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Evan and Elle (Constable Evan Evans Mysteries) Mass Market Paperback – March 1, 2001


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

When Madame Yvette, a seductive widow, opens a French restaurant in Llanfair, in northern Wales, her blend of haute cuisine and traditional Welsh fare soon wins over the locals, including Constable Evan Evans, the village's lone policeman and the hero of three previous outings in this appealing series (Evanly Choir, etc.). Ever true to his girlfriend, schoolteacher Bronwen Price, Evans resists Madame Yvette's attempt to make him more than just a culinary conquest, but he's ready to be of service when she really needs him--after her restaurant burns down, the latest target in a string of recent arson attacks in the area. Or is it? While at first the fire seems the work of Welsh extremists, the discovery of a corpse in the restaurant's ruins puts this crime into a different category altogether. In the ensuing investigation, Evans retains his modesty and good humor as he deals with a condescending English arson expert, a flirtatious female constable and a host of lively locals. The trail leads to the South Coast of England, where Madame Yvette and her late husband previously lost a restaurant to fire, and to France, where Evans and his colleague Sergeant Watkins uncover a startling secret about her past. Bowen keeps the reader guessing as to the actual menace that awaits Constable Evans in the hills above Llanfair on his return. This is a light confection of a mystery, sweetened with the author's obvious affection for her characters, as well as for all things Welsh. (Feb.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Constable Evans and Sgt. Watkins investigate arson and murder in the Welsh village of Llanfair after a body is found in the rubble of a torched French restaurant. A pleasant evening's entertainment.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Constable Evan Evans Mysteries
  • Mass Market Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley (March 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425178889
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425178881
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.2 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,010,453 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Rhys Bowen's books have been nominated for every major mystery award and she has won thirteen of them to date. She currently writes two historical mystery series, each very different in tone. The Molly Murphy mysteries feature an Irish immigrant woman in turn-of-the-century New York City. These books are multi-layered, complex stories with a strong sense of time and place and have won many awards including Agatha and Anthony. There are 13 book so far in this series plus two Kindle stories, The Amersham Rubies and The Face in the Mirror--a great way to introduce new readers to Molly's spunky personality.

Then there is Lady Georgie, Rhys's latest,and very popular, heroine. She's 35th in line to the throne of England, but she's flat broke and struggling to survive in the Great Depression. These books are lighter and funnier than Molly's adventures. They poke gentle fun at the British class system--about which Rhys knows a lot, having married into an upper class family rather like Georgie's, with cousins with silly nicknames,family ghosts and stately homes. The seventh book is called Heirs and Graces, and on November 5th The Twelve Clues of Christmas comes out in paperback, perfect timing for the holidays.
The series received the Readers Choice Award for favorite mystery series and Rhys was nominated for career achievement.

Rhys was born in Bath, England but spent time during her childhood with relatives in Wales. Those childhood experiences colored her first mystery series, about Constable Evans in the mountains of Snowdonia. 10 books including the Edgar nominee Evan's Gate. She has lived in Austria, Germany and Australia, but has called California her home for many years. She now escapes to a condo in Arizona during those cold California winters. When she's not writing she loves to travel, sing, hike, paint and play the Celtic harp.

Customer Reviews

I love Hamish and Evan Evans is much like him.
Juman
Bowen has developed interesting characters with colorful personalities and quirks.
mjvb
I just read this last night, and I must say that I enjoyed it in the extreme.
Mary Collette List

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on January 13, 2000
Format: Hardcover
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 By Mark Baker HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 2, 2003
Format: Hardcover
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 By Mary Collette List on March 11, 2000
Format: Hardcover
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 By Lynn Wood on February 26, 2000
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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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Format: Hardcover
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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By Darlene Rosa on October 19, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
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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