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Village Affairs (Phillip Bethancourt and Jack Gibbons Mysteries #2)

3.43  ·  Rating Details ·  176 Ratings  ·  33 Reviews
Ambitious Scotland Yard detective Sergeant Jack Gibbons hears about his latest case---the death of a middle-aged widower in Chipping Chedding, a small town in the English Cotswolds---and can't believe his good luck. His best friend, wealthy man-about-town Phillip Bethancourt, just so happens to be in Chipping Chedding already, accompanying his model girlfriend on a fashion ...more
ebook, 352 pages
Published October 30th 2007 by Minotaur Books (first published October 31st 2006)
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May 05, 2015 Megan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
More accurately 2.5 I think.

I really wanted to like this, and considering some of my favorite books and TV shows are the classic small, English village murder mystery I really should have liked this. And honestly, it's not that there was one glaring flaw in the book, it really was just a bunch of small things that built up to make simply finishing the book more and more difficult. Let's take them one at a time:

The book is way too slow and dense for the information being conveyed. Each chapter fe
Lizabeth Tucker
When Charlie Bingham is murdered in Chipping Chedding while Phillip Bethancourt is visiting there, Sgt. Jack Gibbons and Chief Inspector Wallace Carmichael find the amateur sleuth more than willing to help in the investigation.

A gentle murder mystery that explores the secrets of a small town. May I say that Clarence Astley-Cooper almost stole the book? Anyone with a fondness for Agatha Christie or Midsomer Murders should love this series. And the time period just adds panache. 3.5 out of 5.
Dec 14, 2008 Emma rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My mom reads mysteries, nothing else. Over the years, I've gained a fair bit of knowledge about the genre from performing reader's advisory for her to bring home books she would enjoy. When a book is especially enticing, I will also try to read it. Such was the case with Cassandra Chan's debut novel The Young Widow and, now, her second Bethancourt and Gibbons mystery Village Affairs (2006).

Detective Sergeant Jack Gibbons usually works on cases surrounding the London area under Detective Chiefe I
Aug 17, 2014 Yune rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I'm re-reading the series, and remembering all the things I liked so much about it: gently witty dialogue, scenarios with a limited (and thus manageable) cast without seeming artificially constricted, and of course, the main duo, who work so well together despite their disparate backgrounds (one wealthy and dating a fashion model; the other a practical police detective).

I admit to being taken aback by the precipitous infatuation Detective Sergeant Gibbons developed for a murder suspect in the f
Oct 10, 2011 Angela rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, library
Village Affairs, the second in Cassandra Chan's Bethancourt-Gibbons series, is the first to show signs of the series seriously getting its feet under it. It's not quite as strong yet as the third and fourth novels, but the pieces are all in place here, and all of them are starting to work well together.

This book kicks in not terribly long after the events of the first book--and Gibbons, unfortunately, is in sad straits. (More than that I won't say, so as to avoid spoilers.) But Bethancourt's gir
Oct 22, 2011 Nancy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
I should NEVER, ever, pay attention to publisher's promotional quotes. I am sure I would have enjoyed this book thoroughly if I had not read the "blurb" suggesting it is a homage to Dorothy Sayer's engaging Lord Peter Whimsey.

The conceit of using a sophisticated, worldly man of means as an amateur detective has been done so well by Marjorie Allingham and Dorothy Sayers that it is challenging for anyone who aspires to fill those shoes. Cassandra Chan created an intelligent, appealing character fo
Aug 22, 2008 Cris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries, british
An improvement over the first novel in this series. Your basic contemporary British cozy mystery, especially those with amateur detectives. (Which is somewhat surprising since one of the main characters is a police detective.) Solid characterization, attentive attention to the details of small village life and an unusual mystery combine for an enjoyable, if unspectacular, read. Very strong sense of place (i.e. a contemporary small British village)

