Mrs Pargeter’s Package by Simon Brett

Mrs Pargeter's PackageMrs Pargeter enjoys travelling, but a package holiday to Corfu isn’t usually what she would have chosen. But her recently widowed friend has asked her to accompany her and Mrs Pargeter is not one to let her friends down. When she wakes in their shared villa after the first night of the holiday, Mrs Pargeter is horrified to find her friend has committed suicide – at least, that’s what the authorities insist has happened.

Needless to say, Mrs Pargeter doesn’t agree – but miles away from her late husband’s network of… associates, and with a conspiracy forming against finding the truth, can one little old lady stand against a vicious murderer? Of course she can.

The third of Simon Brett’s six novels featuring the intrepid widow, I really enjoyed the first two. Is it three in a row?

Not quite. Actually, that’s not true, I did enjoy the book. Simon Brett is a masterful writer and I always enjoy his books while I’m reading them. He has an eye for interesting lead characters and a nice line in dialogue. The first two books however, also had a clever line in plot – the second, Mrs, Presumed Dead in particular. That, unfortunately, isn’t really the case here.

It trundles along nicely, with Mrs Pargeter playing cat and mouse with the local authorities, but at the end of the day, I didn’t find myself particularly caring whodunit. It can be the case when all of the suspects are fairly unpleasant individuals, it never really seems to matter which one is the actual killer. Tie that in with possibly the oldest trick in the book, and the ending is somewhat unsatisfying.

So, an entertaining and easy read, but the mystery wasn’t up to the standard of the previous two outings. So, mildly recommended – it’s pretty cheap as an ebook and there are much worse things out there. Worth a look if you’re already a fan of Brett or Mrs Pargeter.


  1. I must have read the first two or three in the series soon after they came out. I remember enjoying them at the time. And I may reread them. I still have copies of four in the series, and some of the Charles Paris series. Nice review, and helpful.


  2. Though light and fun reading, I do not regard it as a proper detective story. There are no proper clues. No proper detective work. Mrs Pargeter gets most of the vital information through luck or chance from her contacts or otherwise. Also, the intervention by SPOILER trick shows lack of creativity.


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