Mrs Pargeter's Patio
by Simon Brett
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Pub Date 03 Oct 2023 | Archive Date 30 Sep 2023
A bizarre discovery right under Mrs Pargeter's patio turns a quiet and sunny June morning into a thrilling hunt for answers in this new instalment of the light-hearted and entertaining Mrs Pargeter mystery series.
When widow Mrs Pargeter decides to have her morning coffee on the patio of her mansion in Chigwell, her intention is to admire her beautiful garden in peace and quiet. Little does she expect one of the patio's paving slabs to crack in two, depositing her on the ground - and revealing a human skull with a neat hole in the middle of its forehead!
Not wanting to bother the police just yet, Mrs Pargeter decides to save them some trouble and starts investigating the curious find herself. And who better to assist than her late husband's 'business associates', private investigator Truffler Mason and chauffeur Gary?
The trio are soon certain that a murder has been committed and the body disposed of under some convenient building works. But who is the mysterious victim? And more importantly, who put the body under Mrs Pargeter's patio?
Mrs Pargeter and her friends must find out the truth and soon, before the finger of suspicion points in an unthinkable direction: towards the late, great Mr Pargeter, whose business dealings Mrs P remains - naturally! - in blissful ignorance of . . .
Mrs Pargeter's Patio is the ninth book in the series by CWA's Diamond Dagger winner Simon Brett. Fans of cozy mysteries will enjoy this funny and exciting ride with unexpected twist and turns.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 108 members
I find Mrs. Pargeter to be an intriguing character – a confident widow who knowingly overlooks her late husband's mysterious criminal activities. Although he left her financially secure, his true bequest was a little black book containing contacts for his network of resourceful accomplices. This eclectic group is skilled in cracking safes, forging fake IDs, "acquiring" stolen goods, and even gathering intelligence on police investigations.
One day, Mrs. Pargeter's protégé and gardener makes an astonishing discovery – a skeleton buried beneath the patio of Mrs. P's new home, the place she moved into after her husband's passing. While the police conduct their investigation, the real sleuthing unfolds among her husband's associates, who still admire him greatly.
As the plot thickens, it leads them down a path of long-forgotten connections and intertwines with the gardener's quest to find her missing reggae musician father, who disappeared when she was just a girl.
The story is highly entertaining and a delightful quick read. I had the privilege of receiving an advance review copy without charge, and I willingly offer this review as a testament to the enjoyment I experienced while reading it. Mrs. Pargeter's world is filled with mystery, intrigue, and unexpected connections, making it an engaging and satisfying read for all mystery enthusiasts.#MrsPargetersPatio #NetGalley
So happy Mrs Pargeter is back in action after too long of an absence. I’ve read the series multiple times because they are so much fun and a light relief for trying times. My advice is to read this if you want a light-hearted mystery with a colourful cast of characters.
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the advance digital copy. I happily and heartily recommend.
Caper Of Grand Proportions..
Mrs Pargeter and her crew are back in this wonderful ninth instalment. Sitting minding her own business, as per, on the patio of her mansion in Chigwell she expects nothing more than peace and quiet. It is not be. When a patio stone cracks revealing what appears to be a human skull she is understandably just a little perturbed. She certainly doesn’t want to bother the likes of the local constabulary with this small matter, obviously not, so the late Mr Pargeter’s ‘business associates’ are called in. So begins a caper of grand proportions. Written with the usual style, wit and eloquence, this latest offering is another sheer joy to behold. Wonderful stuff.
Mrs. Pargeter finds a body buried under the patio of her mansion and calls on a variety of her late husband's acquaintances to help her solve the mystery of who it was and who buried the body. Entertaining, fast-paced, and a solid mystery that mocks reality TV shows and gives Mrs. Pargeter the chance to right old wrongs. The book works as a standalone mystery, but the whole series is entertaining so recommended to read in order. I always enjoy catching up with Mrs. Pargeter and the recurring characters who make up her detective squad. Thanks to NetGalley and Severn House for the ARC in exchange for a frank opinion.
I quite like Mrs. Pargeter -- she is a confident widow who willfully turns a blind eye to her late husband's vast and shadowy criminal enterprises. He left her very well off financially, but his real legacy was a little black book with contact info for his army of enterprising helpers. They can crack a safe, provide fake ids, "locate" stolen goods, find out about police investigations -- you get the idea.
Mrs. Pargeter's mentee and gardener stumbles across a skeleton under Mrs. Pargeter's patio, at the home Mrs. P moved into after her husband's death. The police do investigate, but the real investigation is by her husband's compatriots who still hold him in high esteem.
This leads down a road of old networking from years ago and ties in with the gardener's search for her reggae father who disappeared when she was a girl.