Possible Read-A-Likes: The first novel in the ser
Jenny C.
Okay, I really wanted to like this book. I accidentally stumbled upon it at the local library. It had a very cute cover and boasted a great mystery. This novel does take you into the heart of a small town in England. I actually think Chan did a great job incorporating the English flair. However, the mystery itself was pretty slow-moving. Sometimes I think the reason why I can't figure out the murderer is because there are too many people around--there's all these mentions of different names and ...more
Apr 15, 2013 Em rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was one of the coziest mysteries ever. A rich wanderer who finally has settled down in a small English village is found dead in his house - initially, heart attack is suspected, later high doses of sedatives are found in his blood. His daughter is a socialite who depends on his money for her life style and later, it is brought to light that he was engaged to be married to a rich filmstar whose children, who again depended on her for their livelihoods, were ensconed in a farmhouse in the villa ...more
Margot Jennifer
Feb 11, 2014 Margot Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm so glad there are several of these. I have been missing the Christie type mystery. These are entertaining, and gentle--no sordid details, mild language, no gratuitous scenes. I love a good mystery that can be done without making the whole world appear dark and evil. The characters are fun and appealing. I was hoping for more development of the main characters, but I suppose reading subsequent books will enlighten. This a fun, easy to read book, perfect for an evening diversion.
Aug 10, 2010 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-england
Amateur detective Phillip Bethancourt is visiting the quiet village of Chipping Chedding when a popular newcomer is found dead. The man was known to have a bad heart, but circumstances make the police wonder just what did happen to Charlie Bingham. That brings Scotland Yard's Jack Gibbons, Phillip's best friend, and his inspector to the village, where things rapidly spin out of control. Chan's series is a charming update of the Golden Age novel.
Sarah Pottenger
Jack Gibbons is a British detective who often calls upon the sleuthy abilities of his friend, gentleman Phillip Bethancourt (who is SO CUTE, by the way). I was bummed to find out that this was #2. Now I have to track down #1. The only qualm I have with it was that there were too many points of view. We really didn't need to hear from so many incidental characters.
Margo Brooks
A fun little mystery set in the English countryside. I agree with other reviewers that the Dorothy Sayers comparison is more in the imagination of the publisher than in the eye of the reader, but I enjoyed it. The only bit of tediousness was that the cops repeated the same suppositions so many times! That could be a bit monotonous, but I loved the characters. I'll read more of this series.
May 01, 2016 Rebecca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I really don't know why I skipped through this one - all the parts are there of books I like, I like the characters, and yet it doesn't hold my interest - maybe because I knew who the murderer was right from the get go, something familiar about the plot
Cynthia Hale
Mar 20, 2011 Cynthia Hale rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book really held my attention. It was a thoughtful whodunit, filled with good characters. The cover looks a bit smutty, but the content was clean. I love Small English villages as settings for mysteries and this one was great!
Oct 22, 2012 Tina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is my third Cassandra Chan book. I have enjoyed all of her books but at times in Village Affairs I felt the story repeated itself a little often and had a tendency to drag. All in all it was an extremely good story line.
Jun 13, 2007 Megan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
This book is a good read in the style of the early mystery, a la Dorothy Sayers et al. The characters and other plotlines are well-developed as well, to flesh out the novel.
Feb 28, 2011 Leslie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Chan's second proves she is after Christie's crown as the queen of the English cozy. Entertaining, light, and with a touch of Sayers' wit, she has a good shot at it!
Jun 29, 2011 Stef rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really like this series. Even though I have read the books out of order, they stand alone and are fun, interesting reads.
Jul 30, 2014 Diane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this a lot. I took it on vacation with me, and it was the perfect kind of book for that. Her books are classic "cozy" mysteries.
Jul 29, 2011 Julie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: british-fiction
i believe i read them out of order and read this one first. preferred it to the other two in her series. this was a good 'british cozy'.
Jan 22, 2011 Johanna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Cute, cozy mystery. It definitely lagged in the middle though and I guessed who did it fairly early on.
Sarah "Kat"
meh. i persevered but never bonded with any of the characters - especially the relationship with Marla the pouty model and the protagonist - he needs to dump her arse. :)
Dec 28, 2011 Cece rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having limited time to read, mostly when I am sleepy, hampered my enjoyment of this mystery, but the characters (except for Marla) are engaging and the mystery is well-plotted.
Kate rated it it was ok
Nov 25, 2008
Nessie rated it really liked it
Mar 25, 2013
Laurie rated it liked it
Nov 16, 2009
Celia rated it it was amazing
Apr 05, 2011
Carol Fillmore
Carol Fillmore rated it liked it
Aug 23, 2015
Caroline Nelson
Caroline Nelson rated it it was amazing
Aug 03, 2015
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Cassandra Chan has published four novels, most recently A Spider on the Stairs, and several short stories featuring Gibbons and Bethancourt. She lives in Port St. Lucie, Florida.
More about Cassandra Chan...

Other Books in the Series

Phillip Bethancourt and Jack Gibbons Mysteries (4 books)
  • The Young Widow (Phillip Bethancourt and Jack Gibbons Mysteries #1)
  • Trick of the Mind (Phillip Bethancourt and Jack Gibbons Mysteries #3)
  • A Spider on the Stairs (Phillip Bethancourt and Jack Gibbons Mysteries, #4)

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“I hate this case,' stated Gibbons unequivocally. 'I don’t know what really happened, I shall probably never know what really happened, and I shall still be a detective sergeant when I’m sixty.” 1 likes
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