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Tuesday, 11 July 2017

‘Murder in Little Shendon’ by A.H.Richardson

Published by Serano Press,
28 August 2015.  
ISBN 978-1-5152-8397-3

A. H. Richardson has set her book in an indeterminate Golden Age era.  The delightful English village of Little Shendon has a Midsomer Murders impression to it and the background of behaviour, communications and relationships has a very old-fashioned feel.

The story begins with the violent murder of Bartholomew Fynche in his antique shop, The Bygone Era.  His shop is on the High street in Little Shendon and it was well frequented in the hours before he was struck down.   This means that the local police Inspector Burgess needs some assistance in making enquiries so he enlists his old friend, Sir Victor Hazlitt, whose aunt lives in the big house near the village, and Beresford Brandon, a noted Shakespearean actor.   There is an MI5 connection to the victim which is a reason for Victor’s involvement and Beresford offers to help too.

There is need to question many of Little Shendon’s inhabitants and they are a motley lot ranging from the lady of the manor through the vicar, the young female librarian, the servants at the manor, the innkeeper, a retired major, 2 American tourists and a Hungarian countess.  Amazingly they all have reasons to dislike the dead man whose unpleasant style of behaviour had been consistent through his life.   

A picture of Fyche’s actions emerges but, as always, people do not always tell the full story.  There is a further murder related to the first.   The evidence procured by the three investigators is compiled and they formulate a theory.  As in many famous detective stories the denouement takes place at a meeting of village inhabitants at the vicarage!
Reviewer: Jennifer S. Palmer 
Although she has written books in another genre this is the first crime novel from A. H. Richardson, an expatriate Englishwoman.

A.H. Richardson was born in England and is the only daughter of Clive Richardson, one of Britain’s foremost composers and concert pianists. She studied drama at LAMDA (London Academy Music and Dramatic Art) which involved all sort of Shakespearian roles and lots of Oscar Wilde! She is a treasured storyteller, whose unlimited imagination conjures up challenging and unforgettable characters, both good and evil, daring mystery fans everywhere to delve into their own imaginations to enjoy the drama of solving the crime. The author has always loved cosy tales of intrigue and mystery. She paints and sculpts, plays guitar, trained dressage competitors, is a linguist, and acted on stage, film and television. She now lives in and loves life in the U.S.A., Tennessee being her adopted state

Jennifer Palmer Throughout my reading life crime fiction has been a constant interest; I really enjoyed my 15 years as an expatriate in the Far East, the Netherlands & the USA but occasionally the solace of closing my door to the outside world and sitting reading was highly therapeutic. I now lecture to adults on historical topics including Famous Historical Mysteries.

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