Also known as the “Herring Mysteries.”
What is the Elsie and Ethelred series about?
Written by British author L. C. Tyler (author of the John Grey Historical Mystery), the Elsie and Ethelred series is a cozy mystery series about a duo of amateur detectives.
More precisely, the series is about Ethelred Tressider, a mid-list crime writer, and his indefatigable, deeply nosy, chocolate-chomping agent Elsie Thirkettle, as they tumble onto murder mysteries to solve.
How to read the Elsie and Ethelred Books in Order?
Every Herring Mysteries book works as a standalone story, but the lives of the different characters evolve from one novel to the other.
- The Herring Seller’s Apprentice – His latest novel is going nowhere, a mid-life crisis is looming and he’s burdened by the literary agent he probably deserves: Elsie Thirkettle, a diminutive but determined individual who claims to enjoy neither the company of writers nor literature of any sort. But however bad things look, they can always get worse, as Ethelred discovers when his ex-wife, Geraldine, vanishes close to his Sussex home. When the disappearance becomes a murder inquiry, the police quickly decide that Geraldine Tressider has been the victim of a local serial killer.
- Ten Little Herrings – When obscure crime writer Ethelred Tressider vanishes from his home, his indefatigable agent, Elsie Thirkettle, is soon on his trail. Finding him proves surprisingly easy. Bringing him home is another matter. Having followed Ethelred to a hotel in the French Loire, she find herself confined there with him after a prominent philatelist is murdered. Elsie is torn between her natural desire to interfere in the police investigation and her urgent need to escape to the local chocolatier.
- The Herring in the Library – When literary agent Elsie Thirkettle is invited to accompany tall but obscure crime writer Ethelred Tressider to dinner at Muntham Court, she is looking forward to sneering at his posh friends. What she is not expecting is that, halfway through the evening, her host will be found strangled in his locked study.
- The Herring on The Nile – In an effort to rejuvenate his flagging career, crime novelist Ethelred Tressider decides to set his new book in Egypt and embarks on a ‘research trip’ with his literary agent, Elsie Thirkettle, in tow. No sooner has their cruise on the Nile begun, however, than an attempt is made on Ethelred’s life.
- Crooked Herring – Ethelred Tressider, a mid-list crime writer, is surprised when fellow author Henry Holiday unexpectedly turns up on his doorstep. He’s even more surprised when Henry confesses that he may have committed murder while drunk on New Year’s Eve. Though he has little recollection of the night, Henry fears he may have killed drinking companion and fellow crime writer Crispin Vynall, and asks Ethelred to discreetly make inquiries in order to discover the truth. As Ethelred and his trusty agent Elsie begin to investigate, they discover that Henry has been set up, and now all that remains is for them to find out why and, more importantly …whodunnit?
- Cat Among the Herrings – Robin Pagham is dead – drowned in a sailing accident. Everyone’s reaction is that he must have been drunk, after all, that was what he did best. But while attending Robin’s funeral, crime writer Ethelred Tressider sees the whole village accused of murder by the deceased’s latest fiancée, and finds himself personally invited to take up the investigation. With Elsie Thirkettle, Ethelred’s ex-agent, ‘assisting’ while consuming half the town’s biscuit supplies, the duo soon have ex-girlfriends, environmentalists and drug smugglers lined up as suspects. Under the guise of a murder mystery dinner party, reluctantly hosted by Ethelred, Elsie hopes to goad the murderer into a confession . . .
- Herring in the Smoke – Roger Norton Vane is dead. Twenty years ago he went for a walk in the Thai jungle with his partner and never returned. After years of wild speculation and fruitless searches, finally, his death is to be made official and somebody will inherit his accumulated wealth. Ethelred Tressider, crime writer and Vane’s biographer, attends the memorial service, but little does he expect to find himself talking to Vane himself, apparently returned from the dead.
- The Maltese Herring – Dr. Hilary Joyner is neither well-liked nor well respected among his academic peers. However, he believes his next project will bring him the recognition he deserves. He is working to uncover the truth behind the ‘buried treasure story’, a local Sussex legend involving an invaluable golden statue, fabled to be hidden among the religious houses in the county. Although his latest book deadline is looming, Ethelred Tressider unwittingly finds himself hosting both the academic and his own redoubtable literary agent, Elsie Thirkettle, for the weekend. The three soon find themselves part of a hunt for the missing figure, but it isn’t long before Joyner’s research comes to an abrupt end with his death.
- Farewell My Herring – Ethelred Tressider and his agent Elsie Thirkettle have been invited to lecture on a creative writing course at Fell Hall, a remote location in the heart of the ragged countryside where even sheep are keen to shun. While Ethelred’s success as a writer is distinctly average, Elsie sees this as an opportunity to scout for new, hopefully, more lucrative, talent. But heavy snow falls overnight, trapping those early arrivals inside, and tensions are quick to emerge between the assembled group.
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