It's all very entertaining and a quick read. I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
I was delighted to see this new installment in the prolific Simon Brett’s Mrs. Pargeter series, which I feared had come to an end. And I was not disappointed by Mrs. Pargeter’s Patio. Another amusing, quickly paced, clever caper involving the widow of an organized crime boss and his former associates. The late Mr. Pargeter is viewed by his wife and reformed past colleagues as a saint, and Mrs. Pargeter affects to have no idea about the nature of his business, though she liberally calls on his colleagues for crime-solving skills including safecracking and other B&E, knowledge of other criminals, etc. Brett constructs fairly elaborate plots in which seeming unrelated topics and occurrences come together as the crime is solved: in this case, a body that Mrs. Pargeter finds under her patio and an attempt to find a long-missing person. As the narrator observes, serendipity and synchronicity seem to follow Mrs. P. The stories certainly require suspension of disbelief, so if you are looking for realism, look elsewhere, but if you are looking to be entertained by oddly endearing characters, this is a great read. It is probably not necessary to have read the previous installments, but doing so would help orient the reader to the characters and assorted running gags.
I have missed Mrs Pargeter and was delighted to see a new title in the series. It is great fun to revisit the characters with their clever names and past shenanigans. And if course good wins over evil with a twist at the end which is quite satisfying.
Thank you NetGalley and Severn House for the eARC.
Mrs. Targeter is back! Unfortunately she has an unwelcome surprise: a skeleton under her patio. Luckily she finds all kinds of help by calling some of her late husband's helpers from his little black book. They can't do enough for her.
Good sleuthing, great nicknames, lots of tongue-in-cheek moments and the company of the always charming Mrs. Pargeter make for an other great read!
This is the latest in Simon Brett's Mrs Pargeter series. I have read them all and always look forward to the next instalment. Mrs Pargeter's late husband was a big name crook and, during his career he helped out a number of career criminals in a way that has made them deeply loyal to his widow, Melita Pargeter. Mrs P's intriguing habit is to deny all knowledge of her late husband's crimes and a lot of humour is derived from his former cronies helping her solve crimes whilst trying not to mention her husband's criminal career even though it is clear that, on one level, she is well aware of how he earned his money. In this adventure, a body is discovered under Mrs P's new house which Mr Pargeter had asked his associate, Concrete Jacket, to build. Sadly, Concrete had to go away for a spell towards the end of the house's construction and farmed the job out to a builder who was known for disposing of bodies for the criminal underworld. With the possibility that Mr Pargeter may become a suspect in the killing, Melita and her friends go about solving the crime before the police. At the same time, she is trying to find her gardener's father who disappeared around the time the victim was last seen. Not unsurprisingly, the two investigations turn out to be linked and Mrs P finds herself in great danger. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this story which made me laugh at the same time as making me want to solve this cosy crime mystery.
This book was a very pleasant surprise. I have read a few of the author’s other works and, like them, this was a light and humorous cozy mystery. What was surprising was that after reading the description of Mrs. Pargeter finding a skeleton under her patio while having her morning tea I rather expected Miss Marple, a quaint little old lady with a knack for solving mysteries. But Mrs. Pargeter was quite different. She was younger than I expected and a bit more glamorous. Her love for her late husband was apparent, as was her ignorance of the nature of his former business dealings. Like him though, she greatly admires the police and the tough job that they do. She also knows how overworked and understaffed they are, so when she finds the skeleton under her patio she decides that delaying contacting them would be a kindness to avoid adding to their immediate workload. Instead, she consulted her husband’s little black book of handy contacts and called in private investigator Truffler Mason. Together with him and a marvelous cast of colorful characters devoted to her late husband they set out to learn the identity of the body and to find the killer. Their names alone made me chuckle: Concrete Jacket the builder, Fixin Nixon, Handbag Harrison, Hedgeclipper Clinton, Keyhole Crabbe, Melting Maurice, etc. It was a fun and entertaining read that I would recommend to anyone who likes a humorous cozy mystery. Thanks to Severn House publishing and NetGalley for letting me read this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
When a widow steps out onto her patio one morning, a stone splits in half, revealing a skull. The secret of the skull plus a disappeared father leads Mrs. Pargeter and her supporting crew of eccentric folks with various talents on a merry chase. Full of possibly dead ends, new identities, and mysteries inside mysteries, the book is a delight.
Another riveting outing for the widow Mrs Pargeter and her band of devoted helpers, armed with her late husbands black book of associates in this latest episode she helps her young gardener enter the cheesy tv show "Dirt beneath your fingernails" ,discovers who has put a long dead body under her new patio,uncovers the identity of The Fat Controller and finds the long lost father of her gardener all with the help of her late husbands associates and his little black book
Read this in one sitting and thoroughly enjoyed and highly recommend. Thank yiu to Netgalley and the publisher for this Arc
I must confess that this is the first Simon Brett book that I have read but it certainly will not be the last. I loved it. It was such an easy read with all Mrs Pargeter’s associates have such interesting names, that included their speciality caused me to have more than one chuckle. The storyline just flowed through the book to a very successful conclusion. I thoroughly enjoyed it and was totally engaged from the first chapter.
Nothing like finding a skull in your garden. But that’s exactly what Mr’s Pargeter has found and she’s decided to look into her things herself since the police aren’t moving quick enough for her liking. With her late husband’s network and her own crew, there are some interesting and, sometimes comical, times as they all work to figure out whodunit!
This is the third book I have read and it’s always quite an enjoyable read with a solid mystery and plenty of red herrings to keep you going back and forth until the final reveal. I definitely recommend this one!
Mrs Pargeter makes a grim discovery of a skull in her garden. She decides that the police are not moving quick enough so she will investigate herself. Armed with her late husband's little black book of contacts she uses ingenious methods to get to the truth.
