Title: Murder in Little Shendon
Author: A.H. Richardson
Genre: Mystery, Fiction, Suspense
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.
As a big fan of Midsomer Murder I felt like this book comes straight from the series.
The book is set after WWII in an rural English village and the whole story begins with the murder of Mr. Fynch, the hated shopkeeper of an antique store.
Besides the three main characters, Inspector Burgess, Sir Hazlitt and Beresford Brandon, there are more then unique 20 characters featured and like the synopsis says everyone has a reason to commit a murder.
As each person is interviewed it becomes evident that nearly everyone has a secrets, no matter if it’s a secret connection to the victim or a secret relationship. People in the village are on edge and and begin to look at each other as possible suspects. There are a few twists and turns and the amount of suspects made it impossible ,for me, to find the murderer until he is revealed at the end.
Even though that the end was a bit cloak and dagger, it fitted perfectly. The only thing that felt a bit out of place was the cheesy epilogue.
The book is really fast to read, even though the story starts a bit slow and I got quite confused at the beginning due to the uncommon layout of the book. It’s divided in many short chapters that makes it perfect to read when you don’t have much time, for example in between train rides.
However, those chapters are divided in way to many paragraphs which can be confusing, for instance, when a normal conversation gets divided into three or more paragraphs without a visible reason.
Nevertheless, I really loved the writing style and I was surprised that each chapter had it’s own headline instead of the normal “chapter 1“ because this seems to become increasingly rare nowadays.
The book is perfect for everyone who is looking for a good classic British Whodunit.
I received an copy for reviewing purposes. This doesn't impact my review in any way.