Most helpful critical review
Your Grandmother's mystery
on October 12, 2006
This is the fourth entry in the mystery series of Evan Evans, the constable of the small Welsh village of Llanfair, who is somewhat of an underachieving Dudley Do-right, honest, fair, respectful and always pleasant. The books are "G" rated, with little violence and swearing, and any romantic situations Evan finds himself in are somewhat Victorian.
There is a cast of regular characters in the village including Evan's match-making coddling landlady, a pair of feuding reverends (and their respective wives), a nosey postman who reads everyone's mail, an older, more experienced sargeant from the neighboring town, (who relies on Evan heavily), and several available women vying for Evan's eye. In a word the series is quaint and not without charm.
In this adventure Evan investigates several fires that appear to be set by a xenophobic arsonist with the most serious involving a mysterious French restaurateur and her recently opened eatery. Said restaurateur's dialog is somewhat comical in that her accent is portrayed by simply substituting the letter "z", (and sometimes the letter "s"), for "t" and "th", with a few choice French phrases such "Voila", "Mon Dieu" and "Ooh-la-la", and is reminiscent of Pepe Lepew's, (of Bugs Bunny cartoon fame). She also smokes, drinks wine and is a "romantic".
The "chase" takes Evan, (and his friend, "Sarge") to Southern England, then coastal France and finally into the big city of Paris before this one is solved - a slight geographic departure from the earlier books. These are "light" mysteries and this one is even lighter than the previous three, without much build-up or suspense or even a mystery. As stated elsewhere this series' books are quick reads and then alas, quickly forgotten.