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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 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 has been missing for seven years, lost without a trace since the night he left his guests and walked out into a blizzard. When a skeleton is uncovered beneath the flagstones of the Old Chapel, the police produce a suspect and declare the case closed. Hugo is not convinced. With the help of the spirited Freya Wryton, the Earl’s niece, he is drawn back into active service, and the ancient town of Selchester is dragged into the intrigues and conspiracies of the Cold War era. With a touch of Downton Abbey, a whisper of Agatha Christie and a nod to Le Carré, A Man of Some Repute is the first book in this delightfully classic and witty murder mystery series.


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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 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 has been missing for seven years, lost without a trace since the night he left his guests and walked out into a blizzard. When a skeleton is uncovered beneath the flagstones of the Old Chapel, the police produce a suspect and declare the case closed. Hugo is not convinced. With the help of the spirited Freya Wryton, the Earl’s niece, he is drawn back into active service, and the ancient town of Selchester is dragged into the intrigues and conspiracies of the Cold War era. With a touch of Downton Abbey, a whisper of Agatha Christie and a nod to Le Carré, A Man of Some Repute is the first book in this delightfully classic and witty murder mystery series.

30 review for A Man of Some Repute

  1. 4 out of 5

    Ivonne Rovira

    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 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 village knows that he — like everyone else who works for Sir Bernard at The Hall — is actually Special Branch or something near enough. In early 1947, Lord Selchester disappeared from his home, Selchester Castle, during a raging blizzard; his pretty, selfish daughter Lady Sonia Richmond has been counting down the time until she can have him declared legally dead and sell the old pile. She’s spared the trouble when her father’s bones turn up in the castle’s chapel. That re-opens the case, and Inspector MacLeod, who led the initial investigation, returns. He and Hawksworth combine forces to determine who did the old peer in. Edmondson does yeoman’s work crafting an intriguing mystery with suspects galore and a Golden Age of mystery sensibility that’s an homage rather than a cliché. Indeed, Edmondson has perfectly captured the atmosphere and dialogue evocative of the English 1950s, when rationing still held sway but the country was restless for something new and better. Further, Edmondson infuses the novel with plenty of intrigue and suspense. If Hugo’s playing Tommy Beresford, then the role of Tuppence goes to Freya Wryton, Lord Selchester’s free-spirited niece. It’s no spoiler to say Hugo and Freya are likely to get together before this series gets too old. I loved A Man of Some Repute, and I can’t wait to devour the sequel, A Question of Inheritance. A Man of Some Repute’s Hugo Hawksworth put me in mind of Max Tutor; in addition to the two of them having spy connections, the audiobooks for both are read by the magnificent Michael Page, who brings his great talent to bringing both Hugo’s Selchester And Max’s Nether Monkslip to life.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Lois Bujold

    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 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 the prose, hm, workmanlike? It got the job done, and was perhaps appropriate for all those stiff-upper-lip Brits in the cast, but was short on lagniappe. Ending felt contrived to make a messy situation go away without our heroes having to do anything morally questionable to make it do so. It is rather strange to see times within my own lifetime (though just barely, in this instance) now treated as grist for historical fiction. Ta, L.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Ingie

    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 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 Selchester, at Selchester Castle, has been missing for seven years. He went out and left his guests in the evening a winter blizzard night 1947. He is since then lost without a trace. ********************************************** A limping former spy hero and a nosy and curious teenage sister moving from London to the middle of nowhere in the English noble soil can't but be interesting reading entertainment. Our hero here, a former brave intelligence officer Hugo Hawksworth, nowadays poorly wounded in a leg on a secret mission, and his fun and cheerful 13-year-old sister Georgia arrives to (the by now more or less empty) Selchester Castle in 1953. Hugo is supposed to work as a statistician at Thorn Hall and his younger (motherless) sister to study in the local highschool. Their lodgings will to start be in some rooms in the old big castle. Daily working and / or living in the castle these days are only Freya Wryton, the missing Lord's free-spirited niece who is living there to write a book about the old Selchester family, the gossipy housekeeper Mrs Partridge, and Ben a former stable and chauffeur worker. . . . . . “Guilt is nothing but a moral tale to confuse people who are too stupid to see the consequences of their actions.” Already the second day is a skeleton discovered and uncovered beneath the flagstones of the castles OldChapel. Is it the since 7 years missing Earl? ********************************************* This was good for me.... I got enough characters to suspect to stir it in my brain. The case was not resolved and clarified until the absolute end. There was even some (unexpected) fast-paced action. Not even one little kiss (or thought of it) but very fun anyway. For all us lovers of small countryside villages, chilly old castles, pubs, housekeepers, village gossip, Tom, Dick and Harry and still some old-time noble ladies and gentlemen. A Man of Some Repute is just the kind of novel that are so very good for my lighthearted soul and tired brain (in between work, Christmas shopping and some grand romantic smexy hot romances) these days. More please! Looking forward to Elizabeth Edmondson's next part, serial-book #2 and a new case in A Question of Inheritance. ********************************************** I LIKE - nice and light crime solving

