EVANLY CHOIRS by Rhys Bowen

EVANLY CHOIRS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

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 man’s 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.). Ifor’s 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 choir—a 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 Ifor’s 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 Ifor’s son Justin and daughter Jasmine, among others. Then there’s the matter of the housemaid Gladys, who’s killed in a hit-and-run accident. Evans has his own scenario and, no matter how outlandish, it works. The author’s cozily intimate style, unusual setting, and modest, down-home hero, back for a third outing, make for satisfying entertainment.

Pub Date: May 4th, 1999
ISBN: 0-312-20539-2
Page count: 192pp
Publisher: St. Martin's
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