The Killing In The Café by Simon Brett

Killing In The CafeThe village of Fethering, on England’s South Coast, is undergoing a crisis. Polly’s Café, a mainstay of the shopping centre, is about to be sold, and the owner isn’t particularly fussed who she sells it too. Soon, Jude, professional healer and amateur sleuth, finds herself enlisted onto a committee to preserve the future of the business as a Community Café – something that, of course, requires volunteers and cooperation, neither commodity being easily available.

Jude only ended up at the meeting due to one of her clients, who came to her concerning her own mental health. Sara has been recovering from all sorts of problems and finally when she seems to be in a safe place, she stumbles across a body – in the back room of Polly’s Café. But the body vanishes, causing Sara to doubt her sanity, and when it washes up on the beach, everyone assumes that it was suicide. Everyone, of course, apart from Jude and her friend Carole…

Very tempted to review this just with the phrase “Same old story”. I’ve reviewed the Fethering series before – this is the seventeenth in the series. Elsewhere on the blog is:

Fans of the series will be pleased to see another adventure for Jude and Carole, focussing a little more on Jude this time. And there will be no surprises for regular readers. It follows the “cozy noir” format, more than the classic mystery, with Jude and Carole talking to people until someone tells them the name of the murderer. So provided that’s what you’re expecting, there’s plenty to enjoy here as ever.

Brett is a witty writer, which helps when the case doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. Even so, there is a long section where there are no real developments – long in terms of the time passing in the tale, as it’s set over several months, with Brett more concerned with the parallel plot of the future of the café, while the victim lies unidentified. But, as I said, fans of the series will be very happy to see the return of the series, although there are stronger books to start off with – either of The Strangling On The Stage or The Tomb In Turkey, for example. Recommended for fans of the series.

This copy was provided by Severn House. The book is available on 27th November.


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