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A Man of Some Repute

(A Very English Mystery #1)

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  11,100 ratings  ·  663 reviews
Truth is rarely pure and never simple…

Selchester Castle in 1953 sits quiet and near-empty, its corridors echoing with glories of the past. Or so it seems to intelligence officer Hugo Hawksworth, wounded on a secret mission and now reluctantly assuming an altogether less perilous role at Selchester. The Castle’s faded grandeur hides a web of secrets and scandals—the Earl ha
Kindle Edition, 306 pages
Published July 1st 2015 by Thomas & Mercer
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Caitlin Brady So, geek that I am, I've been wondering the same, and looking things up online. I think it's an amalgam. Silchester, the former Roman town, is in the …moreSo, geek that I am, I've been wondering the same, and looking things up online. I think it's an amalgam. Silchester, the former Roman town, is in the south. Webergh, or Weberga, the saint with the geece, was the Abbess of Ely, which is in Cambridgeshire. She is also the patron saint of Chester - and there is a church - though not a cathedral - named after her in Hanbury. The famous Countess of Selchester who defended the "castle" against parliamentarians during the civil war was I guess based on the Countess of Derby, and the castle was Lathom House, which was besieged and she did defend it while her husband was away, and it was used during WWI for training military horses, but was sold and demolished in the inter-war period. Bletchley Park, which sounds a bit like the Thorne Hall of the novel, is in Bletchley/ Milton Keynes, and as far as I know, neither bears a resemblance to Selchester. So, as far as I can tell, Selchester is a pleasant myth. (less)
Maureen Yes. There are two more books in the trilogy.

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Average rating 3.75  · 
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Ivonne Rovira
Oct 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Ivonne by: NetGalley
Take one part Josephine Tey’s Allen Grant and one part Agatha Christie’s Tommy Beresford, then add a soupçon of G.M. Malliet’s Max Tudor, and you’d have author Elizabeth Edmondson’s A Man of Some Repute, the debut novel in what promises to be a delectable historical mystery series.

It’s 1953, and the mysterious Hugo Hawksworth arrives in the quiet English village of Selchester with his lively 13-year-old sister Georgia in tow. He’s supposed to be a statistician at Thorn Hall, but the entire villa
Lois Bujold
Jul 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: readers enjoying British cozies
Recommended to Lois by: random encounter on Amazon while looking at something else
I was actually seduced by the cover, which made it look like something that would suit my mood -- which it did, so, good accurate cover design, somebody.

I enjoyed it, reading it in one long evening on my Kindle, but the writing wasn't exactly Dorothy Sayers-level. The author wrangled a large cast of characters through the use of third-person multiple viewpoint, but her net went more wide than deep. I wanted more interiority, more interesting thoughts and opinions, more telling detail. I'd call t
Written December 14, 2015

3 1/2 Stars - A oldish told (countryside "cold war" feeling) mystery I truly enjoyed

A modern 1950:s (non romance) mystery
I really liked every minute of this 8:30 hours audiobook perfectly good and for this style suitable narration by Michael Page. Not stunning impressive great maybe but a fairly good whodunnit mystery tale. All set in an still charming oldish after WWII England that I fancy so much.


Earl Se
Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
'"What do you mean when you say I'm looking in the wrong place?"....."You're like the man who lost his key. When asked why he was looking in that particular spot for it and was he sure he'd dropped it there, he said, no, he hadn't dropped it there, but that was where the light was. You're looking under the light, and you need to investigate the shadows. Begin with the victim.....There has to be something in his character or his actions or his life that led to his becoming a murder victim."'

3 1/2
Jun 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery, historic, ku
I absolutely adored this atmospheric, unique, mystery. Set in Post WW2 Britain is has a missing Earl, spies and blackmail. When Hugo Hawksworth, a benched due to injury, secret agent is sent to the Hall, nominally a statistics office near Selchester he is lodged at the Castle. Selchester Castle has been mostly empty since the disappearance of the 17th Earl in 1947; only a housekeeper, a chauffeur turned groom and a family member Freya Wryton who is ostensibly writing a family history.