This book was a lovely gentle read, although set in current times it had a very Miss Marple feel about it, lovely simple language of simpler times.
This book was a series of books, this I believe was the 9th instalment. I’ve not read any of the others in the series but that did not distract from my enjoyment of the book.
I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
I had heard about this author before, and I decided to try one of his books.
This was a Mrs Pargeter mystery, and it was a fun, entertaining read. I warmed to Mrs Pargeter, and the other characters, and I did find this book quite funny. It was a very light, easy read too.
Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for a free copy to review.
Love the Mrs Pargeter's books, they are a great read. Mrs Pargeter and her late husbands cronies are on the hunt for the killer after a body is found under her patio, As the story unfolds with great characterisation of the people involved it contains humour and a cosy mystery follows. Mrs Pargeter is the star of this a lovely book to read and I look forward to the next instalment of the series.
My first visit to Mrs P's world for quite a few books (and a year or two) and I had forgotten how much fun it is. I think she's got a bit younger since the series started, and some of the things about her have adjusted a bit - but no more than Charles Paris has with his floating timeline over the years. It's funny and I enjoyed the twists of the plot. It's sent me back to read some more from earlier in the series.
This is my first encounter with Mrs. Pargeter and it will not be my last! I have already reserved the first at my library! This trio is not one to be missed! You fall for the characters! Props!!
I really like the humour and no-nonsense of Mrs Pargeter and her various colleagues! There’s an excellent array of names and skills displayed! A fun, easy read that was a nice way to spend a Sunday.
This is my first encounter with Mrs. Pargeter but will now be checking out the other's. The story is
a well plotted and full of humour the character's are quirky and fun. All in all a good different take on a mystery. I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
This the first novel I have read with Mrs Pargeter and I would happily look for more. She is a force to be reckoned with! She definitely has interesting connections and a unique way of getting answers! It’s a good storyline and not too complicated so easy to follow.
This is a little gem of a book. The eponymous Mrs Pargeter is a widow who is naively ignorant of the dubious source of her late husband’s wealth but is nevertheless mindful of his lifelong aversion to involving the police in his affairs. When a body is discovered under the patio of her Essex mansion, Mrs Pargeter naturally turns to the contacts in Mr Pargeter’s little black book to discover the identity of the body and what it is doing under her patio. The light hearted, witty and entertaining tale that unfolds has a clever plot, a cast of memorable characters (including the wonderfully named Truffler Mason, Fixin’ Nixon, Jukebox Jarvis, Melting Maurice, Handbags Harrison and Tina The Transformer) and a neat, if slightly predictable, ending.
I recommend this book as a very good holiday read.
This book is a hoot. That Mrs. Pargeter pretends to herself and others that she has no idea that her deceased husband was a crook, despite using his rogues gallery address book as required, sets up some delightful humour. The plot line is well crafted and unpredictable. However, the outstanding feature is the warmth in the writing towards the various characters. There is only one true villain amongst them but who is it?
Mrs Pargeter finds a body under her patio. With the help of her late husbands friends she solves the case with the,. And helps her gardener to find her dad. Typical english in an untertaining way.
The return of Mrs Pargeter is very welcome. This time, when she finds trouble, it's closer to home with a classic body under the patio discovery. A joy to welcome back her dip into the Mr Pargeter's little black book for help from some people who have a very close acquaintance with crime - although, of course, fully reformed via his generosity. And on this occasion Mrs Pargeter, who is concerned that the murderer's identity may not be welcome news, takes a very close interest in what happened eleven years earlier., to the point that she decides to do a little sleuthing on her own. Much fun. Thoroughly recommended.
Sometimes a ‘cosy mystery’ just hits the spot and ‘Mrs Pargeter’s Patio’ is no exception. I have to admit that this is the first time I have read any of Simon Brett’s novels, but it will certainly not be the last. The indomitable Mrs Pargeter is a wonderful character - along with her faithful entourage of colourful ex-villains, all willing to aid and abet her investigations. An ideal feel good experience from start to end. Now for doing some of my own detective work into Mr Brett’s back catalogue!
Many thanks to all concerned for allowing me to read and review this terrific novel.
Mrs. Pargeter's Patio by Simon Brett continues the saga of does she or doesn't she know what her deceased husband's business was? After finding a skeleton under her patio, Mrs. Pargeter gets out the little black book her husband left her and proceeds to solve the mystery of who it was while not getting any of her slightly shady friends in trouble with the police. This series is thoroughly enjoyable and the characters are very likeable, their dubious nature and ways of solving problems a plus.
Absolutely loved this book, read in one sitting.
It is funny and heartwarming and still a murder mystery. The innocence of Mrs Pargeter is wonderful to see
Never having read any of the Mrs. Pargeter books before I was a little concerned that I might miss out on full enjoyment due to not knowing the back stories.
Pleased to say that this story quite happily tells it's tale on it's own and it has certainly encouraged me to look up and read the previous tales.
Amusing at times, nicely paced and a very enjoyable read.
I havent read any of Simon Brett's books before, but, with another rainy summer day outside, it was lovely to curl up with a "cosy murder". It was a gentle read full of characters with ludicrous names and hearts of gold, where the goodies win and the baddies get their comeuppance, but not too graphically.
