Cover image for Evan and Elle : a Constable Evans mystery
Title:
Evan and Elle : a Constable Evans mystery
Author:
Bowen, Rhys.
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : St. Martin's Minotaur, [2000]

©2000
Physical Description:
274 pages ; 22 cm
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780312252441
Format :
Book

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FICTION Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense
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Summary

Summary

There is both excitement and dismay in Llanfair when a new French restaurant opens. The glamorous owner, Madame Yvette, tries to win over the locals, and everything seems to be going well until a string of fires plagues the town. One night the restaurant burns down, and a body is found in the rubble.

Constable Evans joins Sergeant Watkins to follow a trail of clues that leads them to the South of England and then to France, and finally to the conclusion that a dangerous killer is loose in Llanfair.


Author Notes

Rhys Bowen was born Janet Quin-Harkin in 1941 in Bath, England. She earned her bachelors degree from the University of London. Soon after graduation she worked for the British Broadcasting Corporation as a studio manager and writer. She then took a job working for a textbook company developing reading texts before writing her own books. Her first picture book - Peter Penny's Dance - was published in 1976 and changed her career to children's book author. The book earned praise and won numerous awards. In 1981 she wrote a teen novel entitled California Girl which became the first installment in Bantam's Sweet Dreams series. This series grew to include novels such as Love Match, Daydreamer, and Ten-Boy Summer. These Sweet Dreams books started a major trend in young adult publishing. they were praised as an encouragement to reading. Janet Quin-Harkin also authored non-series fiction for adolescents such as award winning novel Wanted: Date for Saturday Night and Summer Heat. She also wrote the young adult historical novels Madam Sarah and Fool's Gold. She then moved on to writng mystery novels whcih included her Constable Evans series. Her book Royal Blood made the New York Times Bestseller list.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

One wonders if Bowen didn't think of the cutesy title for her fourth Constable Evans novel and then struggle a bit to come up with a plot to go with it. After all, the idea of a Frenchwoman coming to the tiny town of Llanfair in Wales to open a gourmet restaurant is a bit of a stretch. It hardly matters, though, because the strength of this series is not plot but those staples of the British cozy, village ambience and eccentric characters. This time Constable Evan Evans investigates a series of arson fires, one of which--at the new French restaurant--produces a dead body. Helping and sometimes hindering Evans' efforts are a small boy named Tommy and a rude English arson investigator. A sprinkling of Welsh terms (glossary provided) and the townspeoples' habit of using folksy nicknames (Evans-the-Meat is the butcher) add to the already high charm quotient. As light and sweet as crepes suzette. --Jenny McLarin


Publisher's Weekly Review

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.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

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. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Excerpts

Excerpts

Chapter 1 The Reverend Tomos Parry Davies, minister of Chapel Bethel in the village of Llanfair, sang loudly to himself as he drove up the pass from Caernarfon. Heaven had certainly smiled on him today! What a stroke of luck that he had spotted the advertisement for a government surplus auction. This van was the answer to his prayers--high mileage, of course, and painted a depressing institutional gray, but it seated fifteen and was perfect for his needs. He had long been aware that his congregation was dwindling. There was little interest in religion these days, and no fear of the hellfire that he preached so eloquently. All over Wales chapels were being abandoned and turned into beauty parlors, garages, or even worse, New Age healing centers. Tomos Parry Davies shuddered. Chapel Ebenezer, only a couple of miles down the pass from Llanfair, had been abandoned last year. Tomos feared for the souls of its former flock. If a way could be found to bring them up to Llanfair . . . but many older parishioners didn't drive and there were no buses on Sunday. That's when the idea of a van came to him. To put it in non-Christian terms--if Mohammed couldn't come to the mountain, then the mountain would come to Mohammed. He had said nothing to anyone except his wife, and Roberts-the-Pump at the petrol station, who always had an ear to the ground when it came to secondhand cars for sale--and he had watched, waited, and prayed. And now his prayers were answered! He closed his eyes and pictured all those new worshipers pouring out of his van and into Chapel Bethel, while his rival, Rev. Powell-Jones of Chapel Beulah across the street, could only stare in disbelief. A satisfied smile spread across his plump, middle-aged face. And so cheap, too. A stroke of luck indeed--or rather the Lord's doing. The Lord knew which chapel He wanted to prosper! And this was just the beginning, Rev. Parry Davies said to himself. A bigger congregation meant more money coming in. Then he could replace the oil stove in the corner with a real central heating system, and maybe update the sound system to reach out to the young people. He'd have slide shows and video presentations to enhance his sermons. He was going to bring religion back to Llanfair in a big way. He drove through Llanberis, carefully negotiating the last vacationers of the season as they crossed the street to catch the mountain railway to the summit of Yr Wyddfa, which the English insisted on calling Mount Snowdon. Right after Llanberis the road began to climb. He put his foot down and heard a satisfying roar of power from the engine. He chose not to notice the black smoke that hung behind him in the clear mountain air. The village of Nant Peris passed by in a blur. He knew he should have slowed to thirty but he was so excited by the power of his new vehicle that he couldn't slow down. Besides, there was no policeman closer than Constable Evans up in Llanfair. Nobody here to give him a ticket. He came to the last straggling buildings before the pass narrowed and climbed again to reach Llanfair. He turned to look at the abandoned chapel whose congregation he hoped to round up every Sunday. It had been a sad sight, with windows boarded up and door nailed shut. He had almost passed it when he realized that something was going on there. He braked and rammed the heavy gear into reverse with much grinding, followed by an ominous clank. A builder's lorry was parked outside and two men were carrying in a slab of marble. Tomos's face grew hot with anger. What kind of dirty trick was the Lord playing on him? To reopen the chapel when he'd just spent his savings on the new van! Was his beautiful plan now doomed to failure? Then he saw the sign over the arched doorway to one side: CHEZ YVETTE. RESTAURANT FRANÇAIS. HIGH QUALITY FRENCH CUISINE. Over it a banner proclaimed, Grand Opening Tomorrow! Tomos felt his blood pressure rising to boiling point. The Lord's house--or what had been the Lord's house until recently--being turned into a restaurant! And not only a restaurant, but a French restaurant. Chez Yvette. Even the name sounded positively sinful. Tomos Parry Davies put his foot down and roared on up the pass to spread the dreadful news. Excerpted from Evan and Elle by Rhys Bowen All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.