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Under an English Heaven: An Ellie Kent Mystery

3.8  ·  Rating Details ·  1,002 Ratings  ·  105 Reviews
When Ellie Kent moves to an English village with her new husband Graham, she fears the villagers will always see her as that young American who snared their attractive vicar during his sabbatical in California. But this challenge is nothing compared to what happens when she stumbles across a body in the churchyard. The villagers insist they don't know the murdered man, so ...more
Paperback, 246 pages
Published March 1st 2014 by Cozy Cat Press
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Alice Guten tag! Thank you for writing. I am very pleased to know you enjoyed Ellie's first mystery. I am working on the second book now -- and hope it will…moreGuten tag! Thank you for writing. I am very pleased to know you enjoyed Ellie's first mystery. I am working on the second book now -- and hope it will be out in a few months. It will be announced for pre-order when the time comes. By the way, Under an English Heaven is on sale in Germany this month (February) as a Kindle Monthly Deal. Only .99! Thanks for passing the word (if you wish. . . ).(less)

Community Reviews

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Jan 14, 2015 Aditi rated it really liked it
It is the dim haze of mystery that adds enchantment to pursuit.
----Antoine de Rivarol, a Royalist French writer during the Revolutionary era

Alice K. Boatwright, an American author, entranced me with her cozy mystery novel, Under an English Heaven: An Ellie Kent Mystery , that will keep you guessing through the pages as the main protagonist Ellie searches for the truth behind the murder of a mysterious man.

When Ellie Kent moves to an English village with her new husband Graham, she
John Martin
Feb 07, 2015 John Martin rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this.
The author painted a good picture of the little village and the characters within in. I liked the interesting contrast provided by the American in the story, who is the key character and the one through whose eyes we see the story unfold.

The story was a little slow to get going but we are compensated by an easy writing style that zooms in on every scene and leaves us in no doubt where we are at any given time, and a sense that this is just the tranquility before the storm to come.
Chip Noon
Aug 18, 2014 Chip Noon rated it it was amazing
Under an English Heaven is one of the most delightful whodunits I've ever read. Along with the atmosphere, the plot, the back-story, the progression, the development, and the denouement, Alice has added many touches this former English major enjoyed tremendously! I was enveloped in awe when she quoted from Rupert Brooke. "Satisfying" in every way is how I shall describe it further. I was so charmed that I am now on pins and needles waiting for the next installment of the Ellie Kent series. This ...more
Carolyn Hughes
Sep 23, 2014 Carolyn Hughes rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
Up for a great mystery set in The Cotswolds? This is definitely a page-turner, written by a friend and a former colleague from my time at UC Berkeley. Loved her writing then (we worked in the Communications unit) and continue to love her work. Available online (I purchased through Barnes and Noble). A wonderful new mystery from an award-winning author (this is her second novel along with many short stories and nonfiction). Some call themselves writers and talk about it or hope someday to write ...more
Rosie Genova
Aug 05, 2015 Rosie Genova rated it really liked it
This was a really fun summer read--with smart writing, a charming setting, and a likable protag. Our girl is a transplanted American married to an English vicar who finds herself a bit of an outsider in his cozy village. But things really get complicated for Ellie when it appears she has a connection to a recently murdered stranger. Or is he????

Jul 07, 2016 Deb rated it it was amazing
loved this book. it was a quick read. I really didn't know "who dunnit" until close to the end. I felt like if I closed my eyes-I could have been there. Can't wait for more Ellie Kent mysteries!
Althea Booth
Oct 08, 2015 Althea Booth rated it it was amazing
I am not one of those readers who is stingy with four and five star ratings. If I enjoy a book for what it is, I give it four stars. If I really enjoy it, I give it five. I really enjoyed this book, and it scratched the "cozy mystery set in an English village, preferably featuring a vicar and/or his family" itch I've been having. (I know, I have very specific reading itches.) The only reason I'm not giving it five stars is that I'm also not one of those people who tries to figure out whodunnit, ...more
Tannis Laidlaw
Jan 12, 2015 Tannis Laidlaw rated it it was amazing
I love well written books, and Alice Boatwright has the talent to fit the description. Second, I was brought up on Agatha, Ngaio, Dorothy and other wonderful mystery writers. Under an English Heaven is in the same grand tradition.