I think I may be keeping one of the series on my bedside table ready for the next time I need a gently humorous read.
Thank you to netgalley and Severn house for an advance copy of this book
Mrs Pargeter is a comely widow of a certain age and who worships the memory of the late Mr Pargeter. One morning her patio gives way beneath her and she can just see part of a skull in the hole. Before reporting this to the police, she calls on her late husband’s ‘ business associates’ to do some investigating, one of whom is a Private Investigator, Truffle Mason.
What follows is an engaging romp with a cast of characters with unlikely names, all of whom owe some kind of debt of gratitude to the late Mr Pargeter. His widow is unaware of his past but accepts that many of these have specialist skills connected to past criminality. These are to come in handy as the investigation into murder proceeds. So who did it? And who put the body under the patio? Above all, the late ‘great’ Mr Pargeter must be beyond suspicion.
This is a quick, satisfying read. All loose ends are drawn together. Ideal for a holiday read as not much in the way of brain power needed.
I recommend this book which was provided by NetGalley and the publishers.
This is the ninth book in the series although the first one that I have read. The summary piqued my interest as it suggested a light hearted, entertaining murder mystery with some quirky characters. This may have been the first that I’ve read in this series but it will not be the last!
The main character, Mrs Pargeter, is a well off widow, brimming with confidence and with lots of contacts for all sorts of occasions in a little black book left by her husband. Mr Pargeter was clearly a villain but kept home and ‘work’ separate to such an extent that his widow appears to be oblivious of his shady dealings. In this book she discovers a body under her patio and being keen not to inconvenience the police she launches into investigating the case. She is aided in this with reformed associates from her husbands past ‘business’ dealings. There is a cast of delightful characters such as Perigine Oscar Nixon aka ‘Fixin’ Nixon who can find a solution to anything and Tina the Transformer whose makeup and artistic skills can transform people into new characters.
The dialogue is witty and the story is engaging throughout with twists and turns to maintain the mystery and excitement. If you like a light hearted entertaining read then this book delivers that.
"Mrs Pargeter's Patio" by Simon Brett is another delightful instalment in the Mrs Pargeter mystery series. The story begins with an unexpected and macabre discovery under Mrs Pargeter's patio, setting the stage for a quirky and engaging investigation.
Mrs Pargeter, along with her unique group of friends and associates, takes it upon herself to uncover the truth behind the human skull with a mysterious hole in its forehead. The blend of humour, suspense, and the eccentric cast of characters makes this mystery a thoroughly enjoyable read.
Simon Brett's writing shines as he weaves a clever and entertaining narrative that keeps readers guessing and chuckling along the way. The dynamic between Mrs Pargeter and her late husband's associates, Truffler Mason and Gary, adds depth to the story and brings out the charm of this unconventional detective team.
"Mrs Pargeter's Patio" is a witty and engaging cozy mystery that will appeal to fans of the genre. It's a light-hearted and intriguing read that offers both entertainment and a puzzle to solve, making it a perfect addition to the Mrs Pargeter series.
I do enjoy a Mrs Pargeter's mystery, they are extremely entertaining, with great characters who I really enjoy reading about.
Mrs Pargeter steps outside onto her patio after a bout of heavy rain to find one of the flagstones has split in half revealing a skeleton underneath, rather than bother the police when they are so busy (!!) she decides to have a little investigation herself with the help of some old friends.
Just a great read, nice and cozy and I have to admit, the twist at the end I did not see coming! Really well written, look forward to reading more
An enjoyable book. This is the first of the series I have read. A body is found under Mrs Pargeter's patio. As her deceased husband and colleagues were of dubious criminal intent, she decided to investigate herself. It's mildly amusing and tongue in cheek with characters like Concrete Jacket and Nick the Nicker. It does get a bit repetitive in the middle but it's a good holiday read.
Mrs Pargeter's Patio is a fun read .I hadn't read any of the previous books in the series but that doesn't matter. Mrs Pargeter is a wealthy widow who likes to solve mysteries with the help of her late husbands associates whose names are found in his black book . There are safe crackers fixers and many other people who will help Mrs Pargeter as her late husband helped them so much they will always help her .He seems to be a bit dodgy himself but it is not acknowledged. The nick names are hilarious " Concrete Jacket" for example for a builder .A light hearted mystery and satisfying and enjoyable read .Thank you to NetGalley for my arc
I have an increasing appreciation for cosy murder mysteries, and while this might feel a little contrived and trite at times (oh, the stereotypes!) it's still a fun read I wanted to go through till the end. I love the gentle, old-fashioned way the men in the book (most of them) treat Mrs Pargeter, wife of a late old-school criminal and general all round good egg. The sense of community and family that unites these shady characters reminds me of the black and white films I used to watch, comedies with Sid James and Barbara Windsor, as this apparently dying breed comes together to solve an old mystery, while at the same time tackling the new form of villainy in London today - and fixing a smidge of that, too. I hope there's a next one.