  4. 5 out of 5

    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 '"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 stars for this delightful and very well written English murder mystery set in 1953 at Selchester Castle. Things are not as they were before the war. Lord Selchester disappeared one night following a dinner party at his abode. He is presumed to have wandered outside into the blizzard and perished, although no body has ever been recovered. Soon he will be able to be declared legally dead, and daughter Sonia will be able to sell the crumbling pile to a luxury hotel chain. Freya Wryton, the missing Earl's niece, is in residence at the castle, writing a family history. She is less than pleased when the trustees foist upon her Hugo Hawkesworth and his younger sister. While fixing a plumbing leak under the flagstones of the old chapel, a body is discovered, starting a chain reaction where more than one skeleton comes out of the closet. This enjoyable tale meanders along in no great hurry to get anywhere, but at the same time manages to cover a great deal of ground including espionage and blackmail. The characters are well portrayed and interesting and as the book progresses we learn a lot about what has made them into the people they are. This is apparently the first in a series and I look forward to reading more from Elizabeth Edmondson. Thank you to NetGalley and Thomas & Mercer for the gift of a copy of A Man of Some repute in exchange for an honest review.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Leslie

    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 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 Hawksworth arrives with his stick, he has a bad leg, and his orphaned 13 year old sister Georgia; he has no idea he will be working to solve a cold case. Everyone in the castle and in the surrounding town are on tenterhooks as that the Earl's disappearance is almost 7 years old and as soon he is declared legally dead his heir, Lady Sonia, plans to sell the castle to a hotel chain. Every character, large and small, is wonderfully described and developed. You absolutely feel like you are walking the lanes, and creepy corridors. You'll want to stop into the Daffodil Tea room for a cuppa and a cake and some local gossip.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Primrose Jess

    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. 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. Well done. I'm hooked, Ms. Edmondson. What's It About: Former Intelligence Officer Hugo Hawksworth finds 1953 a year of change. He struggles to acclimate himself to a desk job, convince everyone his leg injury is a result of a "bicycle accident", and raise his 13 year old sister Georgia with a semblance of normalcy after traumatic years of living in London during WW2 which led to their becoming orphans, oh yeah... and the Cold War is beginning with Moscow suspicions beginning . -before you roll your eyes and exclaim "Agatha Christie already did the brother and sister bit.."- Georgia is quite different. In fact, I happily began to compare her to one of my other favorite sleuths; Alan Bradley's Flavia de Luce! Georgia is quick witted, precocious, protective of her brother, and also irritatingly (for Hugo) a sharp, shrewd judge of human character. I can't wait to read more scenes with Georgia and Hugo! While staying in the Castle; Hugo is present when a skeleton is found underneath the flagstones of the church. The Earl of Selchester had gone missing some years ago in a snow storm and his daughter eagerly awaits his declaration of death as she has an inheritance to sell off to hotel investors. Cash is King. The police seem eager to pin a murder on the Earl's dead son and niece. Hugo isn't convinced. With the help of his priest Uncle, Georgia, and Freya Wryton, the Earl's niece, he starts to put the puzzle together. And more sinister workings were at play all those years ago which spill into current times.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Angie

    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. 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. Recommended! Look forward to trying the next one in the series:)

  8. 4 out of 5

    Cindy Rollins

    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.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Shawn Thrasher

    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 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 book, it was delicious. The only things missing were cameos by Christie detectives (Miss Marple at the tea shop). The whodunnit at the end wasn't all that great: but Agatha Christie's whodunnits weren't always that great either (they can't all be Murder on the Orient Express). It's the journey there that was tons of fun. Here's something sad: Elizabeth Edmundson died last January, so this series will be no more.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Trish R.

