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Book Review – Did Anyone Die? by Stella Stafford

Did Anyone Die?by Stella Stafford

Review by Maria Snell


Did Anyone Die? by Stella Stafford  is an incredibly charming mystery that will have you hooked from page 1 with its witty dialogues, razor sharp situations and quite eccentric characters.

Yes, it is a murder mystery…but it reminded me a bit of Fawlty Towers at times.  The characters could be nothing but English, the town could not be anywhere but in the English countryside and the characters could not live anywhere else.

Elodea and Priscilla have been friends since University. Funny and absent-minded Elodea lives in the town of Little Wychwell with her scientist husband and her Yorkshire Terrier, Pippy.  The very prim Priscilla is a Classics expert at Oxford University – where she lives – while her husband is presently living in Canada and climbing mountains all over the world.  These two ladies have been friends forever, but could not be more different – although both of them are equally batty and eccentric.

Elodea witnesses a double murder one evening while walking Pippy, and she meets Priscilla for coffee the next day to tell her all about it.  Priscilla – who usually does not pay a lot of attention to what anybody is saying, lost in her own musings – agrees to meet Elodea later that afternoon so they can go together to the crime scene to see what they can find out.  When Priscilla arrives at Elodea’s home in Little Wychwell, Elodea is rushing to her daughter’s side because she has apparently gone into labor with her child.  She leaves Priscilla in charge of Pippy the dog, Mr Poggles the pig, church duties and her house in the Vicarage.  Enter several other characters:  Barnabus, Elodea’s son newly arrived from Nepal; the tap-dancing and bird-watching Vicar; Lady Wilmington and her pig handler Mr Cyril; two homeless persons, Fran and Big Frank; a missing garbage bin, and a host of other residents of Little Wychell – and you have the setting for a phenomenally entertaining, fast paced, well-written and absolutely delightful murder mystery!

While Elodea is in Edinburgh visiting her daughter, Priscilla and Barnabus – with Pippy in tow – will try to solve a murder mystery; all the while serving coffee to the parishioners, taking care of a pig, driving back and forth between Little Wychwell and Oxford for rowing practices very early in the morning…and getting into more trouble than they asked for.

You will not want to miss Did Anyone Die?by Stella Stafford by Stella Stafford  – particularly since the sequel A Very Quiet Guest, is out on May 2011!  I can’t wait to read the sequel, and re-acquaint myself with all these wonderful characters!

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