A wonderful comedic book which is highly exaggerated, extravagant, ridiculous, absurd, and improbable. With character names such as Concrete Jack, Fixin Nixon, Melting Maurice, Tina the Transformer, The Fat Controller & a house called Lionel's Den you are taken on a search for the truth about a young women's missing father & a Body under a Patio. It is delightful light entertaining escapism & I thoroughly enjoyed . #NetGalley, #GoodReads,#Amazon.co.uk, #FB, #Instagram, #<img src="https://www.netgalley.com/badge/8a5b541512e66ae64954bdaab137035a5b2a89d2" width="80" height="80" alt="200 Book Reviews" title="200 Book Reviews"/>, #<img src="https://www.netgalley.com/badge/ef856e6ce35e6d2d729539aa1808a5fb4326a415" width="80" height="80" alt="Reviews Published" title="Reviews Published"/>, #<img src="https://www.netgalley.com/badge/aa60c7e77cc330186f26ea1f647542df8af8326a" width="80" height="80" alt="Professional Reader" title="Professional Reader"/>.
Hilarious characters names mixed in with changed identities via plastic surgery and a TV presenter who is so sickly horrible that the reader grows to hate him. A very entertaining quick read that I would recommend to others. This is the first book by Simon Brett I have read remarkably considering his huge output. Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the chance to read and review this book.
An entertaining cozy about a widow who, unwisely to be honest, decides to investigate how a body got buried under her patio on her own rather than calling the police. Mrs Pargeter's husband now decreased had some colorful friends who he hired to work on his dream house. She reaches out first to Concrete Jacket (goodness) for help and that takes the two of them down a path to identifying the victim and solving the murder. Fine cozy territory. Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC. I'd not read the earlier books in the series and this was a good read as a standalone.
Mrs. Pargeter’s patio is the 9th instalment of the Mrs. Pargeter mystery series by beloved Diamond Dagger award-winning author Simon Brett.
Mrs. Pargeter, a middle-aged widow, makes a grisly discovery while enjoying her morning coffee in her mansion in Chigwell – a human skull was hidden underneath her patio. Instead of calling the police, she enlists the help of her beloved late husband Mr. Pargeter’s friends and ‘business associates’. Together, they investigate the suspicious death, they try to uncover the identity of the victim and who buried it under her patio. However, the clock is ticking, as the police will soon suspect the late Mr. Pargeter of the murder, something Mrs. Pargeter must prevent at all cost.
In a fast-paced, but amusing plot, with many twists and surprises, the unlikely team have to solve the murder while hiding their investigation and unconventional methods from the police.
I particularly enjoyed the funny and well-developed characters, with very fitting names for their professions.
An enjoyable read, recommended to all cosy murder mystery lovers.
Thanks to NetGalley, Severn House and Simon Brett for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
I would like to thank Netgalley and Severn House Publishers for an advance copy of Mrs Pargeter, the ninth novel to feature the eponymous Melita Pargeter, widow of “businessman” Lionel, set in and around London.
Mrs Pargeter is astonished to stumble on a broken paving stone on her patio and discover a human skull with a hole in its forehead. Bearing in mind Mr Pargeter’s axiom that the police are seriously overworked it’s best not to bother them unnecessarily she calls upon two of his “business associates”, PI Truffler Mason and chauffeur, Gary, to find out the body’s identity and who put it under her patio, before the late Mr Pargeter’s reputation is sullied.
I thoroughly enjoyed Mrs Pargeter’s Patio, which is another fun read with a complicated web of characters and relationships. I was glued to the pages, and while I maybe didn’t laugh out loud I certainly chuckled, frequently.
The novel starts, for those who haven’t read the previous novels, with the unlikely premise that Mr Pargeter kept a strict division between work and home, giving Mrs Pargeter plausible ignorance of the full range of his activities. An ignorance she maintains constantly, ably abetted by his associates who honour her innocence, even when she is making full use of his little black book of contacts. I imagine that the author has loads of fun inventing names and backstories for these contacts, like Concrete Jacket, the builder whose jobs don’t always finish on time due to him being unavoidably detained.
Thus the chuckles come from Mrs Pargeter’s perceived innocence and the cast of associates who help her. The actual plot is more serious, apart from the odd situational scene, with a murder investigation and a missing person to find. The two investigations gradually morph into one with a most unexpected outcome that I didn’t see coming, some of it I had an idea of, but the final twist was a master stroke.
Mrs Pargeter’s Patio is a fun read that I have no hesitation in recommending.
What can I say about Mrs Pargeter’s Patio? Reader, I wept. This book is so funny, it should have a health warning.
Why mention the patio at all? Because Mrs P, the relict of Mr Pargeter (the benevolent benefactor of much of the area), unfortunately, stepped on a poorly built paving slab; and exposed a hole containing a human skull. Oh, waly, waly, waly!
The relict of the eponymous Mr Pargeter insists that Mr P never ever brought his work home with him. That is the only paper-thin excuse for the reader not pointing out that Mr P’s line of business probably saw many people trying on concrete wellingtons and slipping into oblivion (or under a patio) un-mourned. I know, I know: Mr Pargeter’s bright-eyed faith in humanity’s inherent good outshines the book’s mistaken depiction of such villains as disappointing fallible humans. However, it is the latter that resonates, rightly or wrongly.
