Sunday, 13 January 2013

Book No. 1 of the Year

This morning I managed to get an extra half hour in bed while hubby entertained DC, just enough time to finish Book No. 1 (of 25...) of the Year.

I'm appalling at reviewing books - it's the part I dread about book club, telling everyone what I thought of the book we've just read in an informed, intelligent manner, when all I want to do is say '"I really liked it" or "I didn't like it much" before handing over to the next person. So, this is not to be a review the likes of which you might read in the TLS (if the TLS is the sort of thing you like to read, that is; I read it, but that's because I have to for work, and I won't think any less of you if you don't read it, but I shall be very impressed and ask you to become my new BFF if you do actually read it for pleasure/leisure.)

And so, without further ado, I present to you Book No.1: The Poisoning in the Pub by Simon Brett.

This is the tenth installment in the Fethering Mysteries series, featuring Jude and Carol, two "old biddies" (as they are often referred to by the crooks who they foil) who live in the small South Downs town of Fethering. A lot of wrong-doing seems to occur in and around Fethering, so there plenty to keep these two occupied - there's been a murder in the bookies, on the beach, at the hairdressers, in the museum, at the hotel, to name but a few, and now there's food poisoning and a stabbing at the Crown and Anchor pub, where Jude and Carol like to pop in for a glass of Chilean Chardonnay (although they'll probably avoid the scallops from now on.) The landlord is at his wit's end and considers selling up - can Carol and Jude save the day?!? 

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you probably know that I have a bit of a soft spot for what's known as cosy/cozy crime. The Fethering Mysteries aren't "cosy" in the true sense of the word (or at least I don't think they are), but they come close, and they certainly aren't dark, Scandinavian, pyschological thrillers. I first heard of Simon Brett and his books when I went to hear M.C. Beaton giving a talk at the Reading Festival of Crime Writing; one of the audience members asked her which authors she enjoyed reading and he was one of them. And I thought to myself, if it's good enough for the lady who invented Agatha Raisin, it's good enough to me and off to the bookshop/Oxfam Bookshop/eBay I toddled to get me some.

I've found all of the books in the series so far very easy to read; the main characters are pleasant (with the odd quirk, but not annoying) and as the series goes on more is revealed about them and their backgrounds without the stories becoming bogged down; the crimes aren't gruesome (or at least aren't described in a gruesome way) or overplayed; the clues are there for you to try and work out 'whodunnit' and there aren't any ridiculous twists or lurches in the plot that leave you scratching your head and turning back 50 pages just to try and make sense of it all.

So, this book (as with [nearly] all the others in the series) gets a thumbs up from me and an "I liked it very much, thank you for asking."

1 comment:

  1. We've not read any of this series at my book group - I'm always looking for recommendations for when it's my turn - after my last disaster when the book turned out to be more of a pamphlet!
    If you want to know what I really look like I did show a photo in the post about coffee with a friend a week or so ago - I'm not trying to hide too much it's just always me behind the camera!


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