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Posts Tagged ‘Simon Brett’

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I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley.

Mrs Pargeter finds herself supporting her friend Jasmine Angold at a social event in aid of a charity which brings feral cats from the Greek island of Atmos to new homes in the UK.  Mrs P isn’t especially keen on cats or dogs but she is always interested in finding charities to support with her fortune.

However this event arouses her curiosity in ways the charity might not appreciate.  Mrs P is no one’s fool and she can smell something not quite right about this charity. In addition she comes face to face to with a rather unpleasant woman who claims to be her late husband’s sister.

Not one to be deterred once she gets her teeth into something, Mrs P calls on all her resources to uncover what is going on and right a few wrongs in the process even though what she does might not be quite on the right side of the law.  But Mrs P is always on the right side of justice and it is always good to help your friends and to bring  the baddies to book.

I enjoyed reading this amusing crime novel.  Mrs Pargeter is an interesting character who has some marvellous ways of sorting situations to her own satisfaction.  There is plenty of humour in the story and some tense moments as well as Mrs P pits her wits against some very nasty people. This is an entertaining series and something a bit different from the usual.

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Crime Writers and Other Animals

Ten short stories all featuring a crime of some sort and each with a twist.  If you’re used to Simon Brett’s crime novels you will find some of these stories a lot darker in tone than those more light hearted books.  They are all well written with some staying with you long after you’ve finished reading the book. I found ‘Best Behaviour’ – narrated by a man with some mental problems – quite chilling.

‘Political Corrections’ was sinister too as was ‘False Scent’.  The story which will appeal to anyone who has felt they are in thrall to a cat is ‘Ways to Kill a Cat’ though I felt it left a bit of a nasty taste, though that was because of the people in the story not the cats.

This is an interesting collection and it demonstrates how different crime short stories can be.  I recommend it to anyone who enjoys well written short stories.

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Polly’s Cake Shop has been a feature of Fethering for many years and when its owner decides to sell up the residents of the town are keen to do something to salvage the amenity and keep it as a cake shop and café.  A committee is formed to run the cake shop as a community venture. Naturally the usual arguments ensue and like most community ventures it is more concerned with massaging egos than getting the job done.

Carole and Jude find a badly decomposed body on the beach one morning and the this leads them into some very murky waters indeed.  Can they find out who did it before the police?  Why do several people in Fethering seem to have secrets to hide?

I enjoyed reading this latest instalment of the Fethering series in which Carole seems to be unbending a little and she a Jude seem to be taking fewer risks than they used during their investigations.  This is an entertaining series with no on the page violence and no bad language.  The author has taken two stereotypical middle aged women – one almost prim and proper and the other her polar opposite and turned then into something unique and all too human and endearing.

This book, like the others in the series is written in a low key amusing style, with an acute observation of the faults and foibles of people living in a small town on the South coast of England.  I recommend it to anyone who likes their crime stories in a lighter vein with interesting characters.

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This is a book for everyone who enjoyed the original six books in Simon Brett’s Mrs Pargeter series.  Mrs P is the widow of someone who was clearly  a legend in the criminal underworld.  But Mrs Pargeter doesn’t really think too much about which side of the law he occupied.  He left her well provided for financially and she has had a house built to her specifications in Chigwell.  Readers of the previous books in this series will be pleased to hear that in spite of all the problems with unexpected corpses and builders who take holidays at Her Majesty’s pleasure she is finally living in the house.

But Mrs Pargeter’s late husband left her something which is even more valuable than the money and that is his little black book of contacts.  Perusing this book starts her on a new trail and the beginning of the story sees her attending the funeral of one of her late husband’s contacts – Sir Normington Wintthrop.  At the funeral she is warmed that she must not attempt to contact his widow.  Not one to bow down to bullies in any shape or form, Mrs Pargeter sets out to investigate just who Sir Normington actually was and this leads her into danger.

This is an amusing story peopled with interesting and likeable characters.  I have a particular liking for Mrs Pargeter herself – a lady who lets nothing stand in her way but who is always dignified and ladylike.  She inspires huge loyalty in her husband’s associates who will do anything to help her achieve her aims as long as it is roughly within the spirit, if not the letter of the law.  I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley for review.

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Going on holiday to Turkey for a fortnight is way outside Carole Seddon’s comfort zone and when her friend and next door neighbour, Jude invites her to go she is dubious.  Carol naturally wants to know why this property developer friend of Jude’s has offered her a villa free of charge and suspects it may be payment for ‘service rendered’.

Barney Willingdon is in fact one of Jude’s former lovers but she broke off her relationship with him because she didn’t trust him.  Now he wants to rekindle their relationship and threatening to appear at the villa they will be using.  Jude wonders about the fate of his first wife too.

I really enjoyed reading this book and read it in less than twenty four hours.  It is amusing and the author has got the relationship between Jude and Carole just right.  I was alternately chuckling and wincing because I can recognise some of Carole’s traits in myself.  The mystery is actually quite slight but I hardly realised that while I was reading as the relationships between the characters kept me turning the pages.

I’m sure the many fans of the Fethering series will love this latest addition even though the action does mainly take place outside Fethering.  The series can be read in any order but if you read them in the order in which they were published you can see the relationship between Carole and Jude developing.  I received a free copy of his book for review purposes from NetGalley.

 

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The Strangling on the Stage (A Fethering Mystery)

Jude’s chaise longue is needed to play a starring role in an amateur production of Shaw’s ‘The Devil’s Disciple’.  When there is row among the cast members Jude herself takes up a role in the play.  Then Richie Good is found dead in what could be a tragic accident and Carole – Jude’s neighbour and fellow amateur sleuth – is persuaded to be the prompter.

 

Naturally the two friends can’t resist investigating the mystery of Richie’s death and it soon becomes clear that almost the whole of the group had at least a motive for wishing him dead.

 

I enjoyed this entertaining mystery with its intriguing plot.  The characters are well drawn and believable and it is interesting how the relationship between Jude and Carole develops and changes in each book in the series.  If you like crime novels which focus on the mystery rather than on any violence connected to the crime then try this one.

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Corpse on the Court, The: Fethering Mystery Series, Book 14 (A Fethering Mystery)

This fourteenth book in the Fethering mystery series sees Jude and Carole, neighbours and amateur sleuths, investigating cases independently.  Jude has a new man in her life whose hobby is real tennis and when a fellow member of the real tennis club is found dead Jude believes it is something more than a case of natural causes.  The dead man’s widow asks her to find out what happened.

 

Carole – to take her mind off her friend’s unavailability – decides to investigate an old unsolved local mystery of some bones found in a lake.  I found the book entertaining reading and it was interesting to see the two contrasting methods of investigation used by the two women. The book is well written with some interesting characters and situations and some insights into real tennis – about which I knew nothing before reading this book.

 

If you like mysteries without too much violence and you like amateur investigators this is an entertaining series.  The books can be read in any order but it is interesting to read them in the order in which they were published to see how Jude and Carole develop as characters and how their relationship develops and changes.

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