That’s the whole point of the series: the hilarious counterpoint between Mrs Pargeter’s biased view of Mr P as a saint; and the narrative’s obvious thwack in our faces as it shows the reality. I love – that is not an exaggeration – the blatantly superficial depiction of Mr Pargeter’s concern for misguided miscreants; their propensity to slip into misdeeds; versus their earthy desire to grab a few quid unnoticed. I confess: I laughed so much, I had to mop the chair I sat on. This is a hysterically funny book – buy it while you can, because – I promise you – you will be sad when it’s gone and you don’t have your copy.
I read this book and then grabbed the rest of the series. I hope they’re as much huge fun as Mrs Pargeter’s Patio, the latest in the series that post-dates the boxed set…
I've read all of Simon Brett's books and just love the Mrs. Pargeter series. It's amusing but also has a lot of commentary on society. Mrs. Pargeter is so confident and appealing. We learn a bit more about her background along with the background of Mr. Pargeter's associates. can't wait for the next Simon Brett book.
This was my first Mrs Pargeter book and I will certainly be looking up the earlier books because this was a cosy delight. I found Mrs Pargeter highly entertaining as she (knowingly?) overlooks her dead husband's criminal activities whilst undertaking the solving of a crime. Aided and abetted by those closest to her dead husband, she uncovers the mystery of the dead body under her patio. An excellent murder mystery and I didn't see the twist at the end so very enjoyable.
**Thanks to NetGalley, the publisher and author for the opportunity to read an advanced e-copy of this book. All opinions are my own **
Mrs Pargeter lives in a lovely mansion near Chigwell in Essex. Her late husband arranged to have it built for her. Imagine her surprise when she steps out onto the patio one day and the slab collapses to reveal a human skull with a bullet hole in it. Her first thought is not to phone the police, but to consult her late husbands little black book for advice.
And so begins a quest not only to find the identity of the person buried underneath her patio, but also to find the missing father of her young gardener. Somehow or another things get entwined and as she discovers the identity of the body, she also finds out things about her husband.
A short but entertaining book.
Mrs Pargeter and her merry band of the friends and confederates of her late revered husband are back again to entertain and delight in this welcome addition to Simon Brett’s series.
The detection elements are never too taxing and the writing is full of joys such as this:-
“And the premises that had once housed the Hot Honey Club were now home to a restaurant for food faddists called Gray’s Allergy..”
As ever the mix of easy reading and familiar characters behaving in familiar ways is unbeatable. I have enjoyed all my encounters with the sharp-witted Melita and this was no exception.
Thank you to NetGalley and Severn House for the digital review copy.
What a brilliant book! Absolutely loved it. I really liked the characters, I thought the plot flowed well. It’s written in the third person and the writing style is warm and friendly. I definitely recommend this for any fan of cosy mysteries. Thank you #netgalley
Not having read a book by Brett before, it only took a few pages for me to realise I was really going to enjoy this book. I was a smidge concerned, this not being my first Mrs Pargeter mystery, that I might be a bit at sea, not knowing what's gone before, but this is perfectly stand-alone.
This is a cozy mystery, Mrs P being a present-day Miss Marple (a rather startling discovery under her patio requires her enlisting the assistance of her late husband's 'business associates'.) It's very well written, wonderfully tongue in cheek and a joy from start to finish. (I will forgive the erroneous use of 'less' for 'few' and the 'head nodding' tautology.)
Having subsequently discovered Brett's written dozens of books, I wanted to shelve all the books on my TBR and just zip through all of his, but I shall honour my reading list and settle for punctuating with the occasional Brett penmanship!
Wonderful characters with wonderful names and some wry humour in sparkling dialogue: just a lovely, entertaining read. I can't wait to read more.
An amusing and wryly written novel about Mrs Pargeter, the widow of a rather shady underworld character, whose former accomplices assist her in uncovering the mystery of the body discovered under her patio. This is a story populated by interestingly named criminal archetypes. It is witty, sometimes cliched but highly entertaining and compelling.
With thanks to NetGalley, the author and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review an advance copy.
s. Because it certainly wouldn’t have been there because of anything Mr Pargeter was involved in…
Soon, Mrs Pargeter finds herself up against a mysterious local crime lord, someone with a finger in every pie. But when you don’t know who you’re up against and you don’t know who was killed, it does make things a tad more difficult to sort out.
You know what you’re getting with a Simon Brett book. Actually, that’s not really true. Lovers of the Fethering mysteries might get a shock if they encountered Blotto and Twinks, for example, and the gentle humour of Mrs Pargeter is a counterpoint to the melancholy of Charles Paris. OK, you know what you’re getting with a Simon Brett Mrs Pargeter book – an enjoyable cosy mystery with endearing lead and support characters.
I do like the Mrs P books. Yes, they’re cosy mysteries – one death, and it’s very off panel – but they’re fun and Brett has a good time taking a pop at whatever’s currently irking him. It’s reality/competition shows, this time, as there’s a good portion of the book about Dirt Under The Fingernails, basically Bake-Off with gardening, and the washed-up tedious comedian who hosts it.
The mystery… well, it’s not much of one as we’ve another break of Rule 7 of the Doc-alogue as the villain comes out of nowhere to everyone’s surprise to try and kill our heroes and there aren’t any clues of any sort to be seen (that I noticed).
But it’s charming, fun, and was exactly what I was in the mood for. So where’s the harm in that?
Such a wonderful read!