    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 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 occurred in 1947 and 1953 but there wasn’t a damn thing that would have me believing it wasn’t happening right now. Nothing was described as being in the 20th century. It could have been this year and 7 years ago. I was hoping for more about the 1940's and 1950's in England. Also, what was all the Chapter 1 Scene 1, 2, 3. Chapter 2 Scene 1, 2, 3, 4, etc. I felt like I was reading a TV script. That was kind of silly. Anyway, it was a pretty good mystery, if a little boring at times, and there were lots of unanswered questions so it was left unfinished but not a cliffhanger, it just left it open to the next book. Since this was a free read and free listen I might read the next book. We’ll see. As to the narration: Michael Page read the book without making you feel anything. Same tone throughout. However, it was just that kind of book. No excitement, no danger to speak of, never a need to whisper or yell. He was kind of bland because the book was kind of bland. Also, his women’s voices really need some work BUT he has a great reading voice.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sophia

    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 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 book begins with injured former spy Hugo Hawksworth being put out to pasture in a rural village with a desk job up at 'The Hall' an estate that was given over to the government secret service for trainings and to store the archives. Hugo was sent by his boss b/c there is a bad feeling that something is wrong there at The Hall and the nearby village of Selchester. Hugo is perfect for this as no one would suspect with his lame leg and his younger teenage sister in tow after the loss of their parents that he's anything more than appears. He's staying at the old Earl of Selchester's castle and soon lands into a cold case murder when the Earl who supposedly disappeared into a snowy blizzard seven years before may have turned up. Now, its a case of breaking unbreakable alibis from that night as Hugo hopes to help clear the Earl's son and niece of being made the scapegoats when it looks like, because of Selchester's line of work during the war, that it wouldn't be good to have anyone delving too deeply into his death. Like a lot of old-style country house/village murders, it gets along slowly and gently establishing characters, showing new light on everything including producing more people wanting to murder the guy. It was fun getting to know Hugo, Georgia, Freya, and the surrounding cast who will likely reprise in the continuing story. Ah yes, unlike most books of this stamp, the author chose to close out the murder in this one, but leave some unfinished business carrying on through two more books with the same cast. It doesn't feel like a cliffhanger, but it does leave a reader needing to keep reading the rest to get the full story. Michael Page was a new to me narrator. It took me a bit to settle into some of his voices, but I did and had a good time with how he vocalized the various country/town, class, and gender voices. He definitely had the pace and situation of the book down and I hope he continues to narrate the rest of the series. I would definitely recommend this one to readers/listeners who enjoy classic-style whodunnits set in England of the 50's. COYER Summer Scavenger Hunt clue- cover with a castle 3pts

  12. 5 out of 5

    Joan

    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 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 but, as I am now going to re-read it and I have already downloaded Book 2 in the series, I am rounding it up to 5 stars.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Debbie

    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 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 story has all of the aforementioned and more! Highly recommend!

  14. 5 out of 5

    BRIONY

    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.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    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 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

  16. 5 out of 5

    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. 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.

  17. 5 out of 5

    ❀⊱RoryReads⊰❀

    This was really well done! On to the second in the series.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Lee

    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 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 spy -- this isn’t a spoiler, it’s pretty much stated from the beginning.) Hugo partners up with Freya, the niece of the Earl of Selchester, to try and solve the mystery. Freya has probably got better spy credentials than Hugo, considering no one knows her past or present career, compared with the whole town knowing what Hugo does! As leads, Hugo and Freya are very likeable. I hope we get a chance to read more about their war time activities. I also wouldn't complain if their relationship eventually grows into something a little more romantic. The book also features an array of [cliched, I guess] sidekicks including Hugo’s school aged sister, his learned uncle who is a priest, Freya's bluntly rude aunt, and the feisty housekeeper. The book suffers a little with having to establish all these [what I assume will be] regular characters. I am looking forward to reading the next in the series without the awkward [at times] introductions.  The murder/mystery plot is solid enough. There’s the plethora of suspects, all with valid reasons for committing the murder, red herrings, and twists. The book isn’t completely original obviously, but for me it pretty much works due to the time and location setting. I loved that aspect of the novel. The PTSD so many suffered post WW2 is a fascinating subject and I enjoy it being explored in literature or film. The book also uses the beginning of the Cold War, and the final remnants of the servant class and the powerful structure of the nobility.  The only real disappointment I had with the book was the climactic scenes and their far too speedy resolution. The build up was excellent but it felt like the tension was cut far too short and I really didn't fear for the characters as much as I should have. I’m pretty sure Edmondson should have dragged out the drama for a couple more chapters.  I would still highly recommend the book. Its blurb says it’s a mix of Downton Abbey, Agatha Christie and Le Carre. I’d actually say that’s pretty spot on. 4 out of 5

