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I live in Bedford, England. Having retired from teaching; I am now a research student at the University of Bedfordshire researching into Threshold Concepts in the context of A-level Physics. I love reading! I enjoy in particular fiction (mostly great and classic fiction although I also enjoy whodunnits), biography, history and smart thinking. I have also recently become a keen playgoer to London Fringe Theatre. I enjoy mostly classics and I read the playscripts and add those to the blog. I am a member of Bedford Writers' Circle. See their website here: http://bedford-writers.co.uk/ Follow me on twitter: @daja57

Sunday, 14 December 2014

"Blood at the Bookies" by Simon Brett

This is a classic whodunnit by Simon Brett who has also authored the Charles Paris theatricality themed murder mysteries.

Two very different single ladies, plump holistic masseuse and therapist Jude and self-reliant retired Home Office civil servant Carole, are neighbours in the murder-infested town of Fethering on the south coast. Jude, who likes a bit of a flutter, is in the town bookies when polish immigrant Tadeusz comes in, looks around and leaves. She notices blood and follows him in time to catch his dying word: Fifi.

Jude and Carole, once the latter has recovered from flu, investigate. The wonderful cast of characters includes racist ex-stand-up-comedian-turned-pub-landlord Ted, racist ex-Carthusian estate agent Ewan and his downtrodden son Hamish and gorgeous singing daughter Sophia, Zosia, the sister of Tadeusz, ex-bookie 'Perfectly' Frank, gambling addict Mel, and serial adulterer Drama lecturer Andy.

A thoroughly enjoyable and well-written puzzle which I guessed well before the end but which had sufficient twists to keep me wondering whether I was right.

I'd love to read more of this series.

I have now read: The Corpse on the Court and Bones Under the Beach Hut which also star Carole and Jude, and some of the Charles Paris theatrical whodunnits such as A Decent Interval.  And the prolific Brett has also written a series in which murder mystery meets P G Wodehouse in outrageously extravagant style: Blotto, Twinks and the Rodents of the Riviera.

December 2014; 339 pages

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