The Ivy Beasley Mysteries

The Hangman’s Row Enquiry

In the first of a new detective series to be published in May 2010, our old friend Ivy Beasley from Round Ringford days has moved to an old folks` residence in Barrington, a small village in Suffolk. Stroppy and autocratic as ever, she is busy shaping the place up to her standards, when Augustus Halfhide, tall, thin and oddly attractive in a wispy kind of way, moves into Hangman`s Row in the village.   He is a mystery, determined to give nothing away about his past, and when he offers to see Ivy home from church one day, it is the beginning of an unlikely and fruitful relationship.

Alongside Ivy, Gus enlists Ivy`s much younger cousin Deirdre, and Ivy`s admirer, Roy Goodman, in setting up a detective agency called Enquire Within.   Almost immediately, their first case makes its shocking appearance in the village. Another resident of Hangman`s Row, an old woman known for her sharp tongue and  persecution of her hapless daughter Miriam, is found far from well on the floor of her cottage.

Enquire Within is in business!

This first of a series starring Ivy Beasley, can be pre-ordered on Amazon, Amazon UK and Barnes & Noble.

83 thoughts on “The Ivy Beasley Mysteries

  1. Pingback: Ann Purser » An Ivy Beasley Enquiry – New Series

  2. My goodness, Ann. What’s happened to the colours of the cover page! It certainly doesn’t look like that on Amazon or on FantasticFiction. Is that the colour they will use?


  3. That looks much better, I love the cover art for all your books. Fantastic. I myself am trying my hand at an English murder mystery and hope that someday if it can be published that mine can look just as amazing as that


  4. I only came across the Round Ringford Stories a few months ago. I love them all and am at this moment finishing Mixed Doubles(sob, sob). Thank you Ann for your lovely weather descriptions; the rain,the cold and the mist ! While the temperature outside is 41 degrees Celsius here in Perth, Western Australia. I lived in Hartley in Kent for ten years so I can well remember it. Thrilled to discover The Ivy Beasley Mysteries. Does Ivy’s mother still ‘talk’ to her? In my second year of retirement from teaching I can’t wait to spend many hours reading. Thank you and keep these wonderful stories (and characters) coming.
    Kind regards
    Jopie Mantle
    24 Carrick Road
    Mount Richon
    Western Australia 6112

    • I was very interested to have your message, and to hear that you spent ten years in Kent – the garden of England, it used to be called. Up here in Northamptonshire, we are still having showers of snow (which my chickens loathe and the dog loves) and it is what we think of as bitterly cold! Ivy, now living in Suffolk, is hoping she has left the shade of her mother behind in Ringford, though we shall have to wait and see.

      I expect you miss your teaching? My mother was an infant teacher, and went on teaching English to immigrant children after she was officially retired.

      Very nice to hear from you. Best wishes – Ann P.

    • Dear Jopie – I have been going through my comments,and cannot trace having replied to you. If this is so, please forgive me! It was lovely to read your interesting message. Hope you remember the garden of England with affection! Ivy should be available on Amazon now, and you will see that she has more or less left her mother behind in Ringford. She has a completely new life and, being Ivy, is busily adjusting to it. I have finished the second in the series now, but haven`t a publication date yet. I do hope you are enjoying your retirement after what I know from my Mum (infant teacher) is a very absorbing career!


  5. I cannot tell you how much I’ve enjoyed the Lois Meade mysteries. Read everyone as soon as they arrived at the bookstores. Living in New Hampsire USA, I’ve dreamed of seeing the English countryside, and visiting the small villages.

    Your characters in the Lois Meade series are so vividly drawn that they seem alive to me.

    Thank you so much for many hours of enjoyment.

  6. I have just obtained and read (one after the other) all you Lois Meade books from my local library except for the latest \Tragedy at Two\ (which I have ordered from the library). They are BRILLIANT. However, could you possibly tell me why are they not obtainable in PAPERBACK in the UK. I have search on the Fantastic Fiction website but only see that they are avaialble in hardback.

