While waitressing at the Hopwicke Country House Hotel as a favor for a friend, Jude once again becomes involved in murder when a member of the Pillars of Sussex, a group of local businessmen, is found dead, and Jude, suspecting foul play, enlists Carole Seddon's assistance to launch their own investigation.
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Simon Brett is the author of the Fethering mystery series and the Mrs. Pargeter mystery series, and is the creator of the Charles Paris mysteries. He is also a former president of Britain's Crime Writers' Association and chair of the Society of Authors.From Booklist:
*Starred Review* An Edwardian country house converted into a sumptuous hotel, complete with sweeping views of the South Downs and the English Channel, provides the setting for two murders in Brett's fifth Fethering mystery. This may sound like another fraying-around-the-edges formulaic cozy, but not in the hands of Brett, who once constructed backstage, behind-the-mike British theater mysteries starring an alcoholic, fading actor-sleuth. Brett infuses his plots with scathing and hilarious social commentary; reading him is very much like deciphering Hogarth's pictorial send-ups of low and high society. Brett's latest sleuths are middle-aged women in the seaside village of Fethering-- Carole Seddon, an early-retired, acerbic refugee from the Home Office, and her neighbor, Jude, a blowsy, New Agey freethinker. They have stumbled upon (and over) bodies on the beach, on the Downs, and on the grounds of a museum. Jude has the honors of finding a body this time as she helps out at the local hotel--the body of a young man strangled by a cord on a four-poster bed. Even odder than the man's death is the fact that seemingly everyone wants to dismiss this and a subsequent death at the hotel as accidental or suicide, especially the members of the all-male, all-powerful Pillars of Sussex, to which one victim belonged and the other aspired. Intricate plotting and wry comedy make this the best Fethering yet. Connie Fletcher
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