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Evanly Choirs (Constable Evans Mystery) Mass Market Paperback – August 1, 2000


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Product Details

  • Series: Constable Evans Mystery
  • Mass Market Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley (August 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425176134
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425176139
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.7 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #681,433 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Welsh Constable Evan Evans is conscripted to sing tenor in the town of Llanfair's male choir in the third book (after Evan Help Us) of Bowen's charming series. Soon after his first rehearsal, Evan and the other singers learn that world-famous operatic tenor Ifor Llewellyn will be returning home to Llanfair, renting out a clegyman's house. Before the great man's arrival, Evan overhears two strangers, male and female, fighting on the reverend's lawn. Later, when the young woman's car slides into a nearby lake, Evan saves her from drowning and gives her a lecture on attempted suicide. Before Evan can sort out these puzzling events, Ifor moves in. He delights the villagers by offering, as a favor to the choirmaster, with whom he roomed at college, to sing with the choir at the annual country-wide competition. But Ifor's vicious temperament and his volatile arguments with his wife leave the village perplexed. After Ifor misses an important rehearsal, Evan accompanies the choirmaster to visit the tempermental starAand finds his body in the drawing room. A bump on Ifor's head suggests an accidental fall, but an autopsy confirms Evan's suspicion that the man was murdered. Teaming up with his old friend Sergeant Watkins, the constable takes a close look at Ifor's private life, uncovering a neglected wife, a cast-aside lover, an angry son and a disdainful daughter. Between his singing debut and his bumpy romance with the town schoolteacher, Evan sorts through a humorous series of false confessions to catch the real killer. Picareque town characters compensate for the novel's lack of suspense and contrived plotting. Ultimately, it's Bowen's keen sense of small-town politics and gossip that will keep her fans turning pages.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Kirkus Reviews

In the tiny Welsh village of Llanfair, the Reverend Edward Powell-Jones and his wife have decided to rent their home for the summer, for a huge fee, to famed opera star Ifor Llewellyn and his wife Margaret. The great mans doctor has advised rest. Mrs. Powell-Jones will move in with her mother to help her recover from hip surgery, and the Reverend will room and board with Mrs. Williams, landlady also to Constable Evan Evans. (Evan Help Us, 1998, etc.). Ifors first trip to the Red Dragon reacquaints him with onetime fellow student Mostyn Philips, head of the local choir and soon to compete in the annual eisteddfod, a music festival in nearby Harlech. Mostyn gets up his nerve to ask Ifor to sing with the choira request that Ifor graciously agrees to. Meanwhile, his behavior in Llanfair is frowned on by Gladys, the Powell-Jones maid: there are screaming fights with his wife, too-frequent trips to the Red Dragon, and too many flirtations in Llanfair and elsewhere. None of this is preparation, though, for the day Margaret finds Ifors dead body on the living room floor, glass in hand. Evans, working with Sergeant Watkins at headquarters in Caernarfon, turns up an overload of suspects: Margaret, thinking of divorce (and of her boyfriend), for one, and Ifors son Justin and daughter Jasmine, among others. Then theres the matter of the housemaid Gladys, whos killed in a hit-and-run accident. Evans has his own scenario and, no matter how outlandish, it works. The authors cozily intimate style, unusual setting, and modest, down-home hero, back for a third outing, make for satisfying entertainment. -- Copyright ©1999, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
5 star
72%
4 star
24%
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3%
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See all 29 customer reviews
The plots are good but it's the characters that are the real draw for the book.
"sarasarah"
EVANLY CHOIRS, the third book in a charming series by Rhys Bowen, returns the reader to the village of LLanfair, Wales and the world of Police Constable Evan Evans.
Joan A. Curtin
Well, actually, he did it a few years ago when this book was written, but I've just read ir, so it was new to me.
Norma Huss