    Best wishes and looking forward to more of Lois.


  7. Just read Tragedy at Two. Really enjoyedi it. I get all of your books from the library. There are a few I have still not been able to get from the library. I have never seen any of your books in the bookshop. I enjoyed the Round Ringford stories as well. Are you doing any more of tthose.

    • Thanks a lot for your message, Mavis. I`m really pleased you are enjoying the books! No more Round Ringford at present, but look out for the Ivy Beasley enquiries …
      These books are published in America, and the distribution in the UK is by Severn House publishers, who specialise in supplying libraries. I would like to see more in bookshops, but you can always order all the titles on the website from your local bookshop who should be able to find details, or – of course – Amazon. AP

  8. Just this winter discovered the Lois Meade mysteries; have read all but the last published. They are the best I’ve flound since Agatha Christie. Please keep writing more.

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  10. I’ve read all the Lois Meade mysteries and was thrilled to find that you’ve started another series, the Ivy Beasley mysteries. I’m a recently retired librarian whose favorite pasttime is to read English village cozies. I can’t wait until the next Ivy Beasley book comes to the USA. I’m not familiar with the Round Ringford books and I don’t think they available in the USA. Is there any hope that they will be reprinted? Karen

    • Thanks for your interesting message. I`m so glad you`re liking the books! The Round Ringford series are village stories without murders. One or two people die, but most from natural causes or by accident. The same characters run through all the stories. They were originally published by Orion, who are holding on to the rights for the moment, though I am checking this. Caxton Press (Knight) published an edition of five of the six, but I think these are difficult to find. is your best bet!

      The next Ivy Beasley story is The Measby Murder Enquiry (working title so far), and is well on in the pipeline!
      Best wishes – Ann

  11. Hello Ann

    Just ordered ‘The Hangmans Row Enquiry’ from Amazon US. They have quite a few of your older books if anyone is missing one. I see that its published in Paperback is going to be the same with all this series. I loved Ivy in the Round Ringford series and was very sad to see them go but I have enjoyed the Louise Meade series also. I have everyone of your books Ann and when I move back to the UK they are coming with me a second read makes some things clearer that you missed the first time.

    • Nice to hear from you, Avril. I am so glad you have enjoyed Ringford and Lois Meade. Lois is still going strong! At lease three more books in the pipeline. I do hope you enjoy Ivy Beasley`s new adventure. The move to Suffolk does not seem to have daunted her in the least. In fact, she has taken on a new lease of life!

      Best wishes and happy reading – Ann

  12. Ann I did look up Hangmans Row and could only find it in large print hardback. Mine has arrived in paper back. Do you know if its going to be released in Hard back editon.

    • Thanks, Avril. It is only in hardback in large print at the moment. My agent tells me a lot of publishers are producing paperbacks first, especially of new series. I suppose this is an economy measure, in case sales are not large!

      I don`t know whether there will be a hardback later. It is in the lap of the Gods, in other words, Berkley Prime Crime!

      Hope you enjoy it, anyway. Ann.

  13. Thankyou Ann for your reply I was going to read another book first but I just cannot wait. I want to see what Ivy gets up to.

  14. Ann, I just finished “Tragedy At Two” very enjoyable Our local library gets your books quite quickly. This book seemed a bit more “meaty” than the others, almost as if the characters are really starting to exert themselves. Just a quick note about the “My Duckies” and the ‘Gels”. I don’t know why, but after a couple of them they start to grate. Maybe something to do with living in England until I was 18. I’m sure it’s just me. I will now look for the Ivy Beasley books. Rob Fairfax, VA USA

    • Thanks for your message, Rob. Glad you enjoyed Tragedy at Two. I`ll think of you and ration the ducks and the gels in future! Have a happy time with Ivy. Best wishes – Ann P

  15. Hi Ann,
    I’ve been a fan of you books for a couple of years now, having come across one of the Round Ringford series in a secondhand bookshop. Ever since then, I’ve become addicted. I always enjoy ‘series’ books that have continuing characters, so Lois, Ivy et all are always welcome ‘guests’. I look forward to many more visits with them and anxiously await their next mysterious adventure. Many thanks for lots of enjoyable hours reading your books.

    Winston B
    Kitchener, ON, Canada

    • An innocent addiction, Winston B.! I`m so pleased you`re enjoying the books – more of Lois and Ivy to come, with favourite characters and some new ones. Happy reading!

  16. I have enjoyed the Lois Meade books and have all but the last one. BUT I absolutely LOVED “The Hangman’s Row Enquiry.” I just finished reading it 10 minutes ago and can hardly wait for the next one in this series. Absolutely delightful.

    Linda Lynch

    • Thanks for your really nice message! It is so good to have approval for a new series, and Ivy seems to be going down well. The next one, The Measby Murder Enquiry, is in the pipeline, as is a new Lois story. Happy reading! Ann

  17. Dear Ann,

    I’ve just finished “The Hangman’s Row Enquiry” and want to congratulate you on a wonderful book! I enjoyed every chapter, page and word!

    The mystery was very well crafted, the characters unique and most of them endearing. Your descriptions of their surroundings, their thoughts and feelings and life in a small community had me feeling as though I were right there in their midst.

    I look forward most anxiously to the next book in the series! Is there a release date yet?

    • Dear Laura –

      Thanks so much for your great message! So glad you liked my oddly assorted characters – Ivy Beasley has been popular ever since she first turned up in the Round Ringford series, and would, I am sure, be delighted to know that people are still interested ….

      The next Ivy Beasley enquiry is in the pipeline, and I expect will be out early next year. If I can get an exact date, I will post it on my website. Meanwhile, happy reading. Best wishes, Ann.

  18. I’ve read and enjoyed all the Lois Meade series. Then was so pleased to see the new Ivy Beasley mystery novel. Very glad to read that you have another “Ivy” one coming soon. I loved your comments through Roy about the elderly needing to feel needed! I took care of my mother and father the last 10 years of their lives. My mother was very much like Ivy – strong willed and intelligent. Her failing health stole her independence from her, but not her mind. She would ask me what she could do for me & I would smile and say nothing mom. After reading your words, I wish i could go back & respect her desire to be more involved in life. Thanks for the reminder that we all want to be needed. Please continue to share those feelings through your Ivy.

    • So glad you approve of Ivy`s first detective venture! I was interested to hear about your mother`s last years. My own mother was just the same. She had been the head of an infants school, and used to ordering people (children) about. She said very clearly that she did not want to live with me after my father died and suggested an old folks home nearby. When she got there, she reorganised them, made good friends with a lovely man who swapped nostalgic stories with her, and having brought her treasures with her, she put a notice on her shelf written in a shaky hand, saying `DO NOT DUST`……..

      More Ivy in the pipeline – look out for The Measby Murder Enquiry. Ann

  19. Dear Ann

    I have read some of your Lois Meade series, have them all and plan on reading the rest when I come across them (remodeling)

    I just finished your new book “The Hangman’s Row Enquiry” I LOVE it – Ivy is a real “corker” as my Gram would say and Roy too – What a great combo having some retirey sleuths along side two who are younger

    Can’t wait for new book in the series – I do hope there is one coming in the future !!

    Great Entertainment – thanks !

    Mar B

    • Good morning, Mar – and Gram and Roy too – and thank you for your nice message. I am so pleased you enoyed Ivy`s latest venture – and yes, there is another in the pipeline, so look out for The Measby Murder Enquiry. The team are getting in their stride!

      Threats at Three, with Lois and company in action, will be out in December 2010 – Christmas present?

      All the best – Ann

  20. Dear Ms. Purser, I just finished Hangman’s Row Enquiry and enjoyed it very much. I hope another adventure with Ivy, and the gang is coming along soon.
    It sounds like the Lois Meads series have Ivy included in them so I will find those to appease me while waiting for the new Ivy Beasley mystery. There are lots of things I like about your plots but one thing in particular is that the team is made up of folks of different ages. You are a master at pin-pointing the issue of elderly needs and able to involve them in an exciting way. Charming and engaging,
    thank you. Cheers, Bryn H., Vancouver, BC

    • Thank you, Bryn, for your message – particularly because you appreciate the rather unusual partners in Enquire Within! Ivy does crop up from time to time in the Lois Meade series, but features very largely in my village Round Ringford stories. These are not crime novels, but echo very much my own experience of village life in all its wonders!

      Happy future reading – Ann P

  21. Hello, Ann!
    Thank You so much for your wonderful writing. I love the town and people of Round Ringford! I just finished the last in the series, ‘Mixed Doubles’, and feel so sad that I can’t continue to visit with the town I have become so fond of. I have the new Ivy Beasley mystery and I am sure I will enjoy it but I was wondering if there will be any more Round Ringford books in the future?
    Thank You,

  22. Hi Ann,
    I have read all your books… That has not been easy here in Arizona. But with the help of libraries all over the states I have been able to read all. It is so exciting that a new Lois Meade book is on its way…Thank you for all the hours of pleasure and laughter you have given myself and friends.

    With admiration,

    • Hi Pam – thanks for your nice message, and your loyalty in rounding up all the books! Ivy is busy working on the next Enquire Within case, and the other three are as keen as ever …

      Best regards – Ann

  23. Hi Ann,
    I have read ALL of your books and have thoroughly enjoyed them all and I am looking forward to the latest Lois coming out soon. I have today finished the new Ivy Beasley book which I thoroughly enjoyed I see that you will be having another book out hopefully next year and look forward to many more publications.
    Power to your pen
    Best wishes Trish

    • Hi Trish,
      It is such a help when I`m wrestling with a wayward Ivy Beasley to have a message like yours! I am delighted you are enjoying reading the books. Another Lois out in December, just in time for Christmas! – Threats at Three.
      Best wishes – Ann

  24. I absolutely love the Lois Meade and Ivy Beasley Mysteries! I am looking forward to beginning the Round Ringford Series and just want to compliment your writing; it’s fantastic :) I live in a rural East Tennessee community where everyone knows everyone else and I can relate to the small English village characteristics and situations that you convey, often humorously, in your books.

    Thank you so much for sharing your imagination and talent,

  25. I absolutely have loved everyone of the Lois Meade mysteries (buying them instead of waiting for them from the library.) But I recently finished the new Ivy Beasley (Hangman’s Row Enquiry) and I could hardly put it down. I am excitedly awaiting the next book!

    • Wow! What a nice message – thank you. I am so glad Lois and Ivy are doing their stuff! At the moment, I am in the middle of the third Ivy enquiry, and have the famous four sitting in the summer house at Springfields, drinking iced coffee and eating Katya`s renowned cookies.

      In contrast, here in my garden we have ice on the chickens` water, a chill wind from the east, and grey, dismal skies.

      Your message cheered me up!

  26. Ann, I have read all your Lois Meade books and loved them. Then I recently came across The Handman’s Row with Ivy Beasley. What a joyful book. I am an occupational therapist who see seniors in independent living and assisted living, and have recommended that book to all. Wonderful that you gave seniors that feel discarded a purpose again. Can not wait for the next book. Sherry

    • Thanks, Sherry, for a heart-warming message! I like the term `seniors`- so much better than `old people`. They have so much to give. Happy reading and best wishes to all – Ann P.

  27. Ms. Purser,

    I just heard of your books, and purchased “The Hangman’s Row Enquiry”. Will I be able to read this series as a stand alone series, or is it best to read your Louis Meade series first? Thank you.

    • Many thanks for your message, stripey68. Yes, the Ivy Beasley Enquiries are more of less separate from Lois Meade stories. The only connection is Ivy Beasley herself! She has been a character running through all my books – Round Ringford, Lois Meade detective series, and Ivy`s own series, where she becomes a private enquiry agent … Woe betide anyone who falls foul of Ivy!

      I do hope you enjoy reading them all. Best wishes – Ann P.

  28. Hello again,
    I have a question because I’m sort of confused. So far I’ve read Murder On Monday and Terror On Tuesday, but have read reviews of the other two series. It says Ivy is in all three series, but I’ve not run into her yet in the first two Lois Meade books. Where does she come in or did I miss her so far? She’s also in the Ringford series?
    Are the towns in all three series fairly close to each other? Is Lois in the other two series as well? Guess I need to hurry up and read faster!

    Thanks…Susan Moore (Orange County, Calif.)

    • Hello, Susan! Thank you for your message – and sorry you are confused. Ivy Beasley is quite important in the Round Ringford series, where she is living in the English Midlands, in a small village. She next appears quite briefly in the Lois Meade series, again set in a Midlands village of Long Farnden, and may be easily missed! However, she comes into her own in the Ivy Beasley Enquiries, where she has moved to Suffolk, an Eastern Counties area, to an old folk`s home. From there, she conducts a detective enquiry agency with her usual panache. She moved because her only relative, a much younger cousin called Deirdre, very rich and rather lovely, lives in the Suffolk village of Barrington, and thinks it would be nice for Ivy to be near a family member. Ivy is reluctant, but makes the move, and quite often Deirdre has second thoughts!

      I hope this answers your queries. Happy reading! Best wishes, Ann P.

  29. Dear Ann Purser

    As a huge fan of the Round Ringford books I am delighted to see you have brought Ivy Beasley back into our lives! I did email you about three years ago asking if we might see any of the characters from Ringford so cant wait so see what she is up to.
    I have just ordered the first novel and am looking forward to see what happens – I see she has moved to a new village too!

    loving the Lois books too! pure escapism from my life as a busy mum to two little boys

    kind regards

    • Hello Lynn! Many thanks for your nice message. Yes, Ivy is launched into a new life. and certainly making the most of it! I do hope you will enjoy Hangman`s Row, and the new one just out, The Measby Murder Enquiry, too.

      I sometimes look after my two little grandsons, aged 4 and 7, and know exactly what you mean!

      Best wishes, and happy reading – Ann P.

  30. I love all your books. My idea of a great time is to have one of your books to read. I just read the Hangmans Row Enquiry. I loved it and could hardly put it down. Thanks so much for your books.

    • Thank you, Lois, for your lovely message! And nice to hear of another Lois ….

      I am in the finishing stages of the third Ivy Beasley enquiry – title The Wild Wood Enquiry. Ivy goes from strength to strength! Best wishes – Ann P.

  31. Dear Ms. Purser, I read one of the Lois Meade books but am hooked on Ivy Beasley! I love the seniors being so adventurous, the lovely Dierdre, and fabulous Gus. I have read both of those and loved every minute. A bit of suspense but good fun and they don’t leave me with nightmares! I do hope more are coming,,,, can’t wait! Cheer, Bryn in Vancouver

    • Lovely to hear from you, Bryn, in British Columbia! I am so pleased that you like Ivy and her colleagues. In the Round Ringford novels, Ivy first appeared, and although she was physically grinding to a halt, her brain was as sharp as ever. She moved reluctantly to Suffolk, but it has turned out to be a whole new life for her! And Roy …. Well, it just shows what love can do, at any age. All best – Ann P

  32. The first book of yours I read was the Measby Murder Enquiry about 3 weeks ago. I was hooked searched my library,amazon etc and manage to obtain the whole Lois Meade series so far. Have read the lot in just over 2 weeks and pre ordered your next. Thankyou for a very enjoyable series …Regards Ann..Manchester UK

    • Many thanks for your comment! So glad you are enjoying Lois and Ivy. Foul Play at Four is next (Lois), and Ivy and Roy, Gus and Deirdre, are busy solving the Wild Wood Enquiry at the moment. Happy reading! Ann P

  33. Love the Ivy Beasley series so far! I live in Alberta, Canada and came across the 1st two books at (of all places) a grocery store in the U.S! I started reading and was unable to put either book down. Now I’m desperate for more. I can hardly wait for the next book to come out in this series. I guess I will just have to check out the Round Ringford and Lois Meade series while I wait! The added bonus of the Ivy Beasley series for me is that it brings back lovely memories of our visit to the U.K. a couple of years back. Can hardly wait to go again!

