28 April 2014

Review: THE STRANGLING ON THE STAGE, Simon Brett

  • published 2013
  • #15 in the Fethering series
  • ISBN 978-1-78029-056-0
  • 201 pages
  • source: my local library
Synopsis (Fantastic Fiction)

When Jude agrees to lend her vintage chaise longue for the local Amateur Dramatics Society's production of George Bernard Shaw's The Devil's Disciple, little does she realize she'll end up in a starring role. It's an ambitious play, culminating in a dramatic execution scene: a scene that's played for real when one of the leading actors is found hanging from the especially-constructed stage gallows during rehearsals.

A tragic accident - or something more sinister? Carole and Jude make it their business to find out.

My Take

I have to admit to being more than a little addicted to this cozy series featuring local busybodies Jude and Carole. This title is a rather sardonic look at what goes on in "amdram" societies. Simon Brett again shows his delight in exposing what makes people tick. Jude and, by default, Carole have become involved in a local amdram production when the leading man dies on stage using a prop created for the production. The police seem to have decided the death is a suicide but our sleuths are not so sure, and fearlessly go where it may have been wiser not to tread.

You'll see from my rating that these are not the best of my reading, but there is something that draws me back to each new title. I think it is partly that I want to see what plot Brett has drawn up now, but also because I enjoy the continuing background saga of the lives of the Fethering duo. The author has a quirky sense of humour, and doesn't hesitate to poke fun at Carole's expense in particular.

It probably doesn't matter whether you read this series in order, although there are references in this title to the plots of earlier ones. There is also a continuing development of Jude and Carole's characters, and the fact that I've read them more or less in order has furthered my enjoyment.

My rating: 4.3

I've also reviewed

BLOOD AT THE BOOKIES
THE POISONING IN THE PUB
4.4, THE SHOOTING IN THE SHOP
4.3, SO MUCH BLOOD
4.2, A DECENT INTERVAL
4.5, BONES UNDER THE BEACH HUT
4.2, GUNS IN THE GALLERY
4.6, THE CORPSE ON THE COURT

2 comments:

Margot Kinberg said...

Kerrie - I like Brett's wit too, and the stage setting is always so well done. Glad you enjoyed this.

Uriah Robinson said...

I might try this one because I was at school with Simon Brett we never came across each other as he was gearing up to achieve a first in English Literature at Oxford, and I was struggling to scrape into a dental school.

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