Book Review: Rhys Bowen’s Evans Above

Posted February 4, 2011 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Rhys Bowen’s Evans Above

Evans Above


Rhys Bowen

mystery that was published by Berkley Prime Crime on December 1998 and has 214 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Other books by this author which I have reviewed include Evan Help Us, Evanly Choirs, Bless the Bride, The Last Illusion, Evan and Elle, Naughty in Nice, Evan Can Wait, Evans to Betsy, Evan Only Knows, Her Royal Spyness, A Royal Pain, Royal Flush, Evan's Gate, Royal Blood, Evan Blessed, Evanly Bodies, Rhys Bowen, Hush Now, Don't You Cry, The Twelve Clues of Christmas, The Family Way, Heirs and Graces, Queen of Hearts, Malice at the Palace, Crowned and Dangerous, On Her Majesty's Frightfully Secret Service

The first in the mystery series, Constable Evans, about a copper in a Welsh village.

My Take

Evans Above feels like a cross between the village life of Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple with the camaraderie between Inspector Jury and Divisional Commander Brian Macalvie in Martha Grimes’ Richard Jury series (Grimes’ series starts with Man with a Load of Mischief).

Bowen provides a nice sense of the atmosphere and give-and-take of village life with a vague sense of whatever time period in which Llanfair exists. It has a feel of the 1950s, but there’s a reference to a train robbery of the Royal Mail, so I’m guessing that the year is round about 1969 which would make sense for the atmosphere depicted for a small village in the country.

It’s a soft, easy read with engaging characters and realistic dialog. I’m looking forward to reading Evan Help Us.

The Story

Evans has left big-city crime behind for the peace and tranquility of village life in Wales and has no desire to become entangled with any woman. Ahh, to dream for so little…and not get it. Evans soon becomes entangled. With a series of unexplained murders, a village full of matchmakers, and the need to play country politics.

The Characters

Constable Evan Evans took a demotion to come home to Wales. Mrs. Williams is his landlady and cooks lovely meals for him even as she tries to push him onto her granddaughter, Sharon.

Bronwen Price is the schoolteacher. Mrs. Powell-Jones is one of the ministers’ wives and a real pain in the ass. Betsy is the sexy barmaid after Evans.

Detective Inspector Hughes hates Evans.

Major Anderson runs the Everest Hotel in Llanfair, Wales.