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In this installment of the Pushing My Shelf blog series, Karen explores a cozy British mystery.

This month we thought we would do a blog series for the Push Your Shelf Bingo Challenge. The challenge is to complete Bingo squares that “push your shelf.” In other words, read or try something that you might not ordinarily consider; something not typically found on your bookshelf. Find out more here.

To cheer you on some participating staff members* are contributing short blogs that recount their experience completing a Bingo challenge and describing how that square “pushes their shelf”.

* Staff members can play. (Just not win.)



This month, I read a book from a genre I don’t normally read: Mystery. I actually love the Mystery genre, but I’m usually streaming a tv series or a movie, not reading it. The book I read is Murder in an English Village, by Jessica Ellicott.


Cover Murder in an English VillageThis book stood out to me because of its cover. I could tell immediately from the attire of the two women – the fur-lined dress coats and cloche hats - that this is a story set in the 1920’s, a favorite era of mine.

Beryl Helliwell is a legendary American adventuress, who longs for a change of pace and some peace and quiet. Not eager to return to America under Prohibition, she answers a lodging ad that just happened to be posted by her old school chum, Edwina Davenport, who’s left in dire financial straits due to the post-war bust. And so the two old friends become roommates, in the sleepy hamlet of Walmsley Parva – which turns out to harbor some sinister secrets. Beryl and Edwina decide to become private agents for hire, improving Edwina’s finances, and satisfying Beryl’s thirst for adventure.


True to its title, this book is extremely, and delightfully, British. Almost to the level of parody, especially when it comes to the characters’ names - Beryl Helliwell, Edwina Davenport, Prudence Rathbone, Crumpet (that’s the dog) – and in sentences like this: “Edwina’s heart thrashed and thumped like the sparrow she had once discovered caught in her gooseberry netting.” I relished this book like a scone with raspberry jam and clotted cream, and fans of cozy, humorous mysteries will too. Additionally, this counts as a square on my Push Your Shelf Bingo Card. Which genre will you try next?

This is the first book in a series of six, the Beryl and Edwina Mysteries: Murder Flies the CoopMurder Cuts the MustardMurder Comes to Call , Murder in an English Glade,  and Murder Through the English Post.

Cover Murder Flies The Coop

Cover Murder Cuts The Mustard

Cover Murder Comes To CallCover Murder In an English Glade














Cover Murder In an English Post













Karen is an Information Services assistant at the Handley Library.