  19. 4 out of 5

    Deanna

    DNF at about 70%. My mind finally got tired of wandering off and yanking itself back to the book.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    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.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Louise

    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).

  22. 5 out of 5

    Damaskcat

    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 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 surrounding this stately home as its owner, the Earl, disappeared in a snow storm nearly seven years ago and his body has never been found. Hugo and Georgia are fascinated by the story of the missing Earl and when a skeleton is discovered under the flag stones in the old chapel they find themselves in the middle of a murder investigation. But it seems the police just want to pin the blame on the one person who was present at the castle on the night of the Earl's disappearance who is now dead - the Earl's son, Tom. Amusing and well written, this is entertaining reading. If you like classic mystery stories then you will probably enjoy this one. It's good to know that there is a second book in the series due to be published in October 2015.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    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 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 could take home to mom, but there is something lurking beneath that mild exterior. I'd like to know what it is. Freya Wryton, Selchester's niece, is the only family member remaining at the castle. What does she have to hide? The castle and the town with its quirky inhabitants are a place I'd like to visit again. Lots of questions to be resolved in the next installment.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    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 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 “scenes” seems a bit unnecessary and time occasionally flows oddly, but this is a solid and interesting mystery. Book 2 on hold already.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Anne Cook

    Page turning twisted plot with lots of surprises especially at the end! Free June kindle read. Thank you and rate an excellent

  26. 5 out of 5

    AngryGreyCat

    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 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 Georgia. The portrayal of post war estates is well done here and the plot is lively and engaging. I really enjoyed it even though historicals are not normally my favourites.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Barbara Heckendorn

    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 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 carpet? Together with the Earl's niece, Hugo sets out to find answers. They find even more bodies.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Nicola

    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 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 after this one. It was a nice easy read and I’m quite intrigued to carry on after the outcome of this story!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Christy

    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 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 flagstones in the church! Now it's clear that his death was a murder, and Hugo finds himself drawn into the mystery. I love this time period and the atmosphere of post-war rural England. Sometimes this can be a little isolated and boring, but in "A Man of Some Repute" we have the added excitement of a host of quirky characters including a family of peers, a well known photographer, a famous actress and the secret service, so definitely a varied host of characters, with some of the scenes set in the bustle of London for a change of pace. I thought it was a well written, interesting book although it felt a little rushed towards the end. A lot of build up, with the conclusion wrapping itself up a little quicker than I'd anticipated. I also really like the striking cover design, quite different to most books and this is what initially drew me in. At the moment I am really loving the cozy genre and was pleased to see another book featuring Hugo is soon to be released. My thanks go to Thomas & Mercer, NetGalley and of course the author, Elizabeth Edmondson, for providing me with a review copy of "A Man of Some Repute." I'll be reading and reviewing Book #2, "A Question of Inheritance" shortly!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Lara

    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 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 female protagonist lives on the estate and is the niece of the missing man. She finds herself in an uncomfortable situation both as someone who was present when her uncle disappeared and as she learns that her uncle was a more complex (and less kind) person than she remembered. She is intelligent, but somewhat unaware of what is happening around her and at times naive. Overall, the characters were consistent and fully developed. There are a number of strong supporting characters and solving the mystery requires following up details and learning about people. It was interesting and plausible and had little on-page violence. I believe that this is the start of a series, which is good as there are a number of unanswered questions (though the main mystery was answered). There is the suggestion that a romance might develop, but nothing definite. I listened to the audiobook and it was well narrated.

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