The Tomb In Turkey by Simon Brett

Tomb In TurkeyOur intrepid sleuths, Carole and Jude, are off on holiday. As a thank you for her healing services, Barney Willingdon has offered Jude free use of one his villas in Turkey. Jude readily accepts and Carole (who doesn’t really do holidays) accepts Jude’s invite to join her somewhat reluctantly. But even before they reach the airport, Jude is starting to have second thoughts. She starts to hear some worrying stories about Barney, and that’s before Barney starts to imply that there may be a hidden cost to the holiday. Barney and Jude have a romantic history, and Barney seems intent on re-kindling it, something that Barney’s wife may not be too impressed by…

Once they arrive at the villa, typically the women have different ways of spending their time. Jude is happy to relax by the pool with a trashy novel while Carol decides to take the hire car to check out the local area – the town, the countryside, the tombs… one of which, needless to say, has a fresh body inside it. One that has vanished by the time Carol returns with Jude…

Book Sixteen of The Fethering Mysteries, a series that I’ve reviewed from both ends, namely the first two books, The Body On The Beach and Death On The Downs and the most recent, The Strangling On The Stage. The basic set up for the newcomer is that Carole and Jude are neighbours, friends despite their opposite natures, and have a habit of tripping over corpses and catching murderers.

Simon Brett, in case you’re not aware, writes his mysteries with a light touch. I had trouble with the more forced humour of the Blotto, Twinks and… series, but here he lets the situation dictate the humour. Here, Carole embodies the sort of person who has basically never been abroad before, especially not to the exotic climate of somewhere like Turkey. Being someone who lives quite happily in a routine at home, the notion that she may well have to eat the local food ensures that her suitcase is well-packed with Imodium. I can sympathise with this, as my parents only began travelling late in life and, like Carole, they adapted to the local culture once they got there. It’s interesting to contrast her attitude with the beer-swilling British tourists (who make a fleeting appearance) who go abroad and completely fail to try to embrace the local culture. I really enjoyed Carole’s little journey of discovery, in particular the change she makes when she gets back home – something quite major for her.

Apart from that major change, this is everything that regular readers will expect from the series – an entertaining mystery with colourful characters with a strong vein of humour coursing through it. Why change a successful formula? Admittedly, as with previous entries, it’s not really a classically clued mystery (unless I missed something) but it’s streets ahead of the majority of cozy mysteries out there. An enjoyable read – I must get on with reading some of the earlier books – and Highly Recommended.

My copy was provided by Severn House via Netgalley. It’s availabe to buy from the end of November.

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5 comments

    • I do wish that he’d let his heroes solve the crime properly once though – he almost always goes for the “you appear to be trying to kill me – you must be the murderer” approach or the “there’s no one left so it must be you” approach. It’s to his credit that the books are such enjoyable reads that he gets away with it time after time.

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      • I enjoy them because they are fun and because Brett knows what he’s doing in terms of charaxcter and story but a stronger detective element would be really nce, I know exactly what you mean 🙂

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