The Liar In The Library by Simon Brett

Back to Fethering on the south coast of England – you may recall that the blog has been there before, but we’ve only scratched the surface of the criminal goings-on in the vicinity. This time, free-thinking Jude is curious when an old acquaintance arrives at the local library. Now a published writer, Burton St Clair is giving a talk about his book. But it seems that Burton St Clair isn’t as popular as he thinks he is…

The next morning, St Clair is found dead in the car park of the library. When it transpires that he died from anaphylactic shock, a reaction to walnuts – none of which were anywhere in the vicinity of the library. Suspicion falls on the last person to see St Clair alive and the only person who knew him well enough to know about the walnut allergy – Jude herself. As she investigates, along with her straight-laced neighbour Carole, she only ends up incriminating herself more…

This is the eighteenth book in the Fethering series and I think by now readers know what to expect. A collection of distinct suspects, a pair of endearing sleuths and a tromp around the suspects once or twice before the killer is unmasked.

As seems to be the case with most of Brett’s work, clue-ing isn’t his strong point. Fans of a Christie homage may want to look elsewhere, as there is one vague clue to the murderer, but most of the detail of the opportunity and motive comes when the killer is detailing their plan after being unmasked. And to be honest, it gets a little silly when it starts out with nobody knowing about the allergy only for it to be revealed that virtually everybody in the library that night not only once knew St Clair, but knew about his allergy too.

But that’s not what people read these books. It’s certainly not why I blagged a review copy of this one – it’s out on September 29th by the way. As ever in September, as the school term kicks into gear, work piles up and I need an easy, fun read. And I know that’s what I’m going to get from the Fethering Mysteries.

Fans of the series will definitely enjoy this one – Well Worth A Look. Thanks to Severn House for the review copy.

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