    • HI, Anita – Thanks for yours. Ivy Beasley reappears next spring in The Wild Wood Enquiry, when she is in fine fettlle! Keep watcing the website. I hope you`ll enjoy Lois Meade as well. Ivy does play a part in those stories, too, and in the Round Ringford series (not mysteries) she shows up as a highly important member of the village scene. You can`t keep a good girl down!

      Give my regards to your grocer!

      Best wishes – Ann.

      PS – Lots more to see in the UK …..

    • Christine, thank you for your message. If you look on Amazon, the books show the option of Kindle. Some don`t, I realise, and I will see what I can discover! Best wishes, Ann P

  34. I simply love your books! I’ve read all of the Lois books except Threats at Three, and Foul Play at Four, (which i will gobble up soon enough), and all three of the Ivy books. I’ve always loved a good mystery and I find yours so refreshing. I do love a good ‘thriller’, too, but often find myself overwhelmed by the cursing and/or violence. I know when I read one of your books that I will get the mystery I love, but also a taste of the English village life that I would one day like to experience in person. I never feel ‘creeped out’ after reading one of your lovely books. Thank you and I hope you keep writing about Lois, and Ivy, for many years to come!

    • Hi, Lisa – thank you so much for your lovely message! I means such a lot to know that readers are enjoying the books. More Lois and Ivy stories are in the pipeline, so keep in touch – and if you ever make it to this country, do let me know. Ann P.

  35. I bought your two previous Ivy Beasley novels on Kindle from Amazon but whit now appears that these two plus your new one, out on 1 May 2012 won’t be available on Kindle. Do you know anything about this?

  36. I’m in love with your writing and especially the Ivy B series! I have a good friend who needs large print books and I know she’d love this series in particular….do they come in large print? I cannot find any so far.
    Am eagerly awaiting more of your stories :)

    • Am totally confused. as have replied to you on Facebook! It`s all very complicated for such as me…

      Anyway, I`m pleased to confirm that you message was very welcome, and I am so glad you are enjoying the stories! I am trying to find out about the large print, also Kindle editions, which seem to be causing problems. I`ll be in touch. Ann.

  37. Hello Ann!

    I really enjoy both your book series. Such a wonderful escape!

    I do have one question, what is a “Trundle”? Is it a walker or an adult tricycle?


    • Hi,, Joanna = thank you for your comment, which I have only just found! Sorry about that It is such a pleasure for me when I receive messages such as yours. Feedback is always welcome! Now, the Trundle. It is a vehicle I have invented, and is rather smart and streamlined, goes quite fast when required, and never tips over, eve when going up kerbs and rocky places. It trundles along beside Ivy at walking speed, and usually on the pavement. But it is allowed on the road, though not recommended as there is little p;otection for the driver, except for a hood against the rain. I have a disabled daughter, and know she would love a trundle!

      Best wishes – Ann

  38. I love your books. The trouble is I read them too quickly…..I cannot put them down, especially the ” Enquire Within” books with Ivy and her team. Will Ivy marry Roy on 5th May? Where will their next mystery be? Are you writing lots more? Please hurry because I just can’t wait!!! Ros

    • Hi, Ros! Ah, now, I am afraid I can`t answer your question about the nuptials! Ivy and Roy are so busy investigating, all at Springfields are beginning to wonder if it will ever happen. And so far, they haven`t told me.
      I am so glad you are enjoying the books, and yes, I`m still writing! The Blackwoods Farm Enquiry, another Ivy Beasley adventure, is in the pipeline. Best wishes – Ann P

  39. Thank you so much for you message. Which I read with a tear or two. I just want you to know that my disabled daughter got married two years ago, and, as I said at the time, it was one of the happiest days of my life.

    Very best wishes, Ann

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