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Evans Above

(Constable Evans #1)

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  4,364 ratings  ·  384 reviews
Constable Evan Evans is new in Welsh village of Llanfair. Betsy, lusty busty barmaid, vies for his favors with sweet teacher Bronwen. Teen Dilys begs him for a dance, then vanishes.

Child molester, flasher, and prisoners released early, are on the loose. Who pushed two men off Snowdon mountains? And who vandalized Mrs Powell-Jones' prized tomatoes?
Paperback, 214 pages
Published December 1998 by Berkley Prime Crime Penguin Putnam (first published November 15th 1997)
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Average rating 3.70  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,364 ratings  ·  384 reviews

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Dec 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
A very enjoyable mystery. Very reminiscent of Hamish Macbeth (except the people aren't nearly as silly). I guess maybe people are just a little edgier in North Wales. I really enjoyed this. It has a good meaty mystery as well as delightful characters and setting. Should think of no less from the lady who brought us Lady Georgiana. ...more
Sep 10, 2018 rated it liked it
I knew “Evans Above”, 1997, would be the syrupy type but I love exploring Wales and run the only challenge accommodating all Celtic countries: “Celtic Coasts”. Although I found no resemblance, comparisons to “Hamish Macbeth” scared me. I hated his début so much, a tentative glance at the sequel averted my first ever ‘did not finish’! With five instead of ten stars to express shades of grey, I think of other books that received two stars and know this one is better.

Evan is very likeable and all s
Jun 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When two men are found dead on Snowdon, young village policeman Evan Evans suspects foul play, but his superiors blame mountaineering accidents. Evan sets out to investigate. The mystery itself is interesting and not too cosy, but the many lovingly-observed details of life in a village in north Wales do give a warm feel, and there is a lot of humour along the way.

For instance, the hunky Evan is always trying to avoid endless meals cooked by his motherly landlady. He also has romantic troubles,
2.5 Stars

Ahh, who doesn't like visiting new places in a cozy mystery book? I love to, especially when they take me to cute little villages and hamlets like Llanfair. This was my first time reading a book by this author and though I've seen some other books written by her I wasn't too familiar with her work.

Lucky me this one was chosen as one of the 4 monthly group reads in one of my GoodReads groups. Now while I'm glad that I gave a new author a try (I've been trying to read a lot of new to me
Let me start off by saying that Rhys Bowen is hands down the best historical mystery author I've ever read. She manages to combine true events and her characters so well that you wonder if her characters couldn't have really been at these events. However, I've finished her Royal Spyness series (though I have the ARC for the next one sitting on my Nook!) and her Molly Murphy series, so that left me with only one more series to read; the Constable Evan Evans mystery series. I can say that, though ...more
Rachel Sample
Apr 26, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: series
Quick, easy read. Not bad, not great. A very typical British mystery.
Kathy Davie
Feb 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
The first in the mystery series, Constable Evans, Evans Above feels like a cross between the village life of Agatha Christie with the camaraderie between Inspector Jury and Divisional Commander Brian Macalvie in Martha Grimes' Richard Jury series. Evans has left big-city crime behind for the peace and tranquility of village life in Wales and has no desire to become entangled with any woman. Ahh, to dream for so little...and not get it. Evans soon becomes entangled. With a series of unexplained m ...more
Jun 30, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery-light
Enjoyable cozy murder mystery set in a small village in Wales. I was happy there were no difficult Welsh names to contend with, just some sweet eccentric characters and a solid mystery. Two hikers are discovered dead on the mountain above Llanfair and although the North wales police investigator Sergeant Watkins thinks they are accidental tragedies; Constable Evans is convinced they were pushed to their deaths. The two bodies were discovered at different times & at different places, so are they ...more
Christa Schönmann Abbühl
Jan 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own-audio
Good mystery in a great setting! I hated the way the constable acted around women, though.
Lovely narration.
Jun 21, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, mysteries

A bit too much about Constable Evan Evans' problems with various women in the village but a good mystery & great setting.
Natasha M.
While the Her Royal Spyness have a sort of sweeping tongue-in-cheek and yes, ridiculous but still cutely charming in its own right story lines (who can say no to Darcy O'Mara?) I'd say the Constable Evans series (though this is the first one I've read) is a little bit more grounded rather than theatrical.

