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The Shooting in the Shop
Fethering Mysteries– Book XI
Simon Brett

Pan (Macmillan UK)
5 March 2011/ ISBN 0330471251
Mystery / Contemporary / Sussex, England / Holiday: Christmas
Amazon US || UK

Reviewed by Rachel A Hyde

It perhaps comes as no surprise that Carole Seddon is not a fan of Christmas and is regarding the visit of her son, daughter-on-law and granddaughter with some trepidation. A trip to a frivolous shop called Gallimaufry to choose presents in company with neighbor, Jude, yields some gifts for the day, but shortly after the store is burned down. A body is found in the ashes, not a mere victim of the conflagration but somebody who had first been shot. Keen to discover whodunit, Carole and Jude are soon on the case.

This is a delightfully satirical series about the fancies and foibles of well-heeled Middle England that has fortunately never been made into a TV series. I am yet to read one of these Fethering series that doesn’t deliver the goods and this is no exception. Expect a seaside town full of red herrings, lots of amusing and spot-on characters and wry observations on a variety of topics, from Christmas to how to survive a party where you don’t know anybody. There are lots of ties with past books (make sure you have read these first before tackling this one) and topical mentions of the recession and modern life in the UK. These are gentle books that do not put one out of humor with the world, but rather enhance it by poking fun at things most of us don’t like while managing to stay clear of the sour and the shocking. Pure entertainment, something there is rather too little of.

Reviews of other titles in this series

The Hanging in the Hotel #5
The Witness at the Wedding #6
The Stabbing in the Stables #7
Death Under the Dryer #8
Blood at the Bookies #9
The Poisoning in the Pub # 10
The Shooting in the Shop # 11
Bones Under the Beach Hut # 12
Liar in the Library #18

Reviewed 2011
© 2011