Death and the Decorator

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Pub Date 05 Jul 2022 | Archive Date 30 Jun 2022

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Description

Neighbours Carole and Jude uncover more than they bargained for when Jude decides to redecorate her cottage in this lighthearted cosy mystery.

Having decided to redecorate Woodside Cottage, Jude has engaged the services of local man Pete, who has painted and decorated the homes of Fethering residents for many years. Pete is currently working on Footscrow House, a large Victorian building which is being converted into holiday flats by a local developer.

Having arranged to meet at 'Fiasco House', as it is known locally due to the many failed business enterprises over the years, Jude and Pete make a surprising discovery behind a wall panel: a woman's handbag! The casual discovery becomes serious when the police identify the handbag's owner as Anita Garner, a young woman who vanished in suspicious circumstances twenty years earlier.

Determined to find out what really happened to Anita all those years ago, Jude and her neighbour Carole's investigations plunge them into a maze of deception and murder, as they uncover a number of uncomfortable secrets beneath the serene surface of Fethering life . . .

Neighbours Carole and Jude uncover more than they bargained for when Jude decides to redecorate her cottage in this lighthearted cosy mystery.

Having decided to redecorate Woodside Cottage, Jude has...


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Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9780727850676
PRICE $28.99 (USD)

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Average rating from 31 members


Featured Reviews

Thank you NetGalley and Severn House for the eARC.
Another delicious outing in the Fethering series!
The two main protagonists, Jude and Carole, are in sleuthing mode again after Jude and Peter, her decorator, find the purse of a woman, missing for 30 years and presumably dead.
Jude and Carol's questioning of locals still around, stir up resentment, unease and gossip. Jude is still the easy-going, charming woman we've grown to love, Carol still the uptight, shy character who irks us. Still, the two remain friends, mostly due to their shared love of 'whodunits'.
Another must-read!

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When Jude and local decorator Pete find a walled up handbag belonging to someone who disappeared thirty years previously, the Fethering gossip machine goes into overdrive. Surprisingly, the main people concerned in Anita's disappearance are still around, and have things to hide.

It's not long before there's a body to contend with, but is it suicide or murder? And what actually happened to Anita?

A classic Fethering adventure.

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I loved this book, I loved the characters and even though I didn't realize it was part of a series I never read, I still loved it!

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British cozy with twists and turns and a few red herrings. Carole Seddon and Jude snoop after a handbag belonging to Anita Garner, a woman missing for decades was found in a building under renovation, bringing old gossip alive. The village is in an uproar of speculation. Great cozy without humor, just intrigue. I recommend it for it’s twists and turns.
I requested and received a Net Galley ARC gratis and review in the same vein.

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Thanks Netgalley and the Publisher. I really enjoyed this book, it made me smile and would recommend to others. Great read

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Always a pleasure to catch up with Jude and Carole and see what’s happening on the south coast. This time it’s an old missing persons case involving a dodgy builder, a popular painter and decorator , and a mysterious playboy. All portrayed in the witty acerbic manner you come to expect from a Fethering mystery. A well written good story that provides a very enjoyable read. Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for this advance copy. Recommend.

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I would like to thank Netgalley and Severn House Publishers for an advance copy of Death and the Decorator, the twenty first novel to feature amateur sleuths Carole Seddon and her neighbour Jude, set in the West Sussex village of Fethering.

Jude is redecorating and during a discussion with her decorator, Pete, at his other place of work, Footscrow House, they discover an old handbag belonging to Anita Garner, who disappeared thirty years ago. Jude and Carole are determined to discover what happened to her, and in the course of their investigation uncover more than one secret.

I enjoyed Death and the Decorator, which is another light, fun read set in the middle classes of Little England, where nothing is as it outwardly seems. It is a good mix of humour and mystery, so I was puzzled as I laughed.

The plot consists of Carole and Jude asking questions and generally riling up those who were around at the time until they get some answers. It seems unsophisticated, but it’s extremely well done and I would never have guessed how it turns out. It’s a bit of a masterclass in misdirection.

Much of the humour in the novel derives from the personality differences between Carole and Jude. Carole is rigid in her thinking and routines and very insecure, whereas Jude is relaxed, secure in herself and a healer. It works as a source of humour and each brings their own skills to their investigation. Jude is the people person, extracting information and making the character assessments while Carole is the researcher, using her rigidity to do a thorough job.

