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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
#1 HALL OF FAMEon January 13, 2000
Although Constable Evan Evans years to be a detective on an official murder investigation, overall he is content with being assigned to the small village of Llanfair. The townsfolk are proud of their heritage and resent any foreign intrusion including the new French restaurant owned and operated by Madame Yvette Bouchard. Adding to the locals' disfavor of her establishment dubbed the "den of iniquity" by the local clergy is that Yvette is open for business on the Sabbath.

The xenophobia turns ugly when someone torches the cottage of an English couple followed by the arson destruction of a foreign-owned inn. The authorities believe an extremist group is behind the attacks. When Yvette's restaurant is burned down next, it appears to be the same organization behind the first two fires. However, this time, a murdered body is found amidst the ruins. Evan joins the inquiries that lead him and others to England and France in a quest to uncover a clever killer.

The fourth installment of the Constable Evans mysteries is as good as the previous three novels. EVAN AND ELLE showcases the beauty, culture, and politics of a small Welsh village. The numerous subplots merge into the main story line in an expeditious way that demonstrates the abilities of Rhys Bowen to take his audience on several sidebars that add depth to the tale. Fans of police procedurals in exotic locales will enjoy this charming novel and the other colorful books in this warm series.

Harriet Klausner
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A serial arsonist is loose in the Welsh mountains. He seems to be targeting properties owned by foreigners. Is there a connection to some of the nationalist groups? Village constable Evan Evans thinks so. Meanwhile, the owner of the new French restaurant just down the mountain is receiving threatening notes. But when her place goes up in flame, a body is found in the rubble. Who is it? And who is setting the fires? Meanwhile, Evan is thinking about applying for a promotion that would take him out of Llanfair.
Rhys Bowen offers yet another charming tale of life in a small Welsh village. Llanfair grows more familiar and fun with every visit. This is probably the best plot to date. While I suspected the direction this book was going, it took several twists along the way to the satisfying conclusion.
With this, the fourth book in the series, these people have become friends. I'm already looking forward to my next visit.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on March 11, 2000
I just read this last night, and I must say that I enjoyed it in the extreme. Evan really had his hands full here. Once more there was a "fo- reigner" woman who is trying to make a play for our hero, much to the disapproval of Evan's "main ladies":Bronwen&Betsy. I think this was Ms.Bowen's best yet.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on February 26, 2000
Wow! A mystery in which the hero detective is a real, smart, humble, and nice human being! Refreshing. Well-crafted story that will keep you puzzled to the end. A nice read for a wet afternoon. You drift right into the Llanfair setting in your mind's eye.
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VINE VOICEon 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.
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on October 19, 2014
Rhys Bowen entertains me every time with the Evans series. The moment I have identified the villain, the story takes an unexpected turn, and I am left weighing possibilities once again. The village characters are delightful, the setting makes me want to go hiking on a mountain, or take a quick trip to Paris and eat a croissant with apricot jam. Evan Evans has humor, intelligence, and compassion along with a very human dose of insecurity. I love these books, and this one did not disappoint.
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on June 9, 2015
More intrigue and drama in quiet, sleepy Llanfair. Drug runners, French femme fatales, and a serial arsonist! Much more interesting than lions and tigers and bears. At the end it all comes together in an exciting denouement.
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on July 9, 2014
I'm rereading this series for the third time -- Rhys Bowen created a wonderful set of characters in a charming setting in Wales and all through the series it is a joy to watch the characters grow as they encounter new problems to be overcome. I wish that Ms. Bowen's publishers hadn't made her stop this series, but at least when it ends it's in a good place. I hope they allow her to start it up again. These are all fun reads!
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on July 5, 2014
This was a good mystery. I enjoy these so much, they're definitely cozies but not al that easy to figure out. Spend a couple of nice evening with Constable Evans, you'll be glad you did.
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on March 21, 2014
Very enjoyable. More creative than some others I have read. I really enjoy the Evan Evans mystery novels. Thanks to Rhys Bowen.
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