When Hawksw
Primrose Jess
Oct 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
That sneaky devil, Amazon Suggests for You, was spot on with this book. I enjoyed myself immensely reading the story. Blurbed as "with a touch of Downton Abbey, a whisper of Agatha Christie, and a nod to Le Care.." it doesn't disappoint. I'm already ordering book 2. Edmondson leaves the reader wanting more and she hints at a deeper mysteries in lead characters, a potential love interest, and also more to come on the Earl Selchester's machinations which have left turmoil in the wake of his death. ...more
Jan 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was a great English mystery. My second book to read by this author, and I have liked them both a lot. There were similarities between it and The Frozen Lake, though. Time will tell with reading of others by her if it's her "formula" or if just a coincidence.

It's somewhat of a "Clue" type mystery where you know the person is dead, but the who, where, when & with what are trying to be answered. Obviously, a much more detailed story surrounding it with a large dash of family dramas thrown in.
Cindy Rollins
Nov 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
Absolutely delightful English mystery. Halfway through I looked up the author guessing her to have written in the 1960s and I was surprised to find she is a modern author.

This was a Kindle deal book recommended by Modern Mrs. Darcy. I am so happy I bought this book and plan to look for others by the author. It was thoroughly English with a bit of cold war flair that I also enjoy.

Nice to know there are still really good English mysteries being written.
Shawn Thrasher
Dec 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This may be the best book I've read all year. It's a terrific, old fashioned murder mystery, and completely Dame Agatha Christian to its cozy little core: 1950s English village, aristocrats, servants, an actress, a ne'er do well boozy society daughter, some humor, some espionage. I mean this as the best of flattery to this book: it was like Edmondson took stock Christie characters and sprinkled them throughout the book like raisins in a loaf of cinnamon raisin bread. Every time I bit into this b ...more
Trish R.
Aug 26, 2018 rated it liked it

So, this was what I would call a cozy mystery since I’ve never read one. I can only guess that they’re simply written with no romance and no swearing.

The players: Hugo and his 13 year old sister Georgia and his brother Father Leo and Freya, the niece of the murder victim, Lord Selchester, who disappeared 7 years earlier, and was suddenly discovered under the chapel tiles when workers were repairing something. And then it was all about figuring out who did it and why.

It was supposed to have occur
I love reading books from England's Golden Age of Mystery and it was a thrill to discover this modern writer who was retro and took on exactly the style and setting of those older mysteries and suspenses.

In this case, the author wrote a trilogy of stories that all connect through a murdered man's dark legacy that don't just stir up a seemingly peaceful English village and the castle manor, but dip straight into the Cold War, the past Great Wars, and those attached to the Selchester family.

The bo
I am a fan of historical crime novels and when I saw this great cover I couldn't wait to download this.

And I wasn't disappointed. Great characters and a plot that kept me entertained to the end, although there were a few too many characters for my liking. I loved Hugo and his quiet mannerisms, and the whole story had a comfortable feel of 'authenticity' to it with the casual references to florins and half-crowns for example.

A comfortable and very enjoyable read that I rated 4 and a half stars
Sep 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! The setting of the castle and village of Selchester was mysterious and fascinating, with several concurrent puzzles running throughout the story, some still waiting to be solved in the second instalment, which is said to be coming out next month! (I sure hope so, I can hardly wait to read it!)
I was drawn into the action right away, especially by the characters, of both the heroic and villainous variety. Cold war era shenanigans, murder, espionage, suspense and excitement; this
Mar 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
I listened to it his book and I enjoyed it very much. I have not read a book of Elizabeth Edmondson that I didn’t like, however, my enjoyment was spoiled by the narrator so I reread it on my Kindle and found I was far more absorbed. A light, historical read, with believable and likeable characters.
A nicely written book. The characters were well written and the plot moved along at a good pace. A great holiday read. I was a bit disappointed by the ending it didn't really match the rest of the book. It felt quite rushed and not as well planned out. Still an enjoyable read ...more
Diane Challenor
I enjoyed this story. It was a lite read, a cozy mystery. It is one to curl up with. I'll be seeking out the next one in the series, if there is one. ...more
Dec 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was really well done! On to the second in the series.
Dec 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
It’s 1953 and the impressively named Hugo Hawksworth is having to undergo a slight career change after injuring his leg in a ‘bicycle accident’. His government employers send him from London to the fictional English town of Selchester. Here, he’ll be working as a ‘statistician’. Soon after he arrives at his lodgings, the local earl's castle no less, a skeleton is found and his former field work is put to good use. (If I'm not being obvious enough with my punctuation, let me just tell you he is a ...more
Jul 27, 2017 rated it it was ok
DNF at about 70%. My mind finally got tired of wandering off and yanking itself back to the book.
Dec 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a great cosy murder mystery with plenty of good characters and a compelling story with a couple of red herrings thrown in to make it a proper job.
Very enjoyable and very good on audio.
Nov 19, 2017 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this mystery; the characters were engaging and the setting was well done. I was sad to see that the author has died. Will read the next one in the series, and the third one (completed by the author’s son).
Jun 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Set in the English country town of Selchester, this is a quintessentially English mystery. The era is the 1950s when everyone was still recovering from World War II and trying to deal with the Cold War and seeing traitors everywhere.