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Joan A. Curtin on August 4, 1999
Format: Hardcover
EVANLY CHOIRS, the third book in a charming series by Rhys Bowen, returns the reader to the village of LLanfair, Wales and the world of Police Constable Evan Evans. The mysteries in this delightful series are intriguing, but the true joy in reading them comes from the feeling that you know the people of Llanfair.
Bowen has created a village full of wonderfully idiosyncratic characters; from Evans the Meat (butcher) to Evans the Post (mailman), to the alluring barmaid, Betsy who has set her sights on the charming Evan Evans (Evans the cop).
The murders are a fun puzzle, but the visit to Llanfair is priceless.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By D. P. Birkett on August 24, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Basically a British cosy with a Welsh setting and Welsh village stereotypes instead of English village stereotypes. Most of the humor derives from stereotyping and there's no great dialogue. Sort of Welsh Agatha Christie. Some of the detail is not authentic. The crown and the chair are different contests at the National Eisteddfod (the only one with a robed gorsedd of bards.) The crown is for free verse the chair is for cynghanedd. Ingenious plotting with no cheating. The clue is planted early on. No sex and minimal violence. As the Booklist blurb on the cover says "a perfect book to curl up with on a rainy day."
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By "sarasarah" on August 13, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I'm following these mysteries with interest and enjoyment. The plots are good but it's the characters that are the real draw for the book. Ms. Bowen is adept at creating a warm atmosphere and likable, humorous characters. And Evan Evans is such a wholesome, good guy that it's a heartening reading about him after a bit of darker literature. These books are my guaranteed pleasant reads and I'm happily looking forward to the next.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 27, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm giving this book a generous four stars because it delivers what it's audience expects, almost to a tee (or is that tea?) As one does not expect Hemingway (or even Christie) in today's light mystery, one can be satisfied with a light, weekend read. Ms. Bowen is even capable of a couple of nice twists in each of the first three Evans mysteries. (I've read the first three primarily on the strength of having lived in Wales a few years ago and feeling a bit nostalgiac!) I do like the characters, as well, though the supporting cast is pretty flat.
My only complaint of any merit, and this is for the first two books, as well, is that the editing is extraordinarily lax. In one book Evan will have travelled from one town to another at the end of a chapter, only to be packing his bags to make that same trip at the beginning of the next. In this book, misspellings here and there, a character's first name changing from Robert to John. They're not glaring errors, but enough to take me out of the story. It costs the books a star in each case. I know, it's nitpicking. Perhaps you wouldn't even notice it if I didn't bring it to your attention. Sorry for having done so.
Iachyd da and happy reading!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mark Baker - Carstairs Considers HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 20, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Constable Evan Evans has been convinced to add his voice to the town men's chorus for the upcoming cultural festival. Llanfair has struggled for years to win, but this year, they have a secret weapon. World famous tenor Ifor Llewelyn is back in his boyhood home to rest and agrees to add his talents. But when he is found murdered the night before the competition, things start to get out of control. Evan must sort through all the conflicting stories to find the real killer. Meanwhile, his relationship with Bronwen hits a snag in the form of Betsy, the barmaid. And the Davises and Powell-Joneses are competing against each other in the festival. Can Evan keep peace in this town and find the killer?
Fans of this series will love the third volume. The author has not strayed at all from the format of the previous two books, which is good because it works so well. The plotting, while a bit slow at first, is top notch. I was caught off guard by the ending. The sub-plots add just the right amount of charm and humor, while the characters continue to entertain. I'm really growing to care for this village.
Cozy fans need look no further for a great series that combines likable main characters with great plotting. If you haven't tried this series yet, pick up the first, Evans Above. You'll be glad you did.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 4, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Internationally renowned opera singer Ifor Llewllyn has returned to his hometown of Llanfair, Wales for some needed rest. Ifor joins the local choir that is competing in the upcoming regional fair. The choirmaster is Mostyn Phillips, a former classmate of Ifor's. The great tenor relishes teasing Mostyn,who does not react well to the constant pounding. In fact, Mostyn has never forgiven Ifor for marrying his beloved Margaret.

However, the night before the contest, Ifor fails to show up at the meeting place. Mostyn and Constable Evan Evans return to retrieve their star singer, only to find him dead. First Ifor's wife and then his son confesses to the murder, but neither confession holds up under scrutiny. As the police hone in on the spouse's boy friend, Evan realizes that too fails to fit the scenario, but wonders what does.

EVANLY CHOIRS: A CONSTABLE EVANS MYSTERY is a well-written, very enjoyable Welsh cozy that is a one-sitting read. The who-done-it is fun and Evan remains a lovable boy scout. Fans of cozies need to peruse this entire series (see EVAN HELP US and EVANS ABOVE) for a pleasurable police procedural that never stops entertaining.

Harriet Klausner
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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.

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