My Mum recently recommended I read the ‘Very English Mystery series’ by Elizabeth Edmondson, knowing my taste for historical fiction and murder mysteries. In April I therefore started with A Man of Some Repute and followed it with A Question of Inheritance and A Matter of Loyalty. The latter was sadly finished by her son after the author died, but is done brilliantly, so that the style matches seamlessly. I very much enjoyed disappearing into the life of Selchester Castle in the 1950s, filled with intrigue, spies, unsolved mysteries and a rich cast of characters.
Freya lives in the castle that belongs to her uncle, an uncle who went missing seven years ago and is now presumed dead. She purports to be writing the family history, but is in fact a writer of hugely successful historical novels, which she hides from her family to avoid their disapproval. Hugo turns up to stay at the castle, having been posted to an outpost of the secret services based in Selchester, one that the locals know full well is not an offshoot of the Department of Statistics. He brings with him his younger sister Georgia, who is now his responsibility since their parents died in the war.
The novels revolve around their adventures, surrounded by a cast of the Earl’s family, those who work at the castle and the townspeople. First up is getting to the bottom of Freya’s uncle the Earl’s death, and a series of further murders and mysteries and kidnappings subsequently need solving.
These are an easy and enjoyable read and are an interesting take on 1950s post-war, Cold War Britain.