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Under an English Heaven: An Ellie Kent Mystery

(Ellie Kent Mystery #1)

by
3.87  ·  Rating details ·  2,223 ratings  ·  213 reviews
When Ellie Kent moves to an English village with her new husband Graham, she fears the villagers will always see her at 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
Kindle Edition, 246 pages
Published May 30th 2014 by Cozy Cat Press (first published March 1st 2014)
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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)
Alice Hello, Carol! I apologize for not replying to your question sooner, but I only saw it today! I find Goodreads very confusing. . . I don't seem to look…moreHello, Carol! I apologize for not replying to your question sooner, but I only saw it today! I find Goodreads very confusing. . . I don't seem to look in the right places for questions and so on. Anyway, the good news is there is a second Ellie Kent mystery -- What Child Is This? came out in November 2017. I am working on the third one now and hope it will be out in about a year. Why aren't there more? Because I am a slow writer. I am very glad you are enjoying them when they do come! Best, Alice(less)

Community Reviews

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3.87  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,223 ratings  ·  213 reviews


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Aditi
Nov 23, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.

Synopsis:
When Ellie Kent moves to an English village with her new husband Graham, she
...more
Tracey
Oct 12, 2014 rated it it was ok
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
...more
Chip Noon
Aug 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Valerie
Jun 03, 2018 rated it it was ok
This was only OK. With a few tweaks it would have been much better. The characters weren't enlarged enough to get a feel for who or what they really were. There was very little background given on how the newlywed Ellie and her vicar husband met, what drew them together, or indeed, what kept them together in their marriage. The interactions between them seemed strained and formal; I never got the feel that they loved, or even liked, each other. Ellie herself wasn't described, beyond that she had ...more
John Martin
Feb 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
...more
Yukari Watanabe/渡辺由佳里
I usually love this kind of cozy mystery in a small English village, but I didn't love this one.

Main reasons are characters. In cozy mysteries, characters are very important. The characters Boatwright created are not multi-dimensional and uninteresting including villains. But, the worst ones are the 2 main characters. I didn't understand why Ellie left a busy life as a college professor in California to become a vicar's wife (despite the fact she was a nonbeliever) in a small English village. Gr
...more
Carolyn Hughes
Sep 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 t ...more
Gloria Mccracken
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 h ...more
Deb
Jan 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!
Pamela Shropshire
Nov 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Bryn
Dec 22, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gave-up
I generally like reading British mysteries, but not this one. Every character is unlikeable. It made English villages look nasty, gossipy, and depressing, which took all of the fun out of reading this type of novel. The new American wife started off her new life with a defensive, bad attitude, which didn't help matters. And her husband seemed entirely unsympathetic and insensitive....and worse.

Also, I wondered why a vicar would marry someone who has doubts about Christianity, and vice versa. Tha
...more
Stephanie
This book had potential, but there are loose ends that are never really tied up (including how one of the murders happened and why!). It’s highly annoying that the characters and the mechanism of the crime—two of the most important aspects of the plot—are so vaguely sketched out. The final nail in the coffin is the fact that Ellie is so cold in her personal relationships, and she makes dumb decisions even when she knows she’s under suspicion for murder. She’s not likeable or sympathetic. I finis ...more
Sue
Nov 01, 2018 rated it it was ok
Very strange. I get virtually no sense of character chemistry in this book. It almost felt like an exercise in how to plot a mystery. Even the bad actors were sterile (rude, but sterile). The only time I connected with a character was when (view spoiler)
Rosie Genova
Aug 05, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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????


Maren
Aug 18, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I couldn't really get behind the premise of this book. I wished the entire time that I was reading an Aunt Dimity book (which is far more believable even though it contains a ghost that communicates with people through a magic journal).
Jacqie
May 15, 2018 rated it liked it
Probably 3.5 stars. Read this to get in the mood for visiting the Cotswalds.