Ellie Kent is a recently retired academic who has met and married an English vicar, plunging her into a foreign world. Not only does she have to cope with traditional village life, but she is a ‘new’ wife where the late wife was a paragon. And there’s a stepdaughter who
Brenda Mengeling
May 28, 2015 Brenda Mengeling rated it really liked it
Shelves: mysteries, fiction, ebook, 51
Well done, classic, small English village murder mystery. Ellie Kent is an American newly married to the local vicar when the body of an old man is found dead in the church yard. He's wearing Italian underwear, and Ellie's first husband was an Italian, so Ellie decides she better figure out whodunit before the police decide she did. The only weakness is that the author relies on Ellie not being willing to tell anyone much of anything that she learns, even though common sense would dictate that ...more
Gloria Mccracken
Nov 28, 2015 Gloria Mccracken rated it it was ok
This seemed so promising when I read the synopsis: an American woman marries a widowed English vicar with a grown daughter after a whirlwind romance only to find herself embroiled in the mysterious death of a drifter who is found in the churchyard. Doesn't that sound like fun? Well, perhaps if there had been the slightest bit of character development or logic to the plot, it might have been. However, there wasn't and it wasn't. (And for the record, I'd have left that vicar in the first week if ...more
Linda Cole
Nov 30, 2014 Linda Cole rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nice and neat

I thought at first it was a typical English old fashioned mystery but I was soon caught up in who was the victim and who was the murderer very unlikely suspect
Aug 24, 2015 Darian rated it really liked it
A very enjoyable read!
Which is a great title, isn't it? Of course I bought it.

Unfortunately, I hated it.

No, that's not accurate; it really wasn't bad, in terms of writing or all the usual reasons a book is bad. I liked some of the writing – the description of the burning of the Guy was vivid, for example. I didn't *hate* it. I just really, really didn't like it. At all.

The idea is this: an English vicar, Graham, goes on sabbatical in California, comes home married; his first wife died a little while ago. New American
Nov 12, 2016 Calli rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
A fun English village cozy, with the vicar's new American wife as the protagonist. Wish this author had more cozies on offer.
Andrea Stoeckel
Oct 12, 2014 Andrea Stoeckel rated it really liked it
Shelves: cozy-mystery
4 1/2 stars

"Life is always unpredictable and God helps us get through it. In that way,I believe God is constant. That's how I can have faith...there [is] no such thing as perfect faith..." p 183

So says Vicar Graham Kent to his still new second wife Ellen, an American professor he married while on sabbatical in the states while visiting her father, his old friend who died while Kent was visiting them. Graham's first wife had died unexpectedly while in hospital which tramatized his daughter who fo
Jul 14, 2015 Julie rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery, british
Great book of the cozy mystery genre, but not for me. I think many people will give this book five stars because it is well-written and an interesting mystery. The setting was fun, the characters were interesting, there were adequate clues, and the pace was great.

However, since I rate books for myself so I can remember how I feel about an author or series, I can only give it two stars. It just had too many elements that I don't enjoy. First of all, the main character, Ellie Kent, was also the p
Pamela Shropshire
Nov 16, 2015 Pamela Shropshire rated it really liked it
This book was featured by Book Bub in a recent email I received; it sounded intriguing and was either $.99 or $1.99, so I bought it. It was WELL worth that price, and I enjoyed it very much.

It is a cozy English mystery, set in a Cotswold village seen through the eyes of an American turned English vicar's wife, Ellie Kent. Ellie has recently married The Reverend Graham Kent, a widower with a grown daughter, and has come to live in the vicarage with Graham and his Jack Russell, Hector. In fact, i
Sep 13, 2016 Jmbasu rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Super mystery. Characters I want to meet again.

The solution to the mystery is as psychologically satisfying as it is surprising. Ellie Kent and her vicar husband and the village where she does and does not fit are so well drawn you feel you could come across them around the bend of a country lane. Hope there are more of these mysteries to come.
Debbie Price
Feb 16, 2015 Debbie Price rated it it was amazing
This was a most enjoyable book. It centers around Ellie Kent, an American, who married Graham, an English Vicar. Ellie and Graham met in California, while Graham was on sabbatical. They married and Ellie came to live with Graham in Little Beeches, soon to be thrust into the life of a Vicar's wife. She is volunteered to be on the Christmas Tea committee and meets some women that become her friends, while others seem to want her to fail. You see, Ellie is not the first Mrs. Kent. Graham's first ...more
Dec 05, 2014 Kathleen rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
The first half of the book was very slow going as the author was busy introducing the main characters and their situations. It is a second marriage for Ellie and her new husband, an English vicar. If a new marriage wasn't enough, Ellie has moved to England from the U.S. and is trying to adjust to village life and to being a good vicar's wife, instead of her previous life as a professor of literature. Finding a man recently deceased in the church graveyard and suspected of being his murderer ...more
Martha Conway
Jun 03, 2014 Martha Conway rated it it was amazing
Ellie Kent is a modern American woman who's been set down in an old-fashioned English village -- a great combination. An outsider who married the favorite vicar, she tries to win acceptance from the women and men who live in this tight-knit community, but before she gets much headway a body is discovered in her backyard. Not only that, but as the investigation into the murder goes on, she becomes the prime suspect. The cast of characters in this well-writen, cozy mystery is wonderful: a quirky ...more
Becky Almon
Twist on REBECCA and Agatha Christie

