Berkley, August 2002, 22.95, 352 pp.
Although Carole and Jude are both in their fifties, single and live right next door to each other in the West Sussex Coastal town of Fethering, they are total opposites. Jude is a free-spirited extrovert with an easygoing personality while Carole is conservative, prim, and down in the dumps because a relationship didn't work out.
Jude attends a small dinner party in Fedborough, eight miles upriver from Fethering. The party comes to a complete halt when the torso of a human being is found. The police soon identify the body as that of Virginia Hargreaves, a woman who walked out on her husband Roddy three years ago. Thinking that a murder investigation will lift her neighbor's spirit, Jude involves Carole in an investigation that puts them in danger from a person who needs certain secrets to stay buried.
The latest Fethering mystery is an amusing tale where the town takes on a life of its own and is perceived as a separate character. The two female amateur sleuths complement each other and make a believable investigative team. Simon Brett has written a classic British style cozy that rivals the best of Agatha Christie.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner