Book Notification

Jessica Ellicott Books In Order

Book links take you to Amazon. As an Amazon Associate I earn money from qualifying purchases.

Publication Order of Beryl and Edwina Mystery Books

Murder in an English Village (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
Murder Flies the Coop (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
Murder Cuts the Mustard (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
Murder Comes to Call (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
Murder in an English Glade (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon
Murder Through the English Post (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon
Murder at a London Finishing School (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon
Murder at an English Séance (2024)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of WPC Billie Harkness Mystery Books

Death in a Blackout (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon
Murder on the Home Front (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon

Jessica Ellicott

Jessica Ellicott is an American author of historical mystery novels best known for her Beryl and Edwina Mystery series. She has written the nationally bestselling Sugar Grove Mysteries under the pseudonym, Jessie Crockett. Jessica loves Mini Coopers, fountain pens, and throwing parties. She is a resident of New England, where she participates in knitting wool socks and speaking Portuguese with disregard for the grammar rules. Her first book in Beryl and Edwina mystery series, Murder in an English Village was nominated for Agatha Award Best Historical Novel in 2017.

Murder in an English Village

Murder in an English Village is the first book in Beryl and Edwina series by Jessica Ellicott that takes the reader on an adventurous journey back in time when things when the villages get back to their normal lives and recovers from the Great War. The year is 1920, and we meet Beryl Helliwell, a born adventuress who’s resolved that she needs peace and solitude and so she travels to her old childhood town of Walmsley Parva. As she’s reading through the town’s newspaper she sees an advert by her childhood friend, Edwina, for a genteel lodger. She immediately drives to her friend’s home. She soon discovers that her childhood friend has been having financial difficulties, and rumors spread around the village indicate that she’s poverty-stricken.

Beryl crafts plan to get rid of the rumors about Edwina’s bankruptcy and travels to the business area of Walmsley Parva, where she seeks out the gossip-monger, Prudence Rathbone. Beryl informs her that she and Edwina are covert agents working for His Majesty and are conducting classified work in Walmsley Parva- which is not the case, but Beryl knows that everyone in the village will know about it in a matter of seconds.

That evening when Edwina takes her dog out for a walk in her garden, she is attacked, and someone tries to kill her through strangulation. Later Beryl and Edwina are discussing the event, and they begin to wonder if the story about them investigating has something to do with the attack. The only strange thing that has happened in the small village is the disappearance of a woman named Agnes Rollins, a well like young woman who had been working with the Army during the first world war. No one in the small village has ever heard from her ever since, and the locals aren’t sure if she is dead or alive.

Edwina and Beryl set off to investigate the disappearance, and they interview several people who were known to have contact with her and when she was working in the Army. When a maid from the village is found dead, the cops rule out the death as accident. But according to Beryl and Edwina, they find evidence that suggests the death was not an accident, but rather a murder, and they begin to find pieces that link their two cases together.

Murder in an English Village is a fun and entertaining British cozy mystery. You’ll have to ignore the stupidity of the two young women lying about being spies even after being attacked and go with the flow of the mystery. The mystery in this book is tight.

The Wallingford Estate is the core of the mystery. During the Great War, the house was transformed into a hospital for recovering soldiers, and its grounds became a government-run farm that was run by the Women’s Land Army. Several characters play a role in the mystery. Hortense Merriweather was responsible for the estate. She is a typical countrywoman who manages the estate efficiently but not kindly. There’s Agnes who managed the land girls and vanished during the war. Her disappearance bothers Edwina for she knows that the girl was reliable and hard-working. Polly was one of the Agne’s gang during the war who now works as a maid. Does she know what happened to Agnes?

Murder Flies the Coop

Just like the first book in the series, Murder Flies, the Coop is a 1920’s mystery with plenty of charm as well as distinctly British character. Beryl, the American adventurer, and her friend are opposites in many different ways, but they are also good friends with a unique talent of solving mysteries. Unfortunately, being independent has its shortcomings, a dire lack of finances.

When the vicar comes to the requesting for a problem he has to be solved secretly, it suggests another option for the two young women- becoming private investigators. A member of his pigeon racing club has vanished, along with other members’ best birds and big money from the treasury. Before long, it becomes clear for the two private investigators that they are now seeking a killer after the discovery of the body.

Part of this book’s charm lies in the variety of personalities, and in the way and how things are done in the small town of Walmsley Parva. Beryl and her friend challenge the norm by kick-starting their own business and associating with people from different social classes. This draws their attention to the suffering and problems of the local miners- something that has been ignored by both the mine owner and the villagers. At the same time, it wide opens doors, allowing them to collect information that would otherwise have not been discovered. They also find both hindrances and help from the locals in the course of their investigations as well as shock that two young women would entertain running such a venture. Simpskins, one of the supporting characters proves to be valuable to them. He not only steers them to Vicar but also helps them in their investigation and even offers to protect them. Murder Flies the Coop is an interesting novel, one that you will adore if you enjoy reading cozy mysteries. Jessica Ellicott has a way of keeping the reader guessing about the whodunit right to the very end when the mystery is finally solved. It’s a novel that shows how things were back in the day when everything was slowly paced and how the women were seen as the weaker gender.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Jessica Ellicott

Leave a Reply