This is an "English country village"mystery ala Christie with hints of REBECCA. There is the second wife feeling unequal to the mysteriously dead first wife and a burned out mansion.This has Ellie, the new American wife of the village Vicar, finding a body in the churchyard the morning after Halloween. She's now not only trying to fit in village life, a new marriage, and a new "job" as "Mrs. Vicar" rather than an English professor, but has to become a detectiv
May 15, 2016 Sheri rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. I loved that Ellie Kent was an American trying to fit into being a Vicar's wife in England. The time setting is approximately right now and I love the little English Village feel. I'm a sucker for books that are set in small English Villages.

It was a great book, filled with fun fascinating characters, ones you love to love and others you love to hate. It was a surprise for me as to who the murderer was, I wasn't really expecting it to be that person.

I hope that there'
Jul 20, 2015 Jennifer rated it really liked it
Received this as part of Good Reads First Reads

This is a wonderful whodunit mystery set in the countryside. Ellie fears that as an american in an english idyl she will be seen very much as some one who doesn't belong. Married to Graham - the local vicar has it's challenges but nothing compared to the problems she faces when she falls over a body in the local churchyard - and not one that has already been buried. There has been a murder.
As the person who has found the body Ellie becomes prime sus
Apr 08, 2016 Cathleen rated it liked it
Shelves: mysteries, 2016-reads
Ellie Kent, the newlywed wife of the village vicar, becomes a "person of interest" when an unidentified, older man is found dead in the churchyard. A few missteps and unlikely coincidences appear to substantiate her guilt, but they are slight enough and coincidental enough to raise doubts for most reasonable people. That doesn't include the local D.I. or gossips, unfortunately for Ellie. The plot was a little wispy, at times, but the description of the village and surrounding countryside, and ...more
Apr 06, 2015 Julie rated it really liked it
This book reminded me of the Mitford Series by Jan Karon which I loved. It has all the elements of a comfortable Cozy Mystery. Taking place in a small English Village it had interesting characters and a mystery that kept me guessing. The writer makes us feel comfortable and at home in the setting and the book. It had that cozy feel. Why only four stars? That is a reader perspective not to reflect on the writer. I like a little cliffhanger suspense and this was a comfortable easy read which kept ...more
Jul 02, 2015 Deb rated it really liked it
When Ellie Kent moves with her new husband Graham to a Cotswold village where he is the rector of the parish church, she gives up Berkeley and teaching for the life of a vicar's wife. Her love of nineteenth century English literature is carrying her through, however, until she finds a body in the church graveyard and the local constabulary seems to think she is the most likely suspect in what turns out to be a murder. Who is the dead man and why do the police think Ellie and Graham know more ...more
Mar 15, 2015 Kim rated it liked it
Shelves: 3-star
A gentle, pleasant read. Ellie Kent is an American (former English professor) who met and married a vicar from a small village in the Cotswolds. Ellie struggles to adapt to English country life, in particular to live up to the expectations of the village women who adored the vicar’s first wife. When Ellie discovers the body of a “foreign” man in the churchyard, she becomes the number one murder suspect. The character of Ellie is much better fleshed out than that of her husband, which makes the ...more
Feb 15, 2016 Callie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A slow start for me...

... it didn't really capture my interest as fully as I thought it would until more than half way through. I enjoyed the twist of events...I feel like the main character is still trying to find herself in many ways which seems to conflict with the strength to leave... home...but it works as she continued to grow...though the assumptions she makes are both insecurity and maturity responses, which if this is a series I'd want to see some growth in that arena.
Jul 10, 2015 Frankie rated it really liked it
Fun British cozy mystery. Ellie Kent is the wife of a Cotswold vicar. Recently married. And a bit nervous about being the only American in the village. The body of an elderly man is found in the church graveyard and somehow she becomes the number one suspect. She takes it upon herself to figure out just who did kill this supposedly Italian poet, and a reckless kid in this quiet village. All the action takes place between Halloween and Remembrance Day (Nov. 11). I wouldn't be surprised to see ...more
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The 16 year old boy 2 5 Aug 14, 2015 03:10PM  
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Alice K. Boatwright's first Ellie Kent mystery, Under an English Heaven, is set in the English Cotswolds. Its heroine is a divorced professor of English literature from San Francisco who favors wearing "black and more black" who is now, through the vicissitudes of love, the new wife of a charming English vicar. Her adjustment problems quickly move past knowing the difference between cookies and ...more
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“their combined voices giving them a unity and strength they did not possess in ordinary life.” 0 likes
“Of course, I don’t mind,” said Ellie, who was always pleased when doing what she wanted was interpreted as selfless,” 0 likes
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