From Publishers Weekly
In Brett's fourth chatty, genteel Fethering mystery (after 2002's The Torso in the Town), Carole Seddon finds herself a member of the Bracketts Trust, which is responsible for the upkeep of Bracketts, former home of West Sussex litterateur Esmond Chadleigh. Tension arises between the Trust's new director, Gina Locke, who represents the new world of "management structures," and former trustee Sheila Cartwright, who's from the old school of local volunteers. While they wrangle over Bracketts's future, a skeleton turns up in the garden. Though it's obviously been there a long time, Sheila does her best to keep this disturbing find quiet. When a female American academic shows up to research a new biography of Chadleigh, she's stonewalled by the Trust's dawdling biographer-elect and grandson of the author, Graham Chadleigh-Bewes. Clearly something more than mere footnotes is being concealed. Eager to ferret out the truth, the uptight Carole is unable to rely on her usual partner-in-detection, the liberated Jude Nichols, since Jude is looking after a dying former lover. At times, subtle character interaction, at which Brett excels, threatens to take over the novel, but the mystery gathers steam after another, fresher body appears. Even Jude and lover have a part to play in its resolution, and Brett provides a shocking revelation or two at the end to bring a proper ending to a proper story.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
The kitchen garden of a stately home in the Sussex village of Fethering is the final resting place for two bodies: one buried there during World War I and newly discovered; the other landing in the ground 90 years later, the result of a single gunshot. Brett delivers a deft mixture of history-mystery and contemporary thriller in this latest installment in his Fethering series starring the prickly, fiftysomething amateur sleuth, Carole Sedden, who is on site for the discovery of both bodies. Carole has been asked to serve on the board of trustees for a stately home once inhabited by one of the most famous Catholic poets of the Great War. Brett, who sends up backstage backbiting in his Charles Paris theatrical mysteries, applies the same caustic wit to the desperate gamesmanship of board meetings and village politics. The appearance of an American professor who wants to write a biography of the Catholic poet throws the board into a satisfyingly snide uproar. The contemporary murder is a feat of planning, a sort of mirror image of the locked-room puzzle in which the killing takes place in the open air, with Sedden walking right next to the victim. Another marvelous mix of social satire and traditional cozy. Connie FletcherCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved