The Poisoning in the Pub: The Fethering Mysteries (A Fethering Mystery Book 10)

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Mark's unlovely ex, smacking her lips over an insurance payoff for her children, wants Charles to prove that Mark couldn't have killed himself, but the gentle reader is most likely to remain indifferent. Much civilized mirth over Charles's equally incontinent drinking, wenching, and acting, though the mystery itself produces scarcely a peep. Strictly for fans who wouldn't miss a single one of Charles's hapless performances. Shabby actor-sleuth Charles Paris feels a bit cheerier than usual as this 16th outing begins A Reconstructed Corpse, , etc. He's gotten a great Shakespearean role at least—Sir Toby Belch—even if this Twelfth Night is just a sturdy, conventional, touring production.

Also, he's living again with estranged wife Frances, even drinking less. Midway through rehearsals, however, things turn grim. The director falls ill poisoned? That would certainly offend Malvolio. And soon Charles is sleuthing and boozing again, convinced that there's been a murderous conspiracy to turn the show into the ultimate gender-bender.

Brett takes a shivery break from his comic mysteries about second-rate actor Charles Paris A Reconstructed Corpse, , etc. Pargeter's Pound of Flesh, , etc. Abused for years by the monstrous father who eventually died in jail after strangling her mother, TV news director Laura Fisher has resolved to keep her distance from men. After three years of sleepwalking through marriage to unloving estate agent Michael Rowntree back in the Sixties, she cold-bloodedly picked up a stranger to impregnate her—the child, naturally, was a boy- -even before she knew her romance with a married New Zealand documentarist was hopeless.

When her equally abused brother Kent, who grew up to join the Bristol CID, celebrated her son Tom's birth by telling her that her one-night stand strangled a young woman who resembled Laura hours after leaving her hotel room, Laura wondered what fatality linked her family to acts of violence. But none of these premonitions prepares her for Tom's own shocking coming-of-age 23 years later. First, his self- satisfied girlfriend Emily Howard alleges that he attacked her without warning in bed; then Emily's strangled minutes after leaving Laura's place, and Tom disappears, presumably the victim of a blood curse he inherited from both sides of his family.

Just in case everything seems a little too straightforward, Laura's unlikable ex and her New Zealand lover are back in the picture too; but no reader will take as long as poor Laura to get to the bottom of the intergenerational skullduggery. Mary Higgins Clark without the extra calories.

It's obvious early on where the one-dimensional story is going, but it hurtles along so relentlessly that you won't feel cheated. Finally, a role within Charles Paris's limited histrionic range: missing, presumed dead, in the character of Martin Earnshaw, a small-time property developer who got in too deep to a loan shark, stepped out one night for a drink, and never came back. Sleazy TV producer Bob Garston, ever alert for the audience's lowest instincts, hires Charles as an extra to impersonate Earnshaw in reconstructed scenes from the last hours of his life for Public Enemies, his true-crime show.

Meantime, another sort of reconstruction—spurred perhaps by the rivalry between glamorous, amorous police consultant Sam Noakes and private investigator Ted Faraday, her current lover—gets underway when arms and legs that might have been Earnshaw's begin turning up just in time to make the weekly TV broadcasts. One evening after taping, Charles absent- mindedly follows Noakes's former lover Sergeant Greg Marchmont to a suspicious flat in Brighton—and right into the eye of the storm.

Pleasantly urbane as ever, though Charles Corporate Bodies, , etc. Released: April 2, Melita Pargeter, that impossibly well-connected underworld widow Mrs. Pargeter's Package, etc. The death is clearly tied to self-promoting author Sue Fisher's Mind Over Fatty Matter diet empire—and also, just as clearly, to the Streatham job. A gossamer plot beefed up with the heavy jocosity Brett reserves for Mrs. Fans of actor-detective Charles Paris will find him in top form in this outing, though he doesn't distinguish himself in either role.

A mystery almost worthy of Brett's light, clever dialogue makes this Charles's best showing in years. Pargeter-that well-off widow of a gentlemanly master criminal A Nice Class of Corpse, Mrs, Presumed Dead -is off on another little vacation. This time, however, the going's not so posh or comfy because all the arrangements-a package tour to the Greek isle of Corfu-have been made by Mrs.

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And once on the island Joyce gets increasingly jumpy. So, when she's found dead in her villa bed, her wrists slit with broken glass, everyone assumes that the mournful lady has committed suicide. Everyone, that is, but Mrs. The chief clues? A bottle of sodium carbonate disguised as ouzo which Joyce was carrying and the highly murky past of Joyce's late husband a sometime gunrunner of vaguely foreign nationality. And though the windup, involving long-buried family secrets, is rather a gnarl, this is gently amusing, mildly involving entertainment in the leisurely Brett manner-with strong local color the seedy variety and the distinctive charms of earthy-yet-proper Mrs.

Released: April 17, Melita Pargeter, the well-upholstered, well-heeled widow of a classy crook, follows up her modestly appealing debut A Nice Class of Corpse with an even slighter excursion into jocular amateur-sleuthing. Having just moved into Smithy's Loam, a development of six "executive homes," Mrs.

Why did Theresa give a false forwarding address? Was she about to enter a shady religious commune called the Church of Utter Simplicity? Above all—where is she now? Where, for that matter, is her husband Rod supposedly working up North but actually vanished? Both Theresa and Rod will turn up dead, of course. Meanwhile, Mrs. And, though the plot is wan and skimpy, comfy Mrs. Pargeter is again endearing, mildly amusing company—as she uses her late husband's network of cronies and her own considerable smarts to close in on the ho-hum suspect.

The Poisoning in the Pub (Fethering Series #10)

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The result is in the death of young Ray, a developmentally disabled man employed by Ted. Alas, matters are equally tired at the pub. As a Learning Disabilities teacher, I was particularly impressed by the way Brett drew three of his characters, each of whom has a learning difficulty. Trivia About The Poisoning in Feb 03, Ann rated it liked it. Everything you could want in a cosy crime novel.

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