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Evans Above [Large Print] [Hardcover]

Rhys Bowen
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Aug 1998
Evan Evans, a young police constable, has traded city life for that of Llanfair - an idyllic Welsh village. He quickly learns that even the bucolic countryside has its share of eccentric - and deadly characters. When two hikers are murdered, Evans must hunt down a vicious killer.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: ISIS Large Print Books; Large Print edition edition (Aug 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0753158957
  • ISBN-13: 978-0753158951
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,438,627 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Although I now live in California, I'm a transplanted Brit--born in Bath, but my mother's family comes from Wales. Hence my first mystery series featured a Welsh police constable (the Constable Evans Mysteries of which there are 10). I've been a writer all my life but finally decided to write what I like to read--mystery novels with a great sense of time and place.
I currently write two series: The Molly Murphy mysteries set in 1900s New York City, featuring an Irish immigrant woman, and the lighter Royal Spyness Mysteries about a minor royal in 1930s England. She's Lady Georgiana, 34th in line to the throne, but completely penniless. These have been described by Booklist as "a smashing romp."
My books have been nominated for every major mystery award in the US and I have won 9 including Agatha, Anthony and MacAvity awards.

My Royal Spyness books ring true because I married into a family that once owned stately homes and has cousins with funny nicknames. So many good anecdotes there! The Royal Spyness books currently have a movie option and I'm hoping they will become more available in Britain.

When I'm not writing I love to travel, hike, sing, play my Celtic harp and generally enjoy lie.

