St. Martin's, March 2002, 22.95, 240 pp.
In the heart of North Wales lies the small bucolic village of Llanfair, a quiet quaint place where everyone knows everyone else and crime is practically non-existent. However when a murder does occur, it is local constable Evan Evans rather than CID who always solves the case. The town is peaceful now but events are happening at the nearby Grove Center for Healing Arts and Celtic Spirituality that will draw Evan into the biggest case of his career.
It begins when an American girl, last seen working at the Sacred Grove is reported missing by her frantic parents. When Evan starts asking questions he's told that the girl quit and took off with almost no notice. Then the director of the center, a famous American psychic married to the owner of the property, is murdered. Evan is asked by the CID team to help out, which he gladly does though his main concern is a local girl named Betsy who quit her local job as a bartender to work at the cushy center. He senses she's in danger but by the time he figures out who the killer is, Betsy is already in the perp's clutches.
The Evan Evans mystery series is quaint, colorful and thoroughly enjoyable reading, so much so that one can hope this series never ends. The mystery is cleverly crafted with many sub-plots tying neatly into the main story line but it is the hero and recurring characters that make EVANS TO BETSY a very special novel. Each in his or her own way makes an indelible impression so that the reader feels as if old friends have come for a visit.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner