The Killer In The Choir (2019) by Simon Brett

Carole Seddon finds herself somewhat reluctantly at the funeral of Leonard Mallett. She never particularly liked him, but as a fellow member of the Preservation of Fethering’s Seafront, she felt duty bound to attend. She wasn’t expecting any excitement – which was the case until his daughter accused her mother of murdering him.

To find the truth, Carole’s friend and fellow sleuth Jude joins the new community choir, only to discover that Leonard’s widow is not the only one hiding a secret. Someone in the choir is definitely planning on hitting a wrong note…

“More of the same” doesn’t always sound like a compliment. But of course if “the same” is a charming formula for an entertaining mystery, the phrase works perfectly well.

Because regular readers of the Fethering Mysteries, this being the nineteenth, know what to expect. With the exception of The Tomb In Turkey, something rotten is happening in the small south coast town of Fethering, and odd couple sleuths Carole (straight-laced) and Jade (relaxed) stick their noses in to find the murderer.

The Fethering mysteries are a guilty pleasure to me. They’re not really written for the serious armchair detective, as until the motive is revealed late on in the narrative, you could make a case for anyone being the murderer, but for the armchair guesser. It’s a tried and tested format and while I prefer a little more deduction beyond finding something very late on that tells you who the killer is, somehow I have trouble finding fault with this series.

It’s probably because they’re fun to read. For every dark and gloomy thriller, one needs light to contrast it and where better to go that Fethering with its cast of likeable leads and suspects and unlikeable murder victims. It’s worth pointing out that Brett does make a point of weaving a serious idea into the proceedings – Leonard Mallett it transpires was a deeply unpleasant individual guilty of crimes that you might not expect to find in such a book, and it gives the tale a significant weight that makes it a very satisfying read.

Availability: The Killer In The Choir is out on May 31st from Severn House – check your local library. As an aside, The Liar In The Library with be released in paperback by Black Thorn Books later this year.

One comment

  1. “For every dark and gloomy thriller, one needs light to contrast it ..”
    Yes, especially after reading “I Know Who You Are” !


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