Murder Flies the Coop (A Beryl and Edwina Mystery)
In this second cozy mystery, Beryl, the brash American, and her old school chum, the primmer Edwina, are short on funds. It’s the lean days after the Great War in the quaint English village of Walmsley Parva. When Edwina’s gardener tells them since they solved a previous mystery, he understands the vicar needs help with a missing person and suggests the two women set up their own inquiry service. The missing man, the bookkeeper at the local mine, was involved in pigeon racing, but much more as it turns out. The intrepid sleuths uncover blackmail, sabotage at the mine, and a murder.
Edwina and Beryl are flawed but determined women whose quirks and differences make them sympathetic. The village is full of suspects and odd characters, as every village should be. Edwina and Beryl are believable, their interactions often humorous, as women of their time period, dealing with restrictions on females and class divisions. My main issue is the writing is old-fashioned, which normally I enjoy, but it’s quite drawn out and wordy in places, thus slowing the novel’s pace. The mystery is a tad contrived but still interesting enough to keep me reading. I’m sure we’ll see more of the clever Beryl and Edwina. Recommended for cozy mystery fans.