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Advent of a Mystery

(Berdie Elliott #1)

3.21  ·  Rating details ·  61 ratings  ·  23 reviews
For lovers of classic Agatha Christie mysteries and Jan Karon village characters, this English set mystery is sure to please. Berdie Elliott, the wife of the new parish priest, thought she left her old life as an investigative reporter behind her, but she soon discovers a village full of secrets when a man dies at a Christmas celebration. Could a clue to his demise be hidd ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published September 1st 2010 by Barbour Books (first published July 24th 2010)
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Average rating 3.21  · 
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 ·  61 ratings  ·  23 reviews

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Apr 18, 2011 rated it liked it
This review is harder to write than I thought it would be. I think it comes down to the fact that it felt to me like two different people were writing this book. One part was a well thought out even flowing mystery and the second part fell into old trite idioms and ridiculous comments from an American author that was trying too hard to sound British and that combination took away from the overall good mystery that was building.

Set in an English village at Christmas time, Berdie Elliott the wife
Kirsten #wateraflower #curemultiplesclerosis
I originally picked this up from my local library as I wanted to read a Christmas-y mystery over the holidays. I normally veer sharply away from any so-called Christian fiction, but this was okay. The Christian themes were subtly dealt with. (I do hate it when they try to hit you over the head with ideology.)

The mystery itself was interesting. A little romance, light reading and some funny characters. A good read if you want something light.
May 19, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
Picked this up to add to my stacks and wound up reading right away!

Berdie Elliott and her husband, Hugh, have recently moved to the small English village of Aiden Kirkwood. Hugh is the new parish priest and, naturally, Berdie is the vicar's wife. new life paths for both of them. Hugh retired from military life and went straight to seminary. Berdie has 'retired' from a career of investigative journalism. But old habits can die hard.

It is the Christmas season and all seems to be going smooth, unti
Aug 28, 2019 added it
This was a delightful read! I loved the vicars wife, and her best friend. Such a nice little town and then a murder happens. This is all about how they decide to “help” the authorities solve the mystery I am looking forward to other books in the series.
Jan 27, 2019 rated it liked it
English village setting for a mystery of a love and suspense during Christmas.
Cleffairy Cleffairy
Apr 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
Review published on: Over A Cuppa Tea

Date published: 29th Jan 2011

Review link:

Truth be told. I wasn’t exactly interested in this book when I first saw it in for review in Netgalley. The cover does not look attractive enough for me, but I have come to learn to never judge a book from it’s cover, especially if the book in question is offered for free as an ARC.

I’m glad I requested Advent of a Mystery by Marilyn Leach, for it’s really a thrilling mystery to read. The
C.C. Thomas
Jun 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
I think in my past life that I must have been British. It is the only explanation I have for this passion of mine for English mysteries. This one is so British is just oozes fish and chips and shawls and all that other good stuff. I mean, seriously, it's got a vicar, a barrister and even a 'lavender maven'.

And, really, what's better than reading a chilly winter mystery on these hottest days of summer?

The main character, Berdie Elliot, is the wife of the new town vicar and she's having a bit of
Lis Carey
Jan 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
Berdie Elliott is a former investigative reporter, and the wife of the new vicar of Aiden Kirkwood. This is a new calling for Hugh, after a military career, and Berdie has retired from her own career to be the vicar's wife. But she hasn't given up her skills or her active mind, and when an elderly parishioner, Miriam Livingston, is murdered in her home after an evening of caroling and an Advent party at the vicarage, Berdie can't help looking into things. Especially when the village constable is ...more
Oct 12, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Advent of a Mystery

Marilyn Leach


Hometown Mysteries Barbour Publishing


Reviewed by Cindy Loven

Berdie and Hugh Elliot are starting a new chapter of their lives. As the new parish priest in an English village, Hugh is determined that Berdie's investigative days are over. Both retired from their first careers, they are ready for the quiet life of an English village. But it is not to be.

A Christmas party, with the wrong mixture of guests, sets the stage for a horrific cri
Nov 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
Christmas is closing in on the small village of Aidan Kirkwood in England. New vicar and parish priest, Hugh Elliott, wants to concentrate on shepherding his flock through the holidays. His wife, former investigative reporter Berdie, is determined to put aside her former life and concentrate on being the perfect vicar's wife. Life, however, has another plan for her.

When Berdie and her best friend Ellie, stop in to pick up an older resident for shopping, they are shocked to discover her body wit
Jeannie and Louis Rigod
This novel was a sweet cozy murder mystery with lavender overtones. We are introduced to Berdie Elliott, a Vicar's wife. Berdie apparently was a former investigative reporter. There is several mentions of a prior case (but the book doesn't list any prior novels and that was a bit annoying.)

