Following the death of her uncle, Lade Eleanor Swift returns to England to take over the family estate. But on her very first night as lady of the manor, she witnesses a murder. The police don’t believe her and Eleanor decides to investigate on her own but who can she trust to help her…?
Set in the 1920s, Eleanor is an exception to the stereotype of womanhood that the male characters expect. She is brave, bold and unapologetic at her subversion of traditional class and social norms. Her main sleuthing companion is butler Clifford but she has her doubts about whether she can trust him or not.
Her intrepid behaviour leads her into confrontations with local police and othe village inhabitants. She also develops a friendship that teeters on romance with Lancelot, a man who matches her humour and unconventional behaviour.
Eleanor has unresolved issues about her parents disappearing, the death of her uncle and her husband; all of which are touched on over the course of the book. Her gradual friendship with her servants makes her a warm and likeable character to counteract her feisty side.
The murder itself is not described in any great detail and there is no forensic description. There is a classical feel to the plot and narrative style which makes it comfortable and familiar to read for lovers of Agatha Christie like myself 🙂
A Very English Murder is a fun and gentle mystery novel with an entertaining protagonist and I look forward to seeing what she gets up to in the future.
Book Description: A Very English Murder
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!
Verity Bright is the pseudonym for a husband-and-wife writing partnership that has spanned a quarter of a century. Starting out writing high-end travel articles and books, they published everything from self-improvement to humour, before embarking on their first historical mystery. They are the authors of the fabulous Lady Eleanor Swift Mystery series, set in the 1920s.