving this story any less!!
*I received an e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*