RogerBW's Blog

Blood at the Bookies, Simon Brett 14 September 2016

2008 mystery; ninth in Brett's Fethering Mysteries series (amateur sleuthing). Jude drops into the local betting shop to take shelter from a sudden hailstorm; another customer staggers out, and turns up stabbed in an alley nearby.

He turns out to have been a Polish immigrant, and the people of Fethering are ready to write it off as Foreigners' Problems. But even his sister, who's come over for the formalities and starts looking into the matter, doesn't know what he would have been doing in Fethering, or anything about the "Fifi" he mentioned with his dying breath.

Carole's main activity here is looking into the regulars at the betting shop, which she inevitably regards as a Den of Vice, and of course her errors will be corrected. (There's even the start of a friendship, though it's quietly dropped from future books.) Jude looks into a tenuous connection with the local university, and particularly Andy Constant the terribly cool Lecturer in Drama Studies – another of Brett's horrible people, but one with a certain superficial charm to him. There's also a side note at a truly ghastly "old-fashioned country pub".

It is unfortunate that the sister, an aspiring journalist, should talk in broken English (not like any Pole I've met in the UK, whose English is generally rather better than that of their hosts); and the mystery itself is not at all hard to solve, in spite of several well-placed red herrings, to the point that I became impatient with the protagonists not spotting something really rather obvious. As often before with Brett, things get started very slowly, but the second half is much better-paced.

Still worth reading, but perhaps the stencil is starting to get a little worn. Followed by The Poisoning in the Pub.

[Buy this at Amazon] and help support the blog. ["As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases."]

Previous in series: Death Under the Dryer | Series: Fethering Mysteries | Next in series: The Poisoning in the Pub

Comments on this post are now closed. If you have particular grounds for adding a late comment, comment on a more recent post quoting the URL of this one.

Tags 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010s 3d printing action advent of code aeronautics aikakirja anecdote animation anime army astronomy audio audio tech aviation base commerce battletech beer boardgaming book of the week bookmonth chain of command children chris chronicle church of no redeeming virtues cold war comedy computing contemporary cornish smuggler cosmic encounter coup covid-19 crime crystal cthulhu eternal cycling dead of winter doctor who documentary drama driving drone ecchi economics en garde espionage essen 2015 essen 2016 essen 2017 essen 2018 essen 2019 essen 2022 essen 2023 existential risk falklands war fandom fanfic fantasy feminism film firefly first world war flash point flight simulation food garmin drive gazebo genesys geocaching geodata gin gkp gurps gurps 101 gus harpoon historical history horror hugo 2014 hugo 2015 hugo 2016 hugo 2017 hugo 2018 hugo 2019 hugo 2020 hugo 2021 hugo 2022 hugo 2023 hugo 2024 hugo-nebula reread in brief avoid instrumented life javascript julian simpson julie enfield kickstarter kotlin learn to play leaving earth linux liquor lovecraftiana lua mecha men with beards mpd museum music mystery naval noir non-fiction one for the brow opera parody paul temple perl perl weekly challenge photography podcast politics postscript powers prediction privacy project woolsack pyracantha python quantum rail raku ranting raspberry pi reading reading boardgames social real life restaurant reviews romance rpg a day rpgs ruby rust scala science fiction scythe second world war security shipwreck simutrans smartphone south atlantic war squaddies stationery steampunk stuarts suburbia superheroes suspense television the resistance the weekly challenge thirsty meeples thriller tin soldier torg toys trailers travel type 26 type 31 type 45 vietnam war war wargaming weather wives and sweethearts writing about writing x-wing young adult
Special All book reviews, All film reviews
Produced by aikakirja v0.1