Death and the Decorator is a fun read that I have no hesitation in recommending.

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Oh how I look forward to the next mystery by Simon Brett! Death and the Decorator is a very solid addition to the Fethering series. I have read this series from the start and this book, his 21st entry, was as enjoyable as the first. There is an interesting mystery involving many of the usual village inhabitants, and lots of red herrings, as amateur sleuths Carole Seddon and Jude solve the mystery. From the start of the series the two sleuths are portrayed as very different personalities and the oft times difficulties this affords has remained. Jude is a go with the flow woman with a hazy, intriguing background who works as a healer. Her next door neighbor could not be more different. Carole, a retired government servant, lives a rigid life and has a difficult time understanding Jude's lifestyle. Carole has such a prickly nature and, honestly, so many issues a good therapist could help with, I think that is what I have come to enjoy so much in this cozy series. The enduring friendship between these women and the fact that their foibles remain even while the reader wishes that Carole could loosen up a bit. I look forward to the next installment to this series.

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This was such an easy read and really enjoyed it! The mysteries that surround them! Love cosy mystery stories, look forward to the next one in the series.

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Jude meets her decorator Pete at his current job sight called Footscrow House, a large Victorian building which is being converted into holiday flats by a local developer. During their meeting Pete finds a woman's handbag behind a wall panel. The handbag belongs to Anita Garner, a young woman who vanished twenty years ago. Of course Jude and her neighbour Carole decide to investigate but a murder complicates things. A good read. This can be read as a stand alone. Lots of plot twists. A good quick read. Thank you for thecadvance copy Netgalley!

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I have read a number of Simon Brett novels in the Charlie Parish series and always found them rich and entertaining and written in a style that is a joy to read. This is my first dive into the Fethering series so the characters were all new to me but perhaps a few familiar types from his other books. The relationship between Carole and Jude, the amateur sleuths from the series, is as complex as the differences in their characters and what gives this story an extra dimension. As with other novels by this author, the main characters fit a spectrum of the haves and have nots in English society forming a great background for a murder mystery. Following a tradition set by Agatha Christie, Simon Brett not only can craft a wonderful whodunit story but also provide a humorous exploration of life in a typical English Village.
I would highly recommend this book to lovers of English mysteries!
Thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for allowing me to review this book.

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Right from the start you are engaged by the characters, location and plot. You don’t need to have read any of the other Fethering - the fictional Sussex village - books to get enjoyment out of this cosy detective tale.. Simon Brett’s fresh appealing story doesn’t cheat the reader and until the denouement you don’t guess the ending.

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Another fun cosy crime in the continuing Fethering series. The town and the characters of Jude and Carole never get stale. These are also able to be read out of order so new readers can pick up any of them but they are easy to get addicted to! I find they are also a great break in between reading any ‘heavier’ types of books.

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Publishing on July 5, it’s hard to believe this is the 21st Feathering Mystery. You don’t have to have them all to figure out who is who, but these cosy crimes are definitely worth a look. Co-protagonist and would be amateur detective Jude has decided to redecorate Woodside Cottage, asking local handyman Pete to help out. Pete’s happy to assist in tandem with his current job, Footscrow House, a building that’s being converted into holiday flats. All well and good until a 30-year-old handbag is found, without its owner. Has ‘Fiasco House’ as it’s known been responsible for an unsolved mystery? And where’s intrigue, there’s Jude and her next-door neighbour Carole. The two make for unlikely friends and neither is so extreme like they read like caricatures. While they may live in the quiet town of Fethering, it’s clear there’s a lot more bubbling under the surface. Nice and pacy, there’s plenty to keep you entertained (these also make excellent audiobooks).

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Review
Death and the Decorator by Simon Brett is far from the first in the series but can be read as a stand-alone novel.
I don't know why English village life makes for great murder mysteries, but it seems to work every time, and this is no exception. Neighbours Carole and Jude uncover more than they bargained for when Jude decides to redecorate her cottage in this light-hearted cosy mystery.
The relationship between Carole and Jude is very cleverly written, and it is fun to see the dynamics at play between the pair. It certainly adds some humour to the murder, mystery and mayhem within the narrative.
There is a well written and relatable cast of likeable and interesting characters.
The author takes the reader on a picturesque jaunt through English village life with its many charms and idiosyncrasies.
It was not exactly a huge surprise when all was revealed, but it was fun to reach the conclusion of events.
I enjoyed Death and the Decorator by Simon Brett, and I recommend you grab a copy at your earliest opportunity.
Thank you, NetGalley and Severn House, for the advanced copy of the book.

