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    MURDER FLIES THE COOP by Jessica Ellicott

    MURDER FLIES THE COOP by Jessica Ellicott is the second book in the Beryl and Edwina Mystery series. It’s a story of the adventures of two elderly old friends, Beryl Helliwell and Brit Edwina. After Beryl moved back to Walmsley Parva, they’ve been sharing accommodations to help with expenses during the lean years after the war. Edwina is a very reserve and proper English lady that’s never married. On the other hand, Beryl is an America with somewhat of a free spirit having been married and divorces several time and been on just about every adventure imaginable in distant far off lands. Although totally different, they seem to complement each other using their strengths to bring out the best in the other. When Vicar Wilfred Lowethorpe asked Edwina and Beryl, due to their expertise in solving other mysteries, to check into the matter of the missing pigeon racing club funds and prize birds as well as the sudden disappearance of the club’s treasurer, they decide to start up a private inquiry agency. After all they did have all the necessary equipment – experience, a telephone, an automobile and a pistol – and they really could use the income that it would provide to keep the debtors off their heels. It’s during their search for the money and birds that they stumbled upon the body of the treasure, Lionel Cunningham turning their investigation into a murder case as well. They find both help and hindrance from the locals during the investigation as well as shock that two such fine upstanding ladies would entertain opening such a venture. Simpkins, Edwina’s gardener who had been the gardener for her parents as well, proves to be very helpful to them. He not only steered them to the Vicar to start with, but was also helpful in the investigation being a go between with both the classes and the sexes always staying vigilant over protecting and helping them. MURDER FLIES THE COOP is a wonderful book. One that you will relish if you enjoy cozy mysteries. The author has a way of keeping you guessing about whodunit right up to the very end at which point it then all makes sense. Such a delight to step back and wonder “why didn’t I figure that out before now”. It’s a book that shows how time was back in the day when things were at a slower pace and how women were still perceived as the weaker sex. How it was a great adventure to take a drive in a motorcar and how there were tensions between the classes. It was great to see Edwina and Beryl as two strong women able to keep their wits about them and use their smarts for good to overpower evil. MURDER FLIES THE COOP can definitely be read as a standalone book. However, if like me, once you read this book you will want to check out the first book in the series and wonder how long the wait for book #3 to come out.
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