Outside of feeling 'left out' of an insider's joke, the book is a traditional cozy. It takes place in Great Britain at her husband's new parish of Aiden Kirkwood. It is the first Sunday of Advent. After a car
Dec 21, 2012 rated it it was ok
"Berdie Elliott thinks retirement in a small English village will be ideal. As the wife of the new parish priest, she believes she has left her old life as an investigative reporter behind her, but she soon discovers a village full of secrets when a man dies at a Christmas celebration. Could a clue to his demise be hidden in an advent wreath? Can Berdie curb her natural instincts to get involved in both a mystery and a romance, or will she let the local law handle things?"
~~back cover

Not bloody
This story introduced Berdie, a one time investigative reporter who has recently moved to a small village with her husband the newly appointed vicar. Berdie has grown children who have flown the nest so I speculate that she is perhaps around fifty years old, but it's unclear. A woman she went to the University with, and who is a great friend fortuitously lives in this village. So when an occasionally very nasty old woman is murdered and these two intrepid characters refuse to believe that a like ...more
Anam Cara
May 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
I have no memory of reading this in 2011. Just finished today. I found it to be delightful and hope to read others in this series. I gave it a 4 star before. I think I'd do the same, just because I am currently worried about inflation of ratings., but I really liked ti and perhaps should consider a 5 star for it.

Berdie is the wife of the Vicar at St. Aiden of the Woods church. Before her husband was ordained, she was an investigative reporter, and a good one at that. When a woman is found murder
May 21, 2014 rated it liked it
Berdie Elliot used to be an investigative reporter before she became the wife of the parish priest in the small village of Wood Parish. At the annual Christmas social, an altercation arises and the party breaks up early. When one of the women from the party is found murdered the next day, Jamie Donovan, one of the previous evening's fighters is arrested and charged. Berdie calls upon her past experience to look into events and to find out what happened before the entire community and the entire ...more
Aug 16, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mysteries, thrillers
I am really enjoying this book. Lillie and Berdie are my favorite characters. Berdie use to be an investigative reporter and has solved a case before and she thought was was done until she moved to the little village of Aidan Kirkwood. She is a vicars wife and not sure how he is going to take Berdie doing this again. A Mrs Livingston is found dead and will they solve this case? The village has so many secrets it was hard guessing who really did the murder till the very end. This is my kind of bo ...more
Dec 08, 2013 rated it liked it
Cozy set in an English village during advent-this was a fast read-under three hours. A multitude of characters were introduced in the first chapter which started me off on the wrong foot. I never was able to figure out what decade this book was set in-something I usually do. I think the author may be trying to write about a time she wishes still existed. The murderer was by far the most annoying character-hope that's not a spoiler.
Dec 14, 2015 rated it liked it
An ok cozy mystery. The plot was interesting with the WWII and the setting put me in mind of Miss Read's Cotswold's villages with the vicarage, old housing and new, High Street, local grocer, etc. I found many of the characters irritating, especially the bossy, rude professional men and the vicar's attitude that his wife, a former investigative reporter, should stick to her "wife of a vicar's" duties, which, of course, she doesn't.
Jan 06, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2011-reads
The mystery in this book was OK, although I think that some of the clues were a little far-fetched (ex: the ring tone of Reverend Lewis' cell phone). What really put me off was the excessive British slang. It was really distracting. (This book is written by someone who lives outside Denver, CO).
Jenny Housley
Mar 02, 2012 rated it did not like it
Pile of rubbish. I didn't finish it.
Sharon Buxton
Mar 14, 2016 rated it liked it
B. contemporary, mystery, Engalnd
Jan 03, 2014 rated it liked it
Cozy mystery, reminds me of Miss Marple
Oct 08, 2010 rated it really liked it
This was a great little cozy mystery, set in England. At times it was a little hard to get into but all in all I enjoyed it.
rated it it was amazing
Mar 17, 2016
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Janne Beach
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Jun 28, 2014
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Oct 31, 2012
Bee Joy
rated it it was ok
Nov 06, 2014
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Feb 09, 2016
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Marilyn Leach has enjoyed writing for the stage as well as for publication. She became a dyed in the wool British enthusiast, after visiting England where she discovered her roots. She currently teaches art at an inner-city school near Denver, Colorado, and lives lakeside near the foothills.

Other books in the series

Berdie Elliott (4 books)
  • Up from the Grave (Berdie Elliott, #2)
  • Into the Clouds (Berdie Elliott, #3)
  • Enigma of Fire (Berdie Elliott, #4)

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