From Publishers Weekly
The popular and prolific Brett takes us into the world of cut, color and curl in his witty eighth Fethering cozy (after 2006's The Stabbing in the Stables
). Carole Seddon needs a haircut: exactly the same, just shorter. She risks going to a salon in her small English town of Fethering, only to witness the discovery of the assistant, Kyra, strangled in the back room with evidence of a tryst all around her. When Kyra's secret boyfriend, Nathan, becomes the suspect, but his parents aren't worried, Carole decides the local constabulary needs help from her and her next-door neighbor and sleuthing partner, Jude. Brett perfectly describes the mannerisms of stuffy upper-middle-class Carole slowly letting her hair down; the odd, arty insouciance of Nathan's academic family; and anyone else who comes within range. This funny and intricately plotted story brims with affection for the affectations of our favorite Fethering friends. (Aug.)
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Brett is a master of satiric social commentary. His brilliant Charles Paris mysteries dissected the backbiting world of TV, radio, and stage. His current run of cozies set in the quiet West Sussex village of Fethering sometimes suffers from fustiness but still is strong on Brett's forte of skewering social pretensions. In the latest Fethering, the stage set is a hair salon, which Brett reveals as part psychotherapist's office and part cabaret. A young salon assistant is found strangled to death with the cord of a hair dryer in a High Street salon. Fortuitously, Carole Seddon (a fiftyish retiree from the Home Office with a penchant for stumbling onto murders and then solving them with her neighbor Jude, a New Agey, blowsy type) comes in for a cut and leaves with a mystery. The duo pursues leads from Fethering to Cornwall. The plot meanders, but Brett's scathing asides are worth it. Fletcher, Connie