• Fiction & Literature

Gwyn Parry

Gwyn Parry is Welsh, German, American, and something else or other. He lives, somewhat less grandly than Chesterfield and Carrie, in the Finger Lakes wine country. With The Chesterfield Hours named to a Kirkus Reviews' Best of 2012 list, he's now begun work on a Chesterfield & Carrie amateur-sleuth-team murder mystery, set around their estate above Canandaigua Lake.

He also has been working for some time on a grittier, multi-volume Upstate tale, centered on a bloody sex rivalry involving various Celtic-blooded characters, male and female, Catholic and Protestant.  ...See more >

Gwyn Parry welcomes queries regarding:
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"...sparkling... Literate, funny, and romantic... The only unsatisfying feature of Parry's debut is that it ends."

Kirkus Reviews



Named to Kirkus Reviews' Best Books of 2012: THE CHESTERFIELD HOURS

Hometown Avon, NY

Favorite author Ford Madox Ford

Favorite book PARADE'S END

Day job none

Favorite line from a book "No words from an admired lady, not even 'Come hither,' are more compelling to the gentleman than 'Go do your duty.' Perhaps 'Come hither and do your duty.'"

Favorite word bilge

Unexpected skill or talent Operating Roku

Passion in life The air, trees, waters, hills, creatures, people, wines, and cuisine of the Finger Lakes. And my girl Margarite.


Page count: 283pp

This lighthearted, sparkling novel presents the adventures, romantic and otherwise, of a man, his dog, his mother’s ghost and other assorted characters.

Schoolteacher Chesterfield is a man satisfied with life: His parents and his dog are “in super fettle,” his sixth-graders are doing well and he’s happily married. Or so he thinks, until the “one rummy morning” his wife, Deborah, (having grown impatient of Chesterfield’s low pay and despairing of his ever inheriting the perhaps-mythical family fortune) leaves him for newly rich Benedict Hoepplewhite, “mortgage broker, wife-stealer and cur.” This sets in motion a series of events, including an aborted revenge attempt, tenure struggles at Chesterfield’s school, wrongdoings at a fitness club, a new romance with a pretty kindergarten teacher and not a little heroism. Then there’s his mother’s death and reappearance as a ghost, her arrival signaled by the tinkling of ice cubes in her ever-present drink. In these adventures, Chesterfield is joined by “the smashingest girl ever, name of Carrie Hahn, and the stellar dog Daisy, who sniffs out villains a mile away, and the lioness-hearted ‘gym-chick’ Jeanine, who carried the day when I fell wounded, and who made a man of my gormless pal Larry.” Chesterfield—whose American father was “the fightingest blood and guts Marine of his day”—talks like someone out of P.G. Wodehouse. It’s because, he says, his father was always out of the country, while his British mother “spoke the language and ethic that I breathed in: ‘There never was a time like good King Edward’s, dear. For fun, for peace, and for talk. It was Shakespeare and Elizabeth with proper drains and no bear-baiting.’ ” Even in Britain, Chesterfield’s what-ho slang would probably be out of date, but no matter; it’s fun. Chesterfield’s gentlemanly ethic includes not initiating his divorce (“only a swine” would do that) and declining to entrap Hoepplewhite, finally wishing him no harm: “I sensed approval by the good old Anglican deity who made dogs and trout streams, has humour, and stands like a Gentleman mostly out of the way.” Literate, funny and romantic, with amusing comments on American culture, this novel has its heart in the right place.

The only unsatisfying feature of Parry’s debut is that it ends.