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Death and the Decorator is Book No. 21 in the Simon Brett's Fethering Mystery Series. In this series two very dissimilar next door neighbors become unlikely friends interested in exploring the oddities of current and past residents of the small beach town where they live. Carole is a divorced retiree with conservative ideas and a rather boring lifestyle. Her next door neighbor and friend is Jude who works as a New Age healer and has a free living life style with multiple lovers and at least a couple of husbands. Surprisingly they become friends through a shared interest in investigating suspicious events happening in Fethering. (I learned lots about them reading previous books in the series but not much from this one.) In this book the renovation of a former nursing home leads to the discovery of a purse belonging to an employee that vanished years ago. The duo gets excited about learning more about why the purse was left behind and take off on pub crawls and neighborhood visits to solve the mystery. I had some difficulty in assigning a rating because the book has strong and weak points. The strong points revolve around its plot which was excellent with twists and turns that were unexpected but quite believable. The weakness was in the author's story telling which has gotten a bit stale over time. So I compromised on a 4 star rating.

Thanks to NetGalley for providing a pre-publication copy of this book to review.

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The discovery of a handbag linked to a missing person sparks the interest of neighbours Carole and Jude and they take it upon themselves to start asking questions of the local villagers but as usual they learn more than they bargain for and someone is not happy with their prying

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In the 21st Fethering mystery Jude, who is planning to redecorate her cottage, has agreed to meet the decorator at his current job to discuss details. Peter, the decorator is working in an upstairs room at Footscrow House that is being converted into flats. Jude is there when Peter rips out a piece of plywood, uncovering an alcove. To their surprise they see woman's red handbag. It contains a passport belonging to Anita Garner, a young woman who worked at Footscrow House when it was a care home twenty years ago. Anita, a good Catholic girl who had lived with her parents disappeared twenty years ago and has never been heard from since.
Jude and Carole are determined to find out what happened to Anita. Their investigations proceed along separate lines of inquiry rather than together and there secrets and competition between the two friends. Still, between them they follow rumors, research newspapers from the time of Anita's disappearance and in the process discover lots of secrets from the past that involve current Fethering residents.
This is an enjoyable cozy of the kind we've come to expect from Brett. There's lots of local color and interesting characters.
Thanks to NetGalley and Severn House for the opportunity to read this title in one of my favorite series.

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This was the first in the series for me, which is surprising because this is seems to be quite a long series, but it really enjoyed it. It’s slower paced, but everything unfolds in quite a timely manner so you never get bored. I liked that they both worked together and separately to work out the mystery. No random coincidences, but some intuition and a lot of asking questions in a gentle way; kind of an update Miss Marple!

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I can’ t believe that this is the 21st book in the Feathering series. I’ve read them all from the beginning and Simon Brett always delivers.
The decorator of the title, Pete, is discussing some work with Jude as he carries out renovations at a local big house. They discover a handbag which has been hidden behind boards for the past 30 years. This discovery sends Carole and Jude off on their next investigation. Why has nobody seen the owner of the handbag for 30 years? Was she a murder victim and if so, is there a murderer in Feathering?
This book contains all the usual features of the series including the scenes set in the pub where the landlord is having a very unlikely romance. The relationship between Carole and Jude remains as prickly as ever but they continue to be a brilliant investigative team. There are a whole range of characters, many of who are members of the local yacht club and therefore part of the wealthier side of town. I did like the introduction of the retired reporter Malk.
The mystery is as intriguing as ever and there is a nice mix of humour too. A great light read for a Summer’s evening.
Thank you to Net Galley and the publishers Severn House for providing this ARC in exchange for my honest review.

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We have so many readers who are devoted to the Fethering books, and I know they are all going to be very happy when this new one is released. It hits all the marks -- the home renovation, the decorating, the competition in that world -- along with a satisfying mystery and relatable characters. I truly look forward to recommending this title to readers of the series, and to readers who enjoy other cozy mystery series.

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