Mrs Pargeter, widow, decides to take her morning coffee out to her patio where she intends to sit and enjoy the beauty and tranquility of her garden. What she doesn't expect is for a paving slab to crack, revealing a skull with a hole in the forehead! Deciding not to trouble the police at this time, she gets in touch with her husband's former associates and together they set out to discover who the body belonged to and who had the nerve to put it below Mrs Pargeter's patio!
Ah, what fabulous entertainment. I loved everything about this one and have made a note to try and catch up with this series. Terriific characters with a humorous story line and so much fun! I have giggled and laughed my way though this novel and happily recommend to everyone who enjoys cosy mysteries. Truly delightful and easily worth all five flowing stars.
My thanks to the publisher for my copy via NetGalley; this is - as always - my honest, original and unbiased review.
Simon Brett at his best, one of my favourite characters, Mrs Pargeter, and a solid mystery
There's humour, there's an intriguing and fascinating woman like Mrs Pargeter, and there's a lot to love.
I had fun and read it in one sitting.
Many thanks to the publisher for this ARC, all opinions are mine
Mrs. Pargeter is back after a six-year absence! Of course, she has found a body under her back patio. She uses her shady, but beloved, dead husband’s contacts to dig up information about who was murdered and why. Oh, did I mention that Mrs. Pargeter's Patio is a humorous cozy mystery?
It is nice to return to the first real housewife of fiction. Mrs. Pargeter. The first book in this series was published in 1986 so obviously Teresa Giudice is copying her. They both claim ignorance about their husbands’ lives of crime. However, they both benefit from it.
In this series entry, all the usual suspects are involved. There are some funny moments. However, due to the slow reveal of information, the mystery’s solution cannot be solved prior to Mrs. P’s unraveling of the clues. The book relies more on a nostalgic feeling from the previous books rather than inspiring new fans to peruse its backlist. Overall, Mrs. Pargeter's Patio is best for fans of the series rather than new readers. 4 stars!
Thanks to Severn House and NetGalley for a digital review copy of the book.
When widow Mrs Pargeter decides to have her morning coffee on the patio of her mansion in Chigwell, little does she expect one of the patio's paving slabs to crack in two, depositing her on the ground - and revealing a human skull with a neat hole in the middle of its forehead! Not wanting to bother the police just yet, Mrs Pargeter decides to save them some trouble and starts investigating the curious find herself. And who better to assist than her late husband's 'business associates', private investigator Truffler Mason and chauffeur Gary? The trio are soon certain that a murder has been committed and the body disposed of under some convenient building works. Mrs Pargeter and her friends must find out the truth and soon, before the finger of suspicion points in an unthinkable direction: towards the late, great Mr Pargeter.
This is the first book I’ve read in the series & I thoroughly enjoyed it, so much so that I bought a box set of the earlier novels. I found it to be a humorous, slightly tongue in cheek book but with a good mystery at its heart. I’m a bit on the fence as to whether I like Mrs P or not maybe once I’ve read the earlier books I’ll jump one way or the other. It was easy to read & I was surprised how engrossed I became in it
My review is for a special copy I voluntarily read
As a fan of this series it comes as little surprise to discover that of all the places for a body to be found under a patio that it turns out to be the home of Mrs Pargeter! Another fun instalment in this next outing for Mrs P and her little black book of her late husband's contacts. The book is a witty and enjoyable read, a trademark of Simon Brett who writes various series I look forward to reading.
The ninth book in the series, but 7 years since the last story of Mrs Pargeter and her close friends is like meeting long lost family again. Knowing a little about Mr Pargeter and his criminal past, it's not surprising that dead bodies would pop up under his patio, but maybe that wasn't his style to bring trouble to his door. Like the others in the series, this book is a quick and easy read which is probably why most of this writer's readers choose his style; because it's what they like. I most certainly enjoy this way of story telling. I do find that the Erin character is quite brilliant on her computer and could become a very well paid research analysis expert for both the police and the opposition. This mystery did take some unravelling and involved many of the late Mr Partenger’s former colleagues. His widow must ensure that the little black book has turned into a digital version because if it was ever lost, half the criminals in London would be out of work. It's consistently amusing that all of the criminals regard themselves as going straight these days, but within seconds are prepared to do anything to help their former boss's widow. I hope we don't have to wait another seven years before the next in the series as I'm ready now. To say this is a simple story would be wrong; it's a very good mystery and the twists and turns are excellent.
I requested this book because I was intrigued by the title, it was obviously about a body being discovered under Mrs Pargeter’s patio but I am so pleased that I have read it. The book is a classic cosy crime novel and is a real pleasure to read and escape from the real world for a few hours. The book starts with Mrs P discovering a body under her patio before calling in the police she contacts a couple of her late husband’s associates who council caution and start their own investigation into the murder. As the investigation continues many of Mrs P’s husband’s associates are called into play and assist in the investigation progresses whilst the police who have been called in are getting nowhere. The book is well written and has some numerous moments contained in the text. This is the first book I have read of Simon Brett - it will not be the last as I have made a note of his name to read more of his books. I recommend and encourage you to read Mrs Pargeter’s Patio, I think you find, as I did, a thoroughly enjoyable read. Many thanks to Severn Books and NetGalley for allowing me to read this book.
