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After a long period of ‘resting’, life is looking up for Charles Paris, who has been cast as the Ghost of Hamlet’s Father and First Gravedigger in a new production of Hamlet. But rehearsals are fraught. Ophelia is played by Katrina Selsey, who won the role through a television talent show. Hamlet himself is also played by a reality TV contestant, Jared Root – and the two young stars have rather different views of celebrity and the theatre than the more experienced members of the cast. But when the company reach the first staging post of their tour, the Grand Theatre Marlborough, matters get more serious, with one member of the company seriously injured in what appears to be an accident, and another dead. Once again, Charles Paris is forced to don the mantle of amateur detective to get to the bottom of the mystery.
‘King of the witty village mystery’ Daily Telegraph ‘Simon Brett writes stunning detective stories’ JILLY COOPER ‘A new Simon Brett is an event for mystery fans’ P. D. JAMES It wasn’t the rain that upset Fethering resident Carole Seddon during her walk on the Downs, or the dilapidated barn in which she was forced to seek shelter. No, what upset her was the human skeleton she discovered there, neatly packed into two blue fertiliser bags . . . Amateur sleuths Carole and Jude go to the small hamlet of Weldisham where gossips quickly identify the corpse as Tamsin Lutteridge, a young woman who disappeared from the village months before. But why is Tamsin’s mother so certain that her daughter is still alive? As Jude sets out to discover what really happened to Tamsin, Carole digs deeper into Weldisham’s history and the bitter relationships simmering beneath the village’s gentle facade.
'Crime writing just like in the good old days, and perfect entertainment' Guardian 'Simon Brett writes stunning detective stories' JILLY COOPER 'King of the witty village mystery' Telegraph Fethering resident Jude soon regrets helping out at an event at the Hopwicke Country House Hotel. The all-male society, The Pillars of Sussex, are visiting and keep Jude up until the small hours when the last of the rowdy men goes to bed. When one guest doesn’t show up for breakfast the next morning, Jude presumes he’s feeling the effects of the night before and searches him out. Only to discover his body hanging from the beams of a four-poster bed. Unconvinced that this was suicide, Jude enlists the support of fellow amateur sleuth Carole to crack the case.
Fethering has everything a sleepy coastal town should: snug English pubs, cosy cottages, a little local library – and the occasional murder . . . Bestselling author Burton St Clair, complete with soaring ego and wandering hands, has come to town to give a talk. But after his corpse is found slumped in his car, he won’t be leaving. Jude is the prime suspect; she was, after all, the last person to see Burton St Clair alive. If she is to prove her innocence, she will have to dust off her detective skills and recruit her prim and proper neighbour (and partner-in-sleuthing) Carole to find the real culprit.
Focusing on crime fiction and films that artfully combine comedy and misdeed, this book explores the reasons writers and filmmakers inject humor into their work and identifies the various comic techniques they use. The author covers both American and European books from the 1930s to the present, by such authors as Rex Stout, Raymond Chandler, Robert B. Parker, Elmore Leonard, Donald E. Westlake, Sue Grafton, Carl Hiaasen and Janet Evanovich, along with films from The Thin Man to the BBC’s Sherlock series.
Contains monthly column of the Sequoya League.

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