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The Killing In The Café
Fethering Mystery - Book XXVII
Simon Brett

Severn House
27 November 2015/ ISBN 9781780290812

Reviewed by Rachel A Hyde


When the owner of Polly’s Cake Shop announces she is going to retire, the inhabitants of genteel seaside town Fethering are worried that it will be taken over by a chain. So a committee is set up and it is decided that the café will instead be run as a community project staffed by volunteers. But first a waitress who is one of Jude’s patients tells her during a session that she has seen a dead body complete with gun in the storeroom, a body which has vanished without trace when Jude investigates. When the body turns up later on the beach’ the investigation starts in earnest, but what if anything does this have to do with the café?

This is Brett at his satirical best, laying bare the prejudices, foibles and the sort of good intentions the streets of hell are surely paved with found in a place like Fethering. I particularly love Carole’s opinions on the word “community” which sets the scene for a project showing why a café run by “the big society” is not a good idea. Of course there is also a twisty plot as the women (and the police) try to discover the identity of the dead man and his connection to the place where he died; I didn’t guess it but had a lot of fun trying. Carole is also worried about her impending second grandchild and as in all series part of the enjoyment is finding out what the characters are up to. The mix of satire, wit and a ratting good mystery are why I continue to look forward each year to the latest instalment from Fethering. If you haven’t read the others do read the first one as, although the plot is a standalone, it is best read as part of the series. Book seventeen and showing no sign of running out of steam is no mean feat, long may it continue.

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
The Killing In The Cafe #27

Reviewed 2015