Book Review: Rhys Bowen’s Evan Only Knows

Posted October 24, 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 Evan Only Knows

Evan Only Knows


Rhys Bowen

cozy mystery that was published by Minotaur Books on March 11, 2003 and has 230 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Other books by this author which I have reviewed include Evans Above, Evan Help Us, Evanly Choirs, Bless the Bride, The Last Illusion, Evan and Elle, Naughty in Nice, Evan Can Wait, Evans to Betsy, 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

Seventh in the Constable Evans mystery series set in Llanfair, North Wales and revolving around Constable Evan Evans, the so-far local policeman for the area.

My Take

This is a difficult case for Evans as there is nothing he’d like better than to see Tony convicted properly this time. But between his conscience and what Evans believes his dad would say, he must investigate the discrepancies he stumbles across. Even if it means his father’s killer goes free.

Bowen does lovely work with Evans’ thought processes and the conversations. There is a nice realism to exchanges between characters and a wee touch of the Agatha Christie in how Evans ferrets out the clues.

The Story

Disaster strikes in North Wales! The Ministry of Agriculture plans to destroy the flocks of sheep of all the farmers in a wide area in Wales including Evans’ area. All leave and the course Evans was supposed to attend has been canceled. Then Evans learns that Bronwen’s job may be at risk as well.

Unable to bear the emotional side of the farmers’ losses, Evans manages to slip off with “compassionate leave” arranged by the newly-promoted DI Watkins and intends to spend the next two weeks introducing Bronwen to his mother and for Bronwen to introduce him to her parents.

There’s just two little problems: Bronwen has promised to help one of the girls in her class that she’ll save young Eirlys’ pet lamb and Tony Mancini, the lad convicted of killing Evan’s father, has been arrested for the rape-murder of a young girl.

The Characters

Constable Evan Evans is a quietly strong person; as a character, he’s strong only in comparison to the others in the story. He certainly understands his mother and her crotchety ways! He does discover what a jewel he has in Bronwen Price when she shows up and helps him with his investigation. Her support in the face of her parents, his mother, and the policemen in Swansea goes a long way to boosting his confidence.

Maggie provides a bit of the old cat as Evans’ old girlfriend while the policemen at Swansea run through the welcome, the detestation, and finally the understanding when Evans throws everything into chaos. I’m curious as to how long it takes before Evan and Bronwen realize their parents are very much alike in their prejudices and need for routine.

I don’t think Evan or Bronwen will have to worry too much about one or the other insisting upon spending their holidays with their parents as they seem fairly agreed upon their natures.

The Cover and Title

This is an unexpected cover! It’s all that white background that throws me off although maybe it’s to reflect the ‘eaven to which all the sheep go when the Min of Ag gets through with them?? I am confused as to the meaning of the angel statue hoisted so high in the air with all its cracks. Is it to reflect the cracks in the justice system or perhaps those that Evans perceives in himself? It is possible that it’s a monument to Evan’s dad having fallen in the line of duty and then his killer getting such a light sentence.

Anyway, it certainly is true that the truth of this case is something Evan Only Knows.