Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The Stabbing in the Stables - Simon Brett

The Stabbing in the Stables
A Fethering Mystery
Simon Brett
Berkley Prime Crime

Mystery - British

Carole Seddon, a retiree from the Home Office, found an unlikely friend in Jude. Jude is an alternative therapist. Carole isn’t quite sure exactly what this is, but she knows she doesn’t think it works. Nevertheless, the two women, who live the in village of Fethering in West Sussex, have formed a friendship and partnership. They’ve been instrumental in solving several mysteries, to the varied reactions of others.

At the moment, Jude and Carole are on their way to Long Bamber Stables. Jude has a new, and unusual, client. She’ll be trying to heal a horse, at the request of its owner, Sonia Dalrymple. But, arriving at the stable at the appointed time, Jude and Carole find themselves alone. When Jude ventures into the stable, she finds a man on the floor, recently stabbed to death. It’s Walter Fleet, who along with his wife, Lucinda, owns (or owned) the stables. Against all their better intentions, the two women are completely unable to resist delving for information about the dead man. And, although the police have taken in Donal, a known drunkard and thief who clashed with Walter, for questioning, the ladies are far from sure they have it right.

This is the first Fethering mystery I’ve read, but it certainly won’t be the last. These two ladies are quite funny, albeit quietly so. The humor is not slapstick, but derives from their very different outlooks on life. Both are understandable, and both will remind you of people you know. The mystery is interesting and involves plenty of potential suspects. Who knew a little seaside village could be such a hotbed of intrigue? Well, clearly Carole and Jude, and we’re lucky to go along for the ride.

Rating: 8
August 2006
ISBN# 0-425-21019-7 (hardcover)


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