Evan Evans is a young police constable who has traded in the violence of city life for idyllic Llanfair, a Welsh village tucked far away from trouble. Nestled among the Snowdonia mountain range, Llanfair looks to Constable Evans like a town forgotten by time, but he quickly learns that even the bucolic countryside has its share of eccentric - and deadly - characters. Evans' new neighbors include two competitive ministers vying for the souls of their flock, one lascivious barmaid, and three other Evanses: Evan-the-Meat, Evans-the-Milk, and Evans-the-Post (whose favorite hobby is to read the mail before he delivers it).
Before Evans has time to sort through the complicated relationships and rivalries of his new home, he's called to the scene of a crime as brutal and fearsome as any he encountered in the big city. Two hikers have been murdered on the trails of the local mountain, and Evans must hunt down a vicious killer - who may or may not be linked to the mysterious destruction of Mrs. Powell-Jones' prize-winning tomatoes.
Evans Above is the first novel in Rhys Bowen's popular Constable Evans Mystery Series.
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Warm Welsh mystery
This is a gentle, fairly slow-paced mystery with a lot of atmosphere and detail about life in a small north Welsh village. There is a lot of humour and some amusing characters, but it isn't too cosy and doesn't skate over the impact of crime.
I liked the detective, Evan Evans, the best. Roger Clark's narration really made it for me - he is the best narrator I've heard yet on an audio book. His Welsh accent really brings the book alive.
Murder in the Welsh mountains.
I got slightly irritated with all the village girls swooning over the detective - it would be nice to see him have a bit of competition instead of having 3 women as rivals for his affections! Perhaps that will happen in book 2, though.
- J. Geater
Mr. Clark sent me to sleep!
I would give Rhys Bowen a second chance but not Roger Clark.
I never got to the end as, for the first time ever, I nodded off so missed the end and did not feel like going back to hear the bits I had missed. I buy and listen to several audiobooks a week, as I am sight disabled, and although I have returned some books as I did not like the reader I cannot ever remember trying to persevere so hard to finish a book, so I think that the story was quite good but Mr. Clark's voice made the book so flat. It was a great relief to start the next book I had bought.
More spirit, a change of pace and some feeling that Roger Clark was interested in what he was reading. A strong Welsh voice would have been great.
The book seemed O.K. not exactly a Muir or Ewart Hutton but it did move along quite nicely. The main problem was that as it was read in such a boring way a lot of the book got lost when I got distracted and, unlike my usual listening habit, I did not feel like going back to listen to the bits I missed as it would mean I would have to listen to more of Roger Clark!
As my sight is poor I do put more weight on a good reader than others might. I cannot go back and read the original as I know many do. It is disappointing when, who ever does such things, takes little care in matching voices to books. When it it is done well it makes such a difference. I do think that some of the best readers like Peter Forbes add a lot to the listening experience.
- Gaynor M.