Taking place in modern day Wales (oh Welsh words, I don't even know where to start with you lot) we get a look at the idyllic village life. There's mt. Snowdon, there's a town that knows everyt
Jul 11, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: series, crime
Picked this one up as a bookswap, as I'm always on the lookout for first books of new series so I can try stuff out...

There's a comment on the cover of Evans Above that likens the series to the Hamish Macbeth novels of MC Beaton and that should have told me everything I needed to know about this one. Like the aforementioned novels, Evans Above is about a big-city police officer coming to a small village, this time in the heart of Snowdonia.

The eponymous Evans becomes involved in a mystery when t
Jul 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: bowen-rhys
This is the first in Bowen's series featuring Evan Evans, constable of Llanfair, Wales. In this novel we meet the residents of Llanfair, many of whom are named Evans and distinguished by such names as Evans-the-Meat, Evans-the-Milk, Evans-the-Post, and Evans-the-Law. We are introduced to two of the local women who are interested in Evans-the-Law and his mothering landlady who would like to set him up with her granddaughter. The mystery, the deaths of two hikers on the mountain, is intriguing and ...more
Kimberly Reads Books
This was my first time reading Rhys Bowen, and I couldn't have been more impressed. The first in a series follows Constable Evan Evans as he maneuvers through small village life in Wales. Evans Above is a wonderful cozy mystery with a interesting plot and well fleshed out characters that give this book the funny, quirky small town feel that I love about the cozy mystery genre. ...more
Nov 08, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: shop
I normally do not read off shore based books, but I picked this up at a booksale and I really did enjoy it. I like that Ms. Bowen writes in the local dialect. I will be moving on in this series.
An Odd1
Mar 10, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
Wales is a vacation, however eerie, misty. First book has serious elements. Evan is nice; I look forward to hanging around with him. He's naive like Chesney aka Beaton's Hamish but stays out of other beds. Unknown peeping creeps and flashbacks annoy. Llanfair pub has likable and fun folk.

Stew, Jimmy, "one of Danny's close friends in their little gang from hut 29 .. must have sent the postcard" p 2, "Tommy" asks his way politely "in his cheerful cockney .. looking for the Everest Inn" p 3. Manag
Feb 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Another Audible sale purchase that proved worth my time. Rhys Bowen is loved by many and while I've read her before, her subject matter can be a bit too lighthearted for me to stay invested, but not so with this one. Constable Evans is new to the Welsh village and dealing with both the up and downsides of a small, close-knit community can be a bit of a challenge. Very similar to the Hamish Macbeth series, I enjoyed this one much more than the few Hamish titles I've read.

This easily falls into th
Mac Daly
When one hiker has a deadly accident on the mountain, it could be written off as tragic but not suspicious. However, when another hiker, just happens to have a connection to the first also winds up dead, Constable Evans thinks it is more than just a coincidence. Can he juggle bureaucrats who think he's just a local copper, feuding gardeners and rival girlfriends to solve the murder? Bowen once again delivers an entertaining and challenging puzzle. ...more
Jan 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
2020 bk 27. I don't know how this series escaped my notice. I've read and enjoyed Her Royal Spyness series for years. I even had a chance to meet Rhys Bowen at Chicago's ALA and this series was never mentioned. An unassuming village policeman meets murder. These are quiet, cozy, murder mysteries. Evan Evans is good at teasing out the threads that make connections, connections that can lead to a murderer, or a way to avoid dating Betsy the barmaid while talking to Bronwyn the teacher (go teachers ...more
Mar 22, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It took me some time to get into this. Not sure why. It picked up in pacing further in. I still thought one of the people in the story was a villain until the book ended, but that person wasn’t convicted. Haha Interesting.
Stacie  Haden
Love the Welsh village setting. Decent start to the series. I'll try another. ...more
Natalie [genreneutralreader]
This cozy mystery just didn’t hold my interest. I have Read Rhys Bowen before and enjoyed her style, so I’m not sure why this one didn’t work for me. At lest it was short enough to finish in a day.
Elaine Cook
Mar 06, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2018
Not a rave but it was good enough. Might look for more in the series.
Laurel Hicks
Apr 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
A fun mystery.
Jun 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Evans Above is the first in a series of police procedurals type murder mysteries. Except is not as griity as most are, this one is is set in Wales, in a small village. Evan Evans, a top notch police detective, is relocated as Constable in a small village, where he spends his days mostly preoccupiedduties of a small town. Instead of Solving murders and looking for killer, his time consists of finding out who ruined the local ministers' wive's prize-winning vegetables, among other duties. Everythi
Dec 19, 2013 rated it liked it
This is the initial volume in the Constable Evans series. I had previously read "Evan Help Us," which I liked just enough to look into this book.