Hugo Hawksworth is sent there to work at a government statistics outpost which isn't anything to do with statistics of course and everyone knows it isn't. He is offered a temporary home at Selchester Castle with his teenage sister Georgia. There is a mystery surroun
Agatha Christie meets John LeCarre in this 1950's era blend of mystery and espionage.

Lord Selchester, a high ranking official in the Foreign Office goes missing from his own house party. The author introduces us to the characters through the news reports of the disappearance. I was hooked from the beginning!

Hugo Hawksworth and his precocious younger sister Georgia arrive at Selchester Castle a couple of years later and the mystery begins to unravel. Hugo, an understated hero, is someone you coul
Aug 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Very pleasant quick mystery read about post-WWII England. Our sleuth Hugo and his young teen sister move to the country as part of his hush-hush job. They lodge in a mostly-empty castle and encounter the literal skeleton of a missing Earl and several more figurative skeletons. A young woman who also lives in the castle is a Holmes/possible love interest with a hush-hush job of her own and a member of the Castle family, ostensibly writing a family history. The division of the chapters into “scene ...more
Anne Cook
Jun 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Page turning twisted plot with lots of surprises especially at the end! Free June kindle read. Thank you and rate an excellent
Jan 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
A Man of Some Repute by Elizabeth Edmondson was for me surprisingly good and fun to read. The characters of Hugo and Georgia were engaging and well drawn. Georgia was a good counterpoint to Hugo’s seriousness. The novel is set after the war in one of the great country houses in England. The house had been used by the military and now that he has an injury Hugo has been put out to pasture there or so it seems. Soon a body is discovered and Hugo is drawn into the investigation with an eager Georgi ...more
Barbara Heckendorn
Aug 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is the first volume of a new series for me. It was a very exciting read and I will continue to read the other books.
The secret agent Hugo Hawksworth is assigned to Selchester in 1953. He takes his younger sister with him. The two are housed in Selchester Castle. Shortly after their arrival, the body of the lost Earl of Selchester is found. For the past seven years he was considered lost. Who is the murderer? Why does the police and some government officials want to sweep the case under the
Nov 13, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, e-book, audiobook
An enjoyable murder mystery, with likeable characters and a great feel. I love historical dramas and whodunnits like this and it was a great little listen and read. I listened to the audiobook with a fantastic narrator too who really brought the book to life. I was immediately enveloped into the grounds of Selchester and the mystery of the Lord there who went missing and was never seen again...

It kept me engaged throughout and I definitely think I’ll listen to a subsequent few in the series afte
Sep 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley, reviewed, cozy
4.5 Stars - For fans of the Cozy Genre

I really enjoyed this cozy mystery that's set in the 1950s in the English countryside. Seven years ago Earl Selchester disappeared from his castle, everyone assumed death by misadventure. It's assumed the old man foolishly wandered out into a blizzard. After ex-army man Hugo, and his teenage sister move to the village and stay in the castle, which is now occupied by Selchester's niece, Freya, a discovery is made - the Earl's body is buried beneath the flagst
Mar 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: z-2017
An interesting and entertaining British cozy mystery reminiscent of Ngaio Marsh and similar writers. The time is after WWII, and the male protagonist is an injured man who has served his country in secret ways. Due to his injury he has been sent to a department that is based in a small town and is lodging at the country estate of a member of the nobility who disappeared during the war.
When a body is found, he finds himself drawn into the mystery of how the person was murdered and why.

The femal
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Born in Chile, and educated in Calcutta and London before going to Oxford University, Elizabeth Edmondson divided her time between the countryside north of Rome and the spires of Oxford. She was married to an art historian and had two children.

In Edmondson's words: "I write historical mysteries about love, marriage families and friendship, where the loyalties, feuds, secrets and betrayals of the p

Other books in the series

A Very English Mystery (3 books)
  • A Question of Inheritance (A Very English Mystery #2)
  • A Matter of Loyalty (A Very English Mystery #3)

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