Avoid the Vicar!

Your Guide to Not Getting Murdered in a Quaint English Village by Maureen Johnson

Illustrated by Jay Cooper

Publication Date: September 14, 2021

Summary from NetGalley:

Considering a trip to a quaint English village? You’ll think twice after learning about the countless murderous possibilities lurking behind the bucolic façades, thanks to this illustrated guide from #1 bestselling author Maureen Johnson and illustrator Jay Cooper—perfect for fans of cozy mysteries.

A weekend roaming narrow old lanes, touring the faded glories of a country manor, and quaffing pints in the pub. How charming. That is, unless you have the misfortune of finding yourself in an English Murder Village, where danger lurks around each picturesque cobblestone corner and every sip of tea may be your last. If you insist on your travels, do yourself a favor and bring a copy of this little book. It may just keep you alive. 

Brought to life with dozens of Gorey-esque drawings by illustrator Jay Cooper and peppered with allusions to classic crime series and unmistakably British murder lore, Your Guide to Not Getting Murdered in a Quaint English Village gives you the tools you need to avoid the same fate, should you find yourself in a suspiciously cozy English village (or simply dream of going). Good luck! And whatever you do, avoid the vicar.

ARC provided by Ten Speed Press via NetGalley for an honest review.


This was such a fun little book, that I just adored from beginning to end. It is really short, and not much text, but the illustrations really make up for that. If you enjoy reading or watching British mysteries, you will get a kick out of this book. It is a must read if you are planning a visit to the English Countryside.

This little book takes you through all of the places and people you might encounter on your trip. From the quaint english village with its churches and graveyards (avoid the bell tower at all costs, village squares and antique shops. There are also the people you don’t want to stop and visit with, such as the vicar, especially the vicar. But also the tea shop owners and the little old lady with knitting needles.

You will also find information about country manors, which I thought was the funniest part of the book. All of the characters were spot on, as were the likeliest places where a murder will take place.

The illustration were absolutely the best part. Done in black and white, with a dash of red for the blood of course. They all fit the descriptions of the places and people in the guide.

I also enjoyed the little quizzes, although I failed one or two of the questions. They were almost more informative than the other parts of the book. The answers were also quite amusing.

This is a must for those of you that like mysteries, but especially those cozy mysteries that always seem to take place in small quaint little villages with funny names.

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