This is a shining example of a cozy mystery. The book feels like it is probably from a small press, which means that it's not quite as... processed as the ones from larger publishers. This means that the mystery is perhaps a bit clunkier than average, but there are also interesting observations by the author that might have been edited out of a more thoroughly worked-over manuscript. All in all, I liked it and would hig
...more
Mary D. Warren
Feb 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
EXCELLENT MYSTERY COZY

I was looking to read a light mystery. This book ticked all my boxes. Although UNDER AN ENGLISH HEAVEN won't win the Nobel prize for literature, it gets my vote for for being an entertaining page turner. I'm looking forward to reconnecting with Ellie Kent again in the second book of the series.
Nicole
Under an English Heaven by author Alice K. Boatwright is an enchanting cozy mystery about American Ellie who marries an English vicar, Graham Kent, and moves to a small village in rural England where she quickly becomes known Mrs. Vicar. All is not calm in this sleepy little village as first one then two murders shock the residents of Little Beecham. Nicely told story, and I'm looking forward to reading the second book in the series next. :-)
Sherry
Aug 16, 2017 rated it liked it
An easy read - not too detailed and not too complicated. An interesting portrayal of a small English town, it's cast of characters and what ensues after the entry of an outsider into the 'midst. An enjoyable, light read.
Lady Delacour
Life is changing
for Ellie as she
takes on new roles
as a Newlywed,
a Vicars wife,
an Amateur sleuth.
Listened with TTS.
Clean with a few
biblical words.
Cresta McGowan
When Ellie Kent moves to an English village with her new husband Graham, she fears the villagers will always see her at 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 suspicion mounts that the killer must be the incomer -- the vicar's new wife. As evidence piles up against her, Ellie tries t ...more
Althea Booth
Jun 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Brenda Mengeling
May 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 51, ebook, fiction, mysteries
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 s ...more
Patricia M.
Aug 14, 2018 rated it liked it
I really wanted to like this book. The countryside, the quirky personalities of the villagers, the somewhat forbidding atmosphere of the first murder.....but Ellie Kent was so illogical and clueless. Her husband, Graham, was a stick figure with no appeal at all. When you don't like the main characters, the storyline (intricate with well placed clues) just fizzles.
Ginger Hamilton
Jun 15, 2018 rated it it was ok
A Prize Winner?

I wanted to like this book because I’m always on the lookout for a new mystery series. What a disappointment. The plot is preposterous and the story formulaic and trite. I hope the author will fine tune her skills going forward.
Yarnkettle
May 19, 2018 rated it it was ok
Characters were not likable and bland. Not enough pre-story for me. Felt like we were dropped into the story a chapter or two in. Not enough detail to get to know the characters or even want to know them.
Louise
Apr 21, 2018 rated it it was ok
So unlikely and uneven..

There were too many things I couldn't accept. A vicar coming to a small Oxfordshire village with a divorced wife. Too unbelievable. Having lived in one English country town and two Oxfordshire villages. The stories was not believable.
Kathy Moberg
Dec 19, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this to be a very satisfying mystery and eagerly look forward to the next book in the series.
Darian
Aug 22, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very enjoyable read!
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The Parlor PI's : Under an English Heaven chapters 1-8 36 7 Mar 09, 2018 09:18AM  
The 16 year old boy 2 6 Aug 14, 2015 03:10PM  
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Alice K. Boatwright is the author of the award-winning Ellie Kent mysteries. In the first book, UNDER AN ENGLISH HEAVEN, life brings the skeptical American Ellie Kent to an English village as the vicar's new wife; but death keeps her guessing how long she'll be there. Winner of the 2016 Mystery & Mayhem Grand Prize for best mystery, UNDER AN ENGLISH HEAVEN has attracted an enthusiastic followi ...more

Other books in the series

Ellie Kent Mystery (2 books)
  • What Child Is This? (Ellie Kent Mystery, #2)
“their combined voices giving them a unity and strength they did not possess in ordinary life.” 1 likes
“Of course, I don’t mind,” said Ellie, who was always pleased when doing what she wanted was interpreted as selfless,” 1 likes
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