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Three moon gifSt. Martin's Minotaur (Hardcover), ISBN: 0312252447
Like any small town, the residents of Llanfair in North Wales turn a wary eye on anyone from the outside. When a petite femme French chef opens a restaurant down the road, reactions range from excited to downright suspicious. When a serial arsonist lurks in their midst, one that seems to hit foreigners, suspicions turn to each other. Then the French restaurant burns, resulting in a death, and fingers point in all directions, including the beautiful chef and owner. 

Book: Rhys Bowen, Evan and ElleTo Constable Evan Evans (also known by the folks in the village as Evans-the-Law -- not to be confused with Evans-the-Meat and Evans-the-Milk), falls the not-so-welcome job of finding the criminal. And suspects crop up often enough to keep you wondering.  

The fourth Constable Evans mystery by author Rhys Bowen makes me want to read the rest of the series. I like Evans-the-Law and the people of Llanfair. From Mrs. Williams, the Constable's Welsh-speaking housekeeper, to Bronwyn Price, local schoolteacher and the Constable's girlfriend, the cast of characters delight. I found myself cheering Constable Evans, laughing at Mrs. Williams and sticking my tongue out at the book whenever that annoying arson inspector took the stage.  

Bowen even includes a few words of the Welsh language, providing definitions and phonetic spellings to help the reader. I loved that. I like hearing the characters talk while I read and I liked the fact that they got to speak their native language on occasion. I found myself trying to pronounce the words, wondering how well I'd pass as Welsh.  

Book: Rhys Bowen, Evanly ChoirsOne test I always put a mystery through when I read it relates to the page I'm on when I find myself wondering what page I'm on. I was well on my way to finishing Evan and Elle before I even thought to ask myself that question. Trust me. That's a good sign. 

I must admit to a certain bias concerning this book. I recently developed a fondness for Wales and all things Welsh. I also boast a Welsh background, and the name Evans appears in my family tree two generations back. Hey! The Constable and I could be shirttail kin. Wonder if I could swing a trip to Wales and call it research?  

Jenny Buehler

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