- this edition published in 2015 by Serano Press USA
- ISBN 978-1515283973
- 248 pages
- source: copy provided the publisher
The Hazlitt/Brandon series of murder mystery novels follows a pair of clever, colorful and charismatic sleuths - Sir Victor Hazlitt and Beresford Brandon – as they scratch their heads searching for clues to figure out whodunit.
The first book in the series, Murder in Little Shendon, is a thriller murder mystery which takes place in a quaint little village in England after World War Two.
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 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 his housekeeper to Lady Armstrong and her household staff. 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. Who is the murderer? And why was this strange uncivil man dispatched in such a seemingly civil community?
A murder mystery that will keep you reading until you learn the details, uncovered by Police Inspector Stanley Burgess and his two amateur detectives, Sir Victor Hazlitt and Beresford Brandon. The three sift methodically through the Alibis and life stories of the suspects until they uncover…
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.
Murdered antiquarian/shopkeeper Bartholomew Fynche had many enemies and almost no friends. He had dealt many a local resident a nasty blow in the past and many of them were in his shop the morning before his death, there to remind him of what he owed them. By the time they came back in the afternoon someone had beaten them to it. He was dead.
Although this novel follows an almost classic formula - make a list of possible suspects and then eliminate them one by one - this novel is unusual in that it has three detectives, two of them amateurs, working together and independently, and then at the end, when they are sure of their ground, a Poirot-style denouement.
At the beginning there are almost no clues to the identity of the murderer, but then the murderer slips up when he murders a second person who had seen something that she couldn't explain.
In the end I too thought I knew who the murderer was, although there were several good red herrings.
This is the first in the Hazlitt/Brandon series: there are already two more: ACT ONE, SCENE ONE - MURDER, and MURDER AT SERENITY FARM.
All 3 books are available for Kindle.
My rating: 4.3
About the author
A.H. Richardson was born in London England and is the daughter of famous pianist and composer Clive Richardson. She studied drama and acting at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. She was an actress, a musician, a painter and sculptor, and now an Author.
In addition to the Hazlitt Brandon series, she is also the author of a series of children’s chapter books, the Jorie series, which includes Jorie and the Magic Stones, Jorie and the Gold Key, and Jorie and the River of Fire.
A.H. Richardson lives happily in East Tennessee, her adopted state, and has three sons, three grandchildren, and two pugs. She speaks four languages and loves to do voiceovers. She plans on writing many more books and hopes to delight her readers further with her British twist, which all her books have.