I'm very fond of Simon Brett as I remember teenage nights burning through his Charles Paris books until the wee hours, even with the stereotypical torch under the blankets at one point. He brings a lightness of tone and sense of humour to the mystery genre, and I suppose the description cosy has grown up around him. I've read a couple of the Mrs Pargeter books before, and they all follow a very similar pattern. There is a crime, Mrs Pargeter is involved somehow, and she decides to solve it on her own without bothering the police, and calling in favours from the late and much celebrated Mr Pargeter's little black book. As the book is loathe to say, and is indeed joyfully constantly tiptoes around, Mr Pargeter may have been involved in the occasional sady business and his little black book is full of colourful operatives who may now be plying their trades for the side of light, one mans burglar may well be another locksmith.
To review this therefore is to review the series, the difference just come in the plot, and here a body is found under Mrs Pargeter's patio, and she wants to know who it is and who did it (certain that Mr Pargeter would have had nothing to do with it). This coincides with wanting to help out her gardener, who in the Pargeter way was rescued from a teenage life of crime and is being sponsored through college. The two threads coincide of course, and end up circling a reality TV show which resembles a gardening Bake Off, presented by an unpleasant stand-up comedian. You really feel Brett's years at the BBC in this section, and he gleefully takes potshots at terrible TV formats, how the public are happy to be humiliated on screen and the evil of agents. But it all remains properly cosy, and by the end of it Mrs Pargeter has both solved her crime, but also helped a few more people on to the straight and narrow. Lovely stuff.
Having crashed midway into this series and only read the two – I don’t think it’s a dealbreaker if you haven’t read the previous instalments. Like many murder mysteries, each whodunit is wrapped up within the story and while I’m sure you’d gain further enjoyment and learn more about the characters if you’d read the previous eight books – you won’t flounder unduly if you don’t.
This series, compared to Brett’s Fethering and Decluttering Mysteries, is gentler and more escapist. Mrs Pargeter might be a widow, who adored her husband and has no intention of marrying anyone else – but there isn’t a sense that she’s burdened with unbearable bereavement. Neither is she afflicted with money worries, or real knowledge of her dead spouse’s criminal affairs. She isn’t the only one who regards her former husband with misty affection – it seems he spent quite a bit of his ill-gotten gains giving those around him a new start. And while these characters may or may not have gone straight, they are all falling over themselves to assist Mrs Pargeter in any way they can.
It goes without saying that Brett is a skilled writer – you don’t get to write and produce successful shows for the Beeb and Radio 4 if you don’t know your craft. But I was impressed that Mrs Pargeter doesn’t come across as an idiot, or unduly gullible, despite being blithely unaware of the late Mr Pargeter’s shady doings. As ever, I was sure I knew who’d dunnit – until it became clear that I didn’t. I always enjoy reading murder mysteries that can pull that rabbit out of the hat and frequently, they’re penned by Brett.
While this book is generally less acerbic in tone, compared to the Fethering Mysteries, for instance – I was amused to read Brett’s account of the popular gardening competition Dirt Under Your Fingernails. The author clearly loathes the type of shows that ritually humiliate and demean the competitors in front of a live audience encouraged join in the laughter against them. I read these scenes with relish, as I also hate this television sub-genre. As for Mrs Pargeter – while I’m not as fond of her as I am of Ellen from the Decluttering Mysteries, who I’d happily adopt as a member of the family – I enjoyed watching her determined to unravel the gordian knot around the discovery of the body buried in her garden.
All in all, another successful, twisty plot that had me reading far later than I should to discover what happened next. Recommended for those who like a bit of escapism with their murder mysteries, without resorting to treacly sentimentality. While I obtained an arc of Mrs Pargeter’s Patio from the publisher via Netgalley, the opinions I have expressed are unbiased and my own.
A sweet and funny ride.
A tongue in cheek view of a criminal underworld from more innocent times, very cleverly done, though a very easy read.
Mrs Pageter is back with another fun mystery!
One fine morning, Mrs Pageter discovers a skull under a cracked paver of her patio. Not wanting to bother the police with such a trivial matter, she turns to the (criminally inclined) former associates of her dearly departed husband.
I thoroughly enjoyed the twists and turns of this fast paced, tongue-in-cheek cozy mystery. The reality gardening show theme was so much fun!
Thank you to NetGalley and Severn House for the advanced copy. Available now!
This is a cozy mystery about a very well connected widow who calls upon the people she knows to help her in certain situations. It was a light hearted book with a comedy feel. I laughed a lot when reading this book, I loved the characters. I didn’t realise this is one of a series, I’d love to read more from this series. There were so many characters in this story, Brett is a very clever writer because despite there being many characters, it was easy to remember who they all were. When the big reveal started coming together I was completely shocked, I didn’t see it coming. This was such an enjoyable book.
Simon Brett intrigues with Mrs Pargeter's Patio when a body is discovered buried under her patio. Her late husband never discussed his activities with her, but she was a great favorite with his stable of dubious associates. They embark on complex trail of the corpse and dig up dirt on past and present crooked types. At the same time Mrs. Pargeter looks for the vanished father of her female gardener whom she respects. Cozy with unexpected humor and delight in characters and plot.