After reading these two cozy mysteries, I find that Rhys Bowen seems to need a few chapters to warm up. I think she relies a little too much on an unlikely coincidence in this book, which to me is a sign of weak writing. I don't want to detail the coincidence here, to avoid spoiling the story for those who have not finished the book.

More importantly, I
Lillian Reeves
Jun 04, 2017 rated it it was ok
I've read all of MC Beaton's books and I was looking for a new series. I started a few series, but this was the one book among the ones I started that I finished. The story Is set in Wales and sets up similarly to the Hamish Macbeth stories. Small town, many characters, each interested in what Evan Evans, the local constable, is getting up to. The book fell short, though, in the department of character development. Evan is a shallow character and doesn't really appear to care about the people of ...more
Sep 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016
Fun mystery, start of a series, but I knew that going in.
Evan Evans is the constable of a small Welsh village. There is lots of bits about the locals and how the larger police force thinks a village copper should leave the detecting to the bigger department, but the mystery is local and Evan is in the thick of it.
I've read Rhys Bowen's Her Royal Spyness series and really enjoyed it so thought I'd see what else she has to offer and I was not disappointed.
The mystery is great. The location is goo
Apr 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Cozy mystery, Irish settings, humorous.
First in Evan Evans series. This enjoyable short novel was exactly what I was looking for. My schedule is hectic right now so this cozy mystery was perfect. I could pick it up at any time and continue the story without any problems. Especially (let me repeat Especially) appreciated the ending where the "hero" Evan Evans solves the crime and mystery and defeats the villain. The sequence didn't troll on for page after page. Rhys Bowen wrapped it up neatly in a few pages and the ending was believab ...more
Mar 22, 2011 rated it it was ok
I've read most of these, b/c my library has them. And I like the information about Welsh culture b/c I had a friend who was Welsh. I, also, like that I wasn't always able to solve the mystery/murder. But the prejudices of the different pastors (and church goers) in the small village don't betray Christians in a good way. And it annoyed me b/c it didn't seem relevant to the story, but was thrown in to poke fun of Christian beliefs. ...more
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"I'm a New York Times bestselling mystery author, winner of both Agatha and Anthony awards for my Molly Murphy mysteries, set in 1902 New York City.

I have recently published two internationally bestselling WWII novels, one of them a #1 Kindle bestseller, the other selling almost half a million copies to date.

I also write the Agatha-winning Royal Spyness series, about the British royal family in th

Other books in the series

Constable Evans (10 books)
  • Evan Help Us (Constable Evans, #2)
  • Evanly Choirs  (Constable Evans, #3)
  • Evan and Elle  (Constable Evans, #4)
  • Evan Can Wait (Constable Evans, #5)
  • Evans to Betsy (Constable Evans, #6)
  • Evan Only Knows (Constable Evans, #7)
  • Evan's Gate (Constable Evans, #8)
  • Evan Blessed (Constable Evans, #9)
  • Evanly Bodies (Constable Evans, #10)

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