Product Description

About the Author

Rhys Bowen has been nominated for every major award in mystery writing, including the Edgar(R), and has won seven, including both Agatha and Anthony awards. She is also the author of the Molly Murphy Mysteries set in turn-of-the-century New York, and the Constable Evans Mysteries set in Wales. She was born in England and lives in Northern California. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Evan Evans was a constable with the North Wales police force, currently assigned to the village of Llanfair. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining and Enjoyable Series Debut 26 Nov 2002
By Mark Baker TOP 500 REVIEWER
Constable Evan Evans is enjoying his quiet job in the small Welsh village of Llanfair. The only things that occupy his time are avoiding attempts to set him up with eligible women like Betsy the barmaid and answering the occasional call from Mrs. Powell-Jones about trespassers in her garden.
But one day, two bodies are found on nearby Mount Snowden. Both look like hiking accidents, but Evan is convinced that something strange is going on. Poking around, he finds a connection between the two men. But why were they lured to their death? Is there really a mad man on the loose on his beloved mountains?
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The setting and characters were charming, and the subtle humor kept me smiling throughout. Part way through, I was convinced I knew what was going on, but wound up being completely surprised by the ending. The plot never looses its pace either. There was always some new bit of information to keep me glued to the book.
I'm glad I gave this series a try and am already planning a return visit. If you enjoy cozies, pick up the first in this fun series.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good fun 13 Feb 2010
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Rhys Bowen's books were unknown to me until I saw them on the Americymru website. Although the author lives in California, she clearly knows Wales quite well and there's a good sense of place in the books. The only criticism I have of her books is that they are not well edited and some of the Welsh spelling is very poor!
That aside, the story was good and I found the book amusing.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Funny & interesting 12 Jan 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A good read, especially for anyone who knows & loves N.Wales. This is a crime story by Rhys Bowen who must really know the area.
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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  67 reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Read it for the pleasure of the Welsh culture 27 Jun 2003
By Karina A. Suarez - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The first installment in the Constable Evans series of Welsh mysteries introduces us to the quiet village of Llanfair, at the foot of mount Snowdon in Northern Wales. With its slate blue cottages and warm townsfolk, it is the last place on earth for murder. Or is it? Faster than you can say "bore da" (the Welsh "hello"), Constable Evan Evans - "You can't get more Welsh than that, can you?" (Page 213) - is whisked away from his weekly sermon at church when the terrible deaths of two apparent climbers take place at the famous mountain, quite furtively. An investigation immediately opens but Constable Evans doesn't get much help. He has to deal with some eccentric superiors who would not accept his hunches about the two deaths being connected, even though they happened in two different spots at Mount Snowdon.
Poor Evans doesn't have it easier on his personal turf either. Two local women are on his track: one exuberant barmaid and a demure school teacher who are at each other's throats over him, a landlady who overfeeds him Welsh delicacies, and the local minister's wife, who expects him to be at her beck-and-call for everything from tomato theft to flowerbed trampling.
This is a complex mystery that starts off with two murders, but it develops into an engaging puzzle of disappearances, child crimes, robbery, etc.; where Constable Evans always tries to find "a connection". As the book progresses, this becomes his mantra, as the confusion increases and the so called connection seems most elusive, but it's always lurking in the background, until it eventually turns up.
I didn't find the denouement all that fair to the reader. As a matter of fact, it is impossible to discover whodunit on the book's evidence alone because a vital piece of information is missing until, all of a sudden, we're confronted with the murderer. Withholding information in a mystery is a serious crime (get it?). The evidence, the clues, must all be well hidden and sometimes even presented deceptively; but they must always be there, and the reader must be able to sense them. This is not so in "Evans Above". Luckily, however, this country cozy is entertaining enough, when at the same time reflects the fierce nationalism that makes this part of the UK stand as a land on its own. The local customs and the spirit of the people come through, giving the book its true value. As it says in the prologue, one doesn't think of Wales as a foreign country, but in fact it is. It is one of those places I'd like to visit some day, and, thanks to books like this one, I know I'll keep it in my heart.
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Catches the flavor of the Welsh and their surroundings 9 Feb 1999
By Jerome P. Daniels - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is a delightful romp up and down Mt. Snowdon in north Wales. The mystery is not the most compelling or intense, but the narrative accurately portrays the Welsh independent characteristics and dialog, describes the beautiful country side and unique climate, and alludes to the differences between the Welsh and English. The book brings back fond memories for anyone who has visited this charming part of Wales. A book full of charm and humor. I'm looking forward to the next ramblings of Constable Evans -- and a trip back to Mt. Snowdon.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A GREAT WELSH COZY 28 Jan 2002
By Ramona Honan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This new "cozy" mystery series begins with the new Constable Evan Evans who wants to return to the the idyllic quiet in Llanfair, Wales. He had been trained in Swansea but is returning to his home after his policeman father is killed in the line of duty.
But it seems murder is also in Llanfair when the bodies of two men, strangers it seems to each other, are found on a mountain. At first, it looks like an accident, but Evan Evans thinks they were murdered--but murdered separately. He finds a postcard indicating that the two men had come to the Llanfiar mountain in thememory of their Army buddy, but it doesn't given any inference as to why the men were killed. He sets out to find why and who.
Then, another stranger is found with his throat slashed in a cave. What does this have to do with the murder of the other two?
I was very glad to have discovered Ms. Bowen's Evan Evans. This is not a cloying cozy mystery. It grabbed my interest from the start, and I wanted to find more about Constable Evans and his life in Llanfair. I am glad Rhys Bowen is continuing the series and hope to read more.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as expected 19 Jan 2002
By Louis M. Perdue - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I had heard of this series and when shopping one day, bought this first one to try it out. I was somewhat disappointed. It kept my interest long enough to want to confirm my thoughts on who committed the murders and I might even bother to buy & read the second in the series; however, the writing was at times amateurish and I found myself thinking of better ways to write what I had just read. The main character is interesting [and there is the obligatory love interest], but there were times that he contradicted himself in his treatment of his superiors and the townspeople.
This was enough for me to rate it four stars, but then having figured out who did it long before the end of the book, I rate it only three.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Plodding Read 6 July 2001
By Stefanie N - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
If you have read any of M C Beaton's popular Hamish MacBeth series (set in the Scottish Highlands) you will find the whole setup entirely predictable. There's the likeable, unambitious village constable who (surprise surprise) ends up showing his superiors a thing or two. There's the lovely yet austere woman with whom a relationship is kindled. There's the village of supposedly colorful characters where everyone knows everyone's business.
Unfortunately the characters as drawn are not all that interesting, save that they share the same name. So we meet the butcher "Evans the Meat" and the milkman "Evans the Milk" as distinguished from our hero "Evans the Law." The plot, concerning two deaths on the Snowdon mountains is slow, and marred by the fact that we know so little about the victims or their families. It becomes hard to care very much. I found myself skimming the last third of the book just to find out whodunnit. The writing and plot development were so pedestrian that I could not stay focussed.
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