Fethering has everything a sleepy coastal town should: a snug English pub, cosy cottages, a little local library – and the occasional murder . . .
Bestselling author Burton St Clair, complete with soaring ego and wandering hands, has come to town to give a talk. But after his corpse is found slumped in his car, he won’t be leaving. Jude is the prime suspect; she was, after all, the last person to see Burton St Clair alive. If she is to prove her innocence, she will have to dust off her detective skills and recruit her prim and proper neighbour (and partner-in-sleuthing) Carole to find the real culprit.
This book is one in a long series of cosy mystery novels featuring the inhabitants of Fethering an English seaside village, in particular neighbours Jude and Carole. Jude currently working as a healer and straight laced Carole a retired civil servant are not what you would call natural bedfellows, but after moving into Woodside Cottage Jude has struck up a friendship with her neighbour and the two of them seem to have become the local amateur sleuths.
This books tells the story of the murder of bestselling author Burton St Clair. After attending a promotional talk of his at the local library, Jude becomes suspect no.1 in his death after it is confirmed that she was the last person to see him alive. Jude had already meet Burton, then called Al, many years before as the husband of a good friend. Burton, known to think of himself as a ladies man and often making passes at women and having affairs is now divorced from her but Jude finds out that her old friend has told the police that Jude and Burton had had an affair and that this was the cause of the end of her marriage. Jude, in an attempt to clear her name, goes to see her old friend but receives a very frosty reception.
Working with Carol and another local Oliver, who was also at the book talk, Jude plays sleuth and tries to track down what actually happened to Burton and why he was murdered!
This was the first of these novel that I have read, so I have probably lost a lot of the build up and so forth of Jude and Carol’s friendship and what other escapades they have previous gotten up to, but this was an enjoyable quick read, with fun characters and snippets of humour and local village life. The plot and characters we meet along the way kept me reading and entertained. A nice cosy whodunnit to read on a rainy day like today!
Simon Brett is also the author of The Charles Paris Series which I listen to on BBC Radio 4 Extra. Superbly played and read by Bill Nighy.
I found a copy of this book (possibly a proof) in a local charity shop but when I realised it had a soon to be released date I delved in so that I could publish this review in time.
Simon Brett worked as a producer in radio and television before taking up writing full time. As well as the much-loved Fethering series, the Mrs Pargeter novels and the Charles Paris detective series, he has written a number of radio and television scripts. Married with three children, he lives in an Agatha Christie-style village on the South Downs. You can find out more about Simon at his website: http://www.simonbrett.com
The Liar in the Library is out in paperback on June 6th and is published by Black Thorn Books.