A Very English Murder - Verity Bright

As Eleanor Swift returns from her travels across the world to inherit her Uncle's home in the quiet town of Chipstone a series of suspicious events start to unfold. Lady Swift, as she is now known to the household staff, believes she has witnessed a terrible crime and begins to investigate when no one comes to her assistance. Was that truly a cold-blooded murder she has just witnessed or is their more to this little town than she first thought?

I'm very grateful to Bookouture for the opportunity to review this title on NetGalley, as an avid reader of crime novels and a massive fan of Poirot-esque thrillers I was ready and willing to dive straight into this female led narrative. Unfortunately I dove straight into a difficult read and underdeveloped characters. In a world where most crime thriller authors are only providing a slim narrative on female protagonists I was ready to see some solid developments from Bright but Eleanor was extremely difficult to read. Although she was a great main character providing insightful internal monologue there wasn't much about her other than this new-to-town woman investigating something suspicious. I'd have liked more backstory to her but as I got to about 20% of the way through I had to put it down.

Detail is key to layering up settings and characters but being tactful and ensuring it isn't piled onto the reader in one foul swoop is also a key element. In the 20% of the novel I did read nothing had really progressed because every move and development was met with pages upon pages of detail that could have been cut in half and still provided the desired effect.

I would love to see this revised into a shorter novel with more focus on the action and suspense of the crime but unfortunately this currently isn't a female detective novel I can get behind.

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