If you’ve ever read or watched any of Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple stories, or seen the Midsomer Murders TV series, or even some of the episodes of Inspectors Morse or Lewis, then you’ll know that picturesque English villages are actually hotbeds of murder and mayhem.
Nothing quaint about them at all, really.
No less an authority than Sherlock Holmes said to Dr. Watson in The Adventure of the Copper Beeches,
“You look at these scattered houses, and you are impressed by their beauty. I look at them, and the only thought which comes to me is a feeling of their isolation, and of the impunity with which crime may be committed there.” [The Original Illustrated Sherlock Holmes, p. 171]
Your Guide to Not Getting Murdered in a Quaint English Village is a tongue-in-cheek catalog of all the suspicious people and dangerous places you might encounter if you are foolish enough to risk your life visiting one of these supposedly tranquil locales.
Your Guide to Not Getting Murdered
in a Quaint English Village
By Maureen Johnson and Jay Cooper
Ten Speed Press, New York, 2021
Maureen Johnson in a best-selling author of young adult novels and Jay Cooper is an illustrator and creative director.
Together they’ve created a picture book for adults. You can read the whole thing in less than an hour.
Johnson and Cooper have done a wonderful job, and possibly a great public service, in hitting all the classic English murder mystery tropes such as The Vicar, The Publican, and The Amateur Astronomer, and events such as The Village Fete and The Historical Reenactment with stern warnings to avoid them all.
Stick to the big cities, I say, but if you must go into the countryside, well, forewarned is forearmed.
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Thanks to Molly @ Silver Button Books for recommending this one!
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