Murder before Evensong Cozy Book Review

Murder before  Evensong Cozy Book Review

Title: Murder Before Evensong
Author: The Reverend Richard Coles
Published: July 11, 2023, Titan Books
No. of Pages: 308
Cover Price: $17.94 Hardcover, $7.99 Kindle

The Reverend Richard Coles has released the first cozy novel in the Canon Clement Mystery Series, Murder Before Evensong. which is a bestseller in the UK. Daniel Clement, who is the rector of Champton and lives in the rectory, announces that he is going to install a lavatory in the parish church, and that draws ire from some old ladies who have been attending for years, and who are opposed to it; these ladies are plotting to mess up Daniel’s plan, which leads to some humor. One night when Daniel is saying Evensong alone in the church, the dogs find the murdered body of Anthony Bowness–cousin to Bernard de Floures, patron of Champton, and Daniel, along with his other duties, investigates.

The prose is very English, and captures the ambiance of the UK, as well as the lightness and humor. Daniel, the protagonist is quite well developed, and he is very likeable. Many of the supporting characters are developed as well, but there are too many characters to keep track of. Audrey, Daniel’s mother is a fun character, and every cozy lover’s favorite characters are pets – in this case, Cosmo and Hilda, who are delightful dachshunds. The story is quite charming, and there are plenty of twists and turns, which will keep readers reading. There is also some building suspense.

Unfortunately, Cole’s writing style is very flowery and over the top; it’s difficult to follow and very wordy. He uses a lot of words that are unfamiliar to many, and one gets the feeling he writes with a thesaurus at his side. The story is also hard to follow for those who aren’t familiar with some of the ecclesiastical practices of whatever church sect that Daniel represents. The actual story, if readers can cut through the wordiness, is delightful and the English aspects make it fun.

Special thanks to NetGalley for supplying a review copy of this book.

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