Cover image for Death on the downs : a Fethering mystery
Death on the downs : a Fethering mystery
Brett, Simon.
Personal Author:
[Large print edition].
Publication Information:
Waterville, Me. : Thorndike Press, 2002.

Physical Description:
439 pages ; 23 cm
Geographic Term:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library X Adult Large Print - Floating collection Floating Collection - Large Print

On Order


Author Notes

Simon Brett was born in Worcester Park, Surrey on October 28, 1945. He attended Dulwich College and then Wadham College, Oxford, where he studied English. Between 1967 and 1977, he was a producer with BBC Radio. He also spent a couple of years working for Thames Television.

In 1975, he published his first 'Charles Paris' novel. By 1979, Brett had become a full-time writer. He has written and edited children's books, humorous novels and several anthologies. In 1986, he introduced another sleuth: Mrs Pargeter.

As well as the Charles Paris and Mrs. Pargeter detective series, he is also the author of the radio and television series After Henry, the radio series No Commitments and the bestselling How to be a Little Sod . His novel A Shock to the System was filmed starring Michael Caine.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

The second installment of Brett's new Fethering series returns to the village of Fethering on the South Downs of West Sussex and the semirepressed, resolutely independent Carole Seddon, a woman forced into a life alone by divorce and an involuntary early retirement from the Home Office at age 50. In the first Fethering mystery, The Body on the Beach [BKL Jl 00], a horrific discovery while out for a walk catapulted Seddon into sleuthing. This time another walk has Seddon seeking shelter in a derelict barn during a downpour; she stumbles over a fertilizer bag from which protrudes the ball-joint of a human femur. Body in place, sleuth with time to detect, and Brett is off again on a marvelous send-up of contemporary British society (pub decor, town planning based on greed, and class pretensions are some of his targets), mixed with the kind of writing that makes you want both to savor the prose slowly and to turn the page quickly to find out what twist lies ahead. In addition, Seddon is a fascinating psychological study who gains confidence from one novel to the next; the back-up characters are sometimes uproarious; and the portrayal of evil in an idyllic English village is thoroughbred British cozy. --Connie Fletcher

Publisher's Weekly Review

Carole Seddon, newest of veteran Brett's three series sleuths (actor Charlie Paris and widow Emily Pargeter are the others) gets a second turn following her debut in The Body on the Beach. Seddon, an early Home Office retiree, prides herself on her sensible approach to life a snug place in Fethering, a routine that involves mental exercises like the Times crossword puzzles and long walks along beaches or out on the Downs. On a walk on the South Downs near Weldisham (a village that "looked from the outside as though it hadn't changed much since the days when Agatha Christie might have set a murder there"), a driving rain forces Carole to seek shelter in an abandoned barn, where she discovers a bag of human bones. The local police are informed, and rumors spread to the effect that the bones might have belonged to a missing young woman named Tamsin. Soon Carole and her somewhat mysterious and exotic friend Jude are busily involved in sussing out information on their own partly for adventure, and partly because Tamsin had once turned to Jude for help. Carole's lack of self-confidence, really a lack of self-awareness, is meant to be endearing, but becomes irksome at times. All in all, Brett's more than competent plotting, a cast of characters that play against type to keep things sufficiently interesting and his take on village gentrification combine for fine entertainment. The author's core fans and those nostalgic for the traditional English cozy will snap this up. (Aug. 7) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

When Carole Seddon discovers two blue fertilizer bags containing the neatly stacked bones of a human body, she has no idea of the perils that await her. Carole, a timid, retired Home Office employee, is not comfortable with the kind of attention this discovery brings her. When her friend Jude returns, the two women decide to solve the mystery on their own. Brett (The Body on the Beach) has created another interesting cast of characters in his "Fethering Mysteries," including Carole, a prim woman who doesn't-or at least thinks she doesn't-care for change, and Jude, her neighbor, who is so secretive that no one even knows her last name. Jude is assertive and outgoing, the exact opposite of Carole, but they form an interesting team when detecting, and this won't be the first murder case they solve. Geoffrey Howard's narration sets the proper British tone. Sure to be popular with those who enjoy literary "cozy cottage" mysteries, this is highly recommended for all public libraries.-Theresa Connors, Arkansas Tech Univ., Russellville (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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