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Murder in the Museum: The Fethering Mysteries Paperback – 1 Jun 2007


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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Pan; New Ed edition (1 Jun 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330445286
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330445283
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 19.2 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 276,399 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Simon Brett worked as a producer in radio and television before taking up writing full time. As well as the much-loved Fethering series, the Mrs Pargeter novels and the Charles Paris detective series, he has written a number of radio and television scripts. Married with three children, he lives in an Agatha Christie-style village on the South Downs. You can find out more about Simon at his website: www.simonbrett.com

Product Description

Review

Another marvelous mix of social satire and traditional cozy. ("Booklist")

Book Description

Bracketts, an Elizabethan house near the town of Fethering, is about to be turned into a museum. Once the home of celebrated poet Esmund Chadleigh, it has been decided that it should now become a shrine to his life and poetry. But the transition from house to museum is running far from smoothly, and Carole soon begins to regret her decision to be on the Board as she witnesses bitter antagonism and rivalry amongst the other members. Then a sudden discovery is made. Buried in the kitchen garden is a human skeleton. And before too long, there is a second body, not yet cold . . . ‘Deftly contrived, light-hearted mysteries’ The Times

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mr. R. J. Clark VINE VOICE on 28 Nov 2010
Format: Paperback
Carole Seddon has recently become one of the trustees of the former house of (and now shrine and soon to be museum to) a minor English man of letters - at the request of the new Director - in order to swing power from the previous incumbent. Sheila Cartwright is the bossy and driven woman who first set up the museum, and she is shot dead one evening after the trustees meet; a meeting to discuss how they should cope with the unearthing of a skeleton in the kitchen garden of the house...

Carole and Jude are back in their fourth adventure, and have wandered into Barbara Vine territory: extracts of old correspondences and the long shadows cast by sins. However, Simon Brett doesn't allow this to interfere with his trademark lighthearted style, and the (now seemingly) obligatory heroine-in-peril denoument.

The plotting has tightened up a little since 'Torso' and 'Downs', which is welcome, and Carole (and the reader) finally start to learn something of the history and inner life of Jude...

It may sound like I'm being picky but I still stayed up until 3:30 this morning finishing it! A good, entertaining mystery!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Trevor S. on 23 Sep 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Simon Brett's 'Fethering' mysteries are an excellent antidote to the car-chase, techno-thrillers, and deeply complicated detective stories that are so widespread today. Just to sit down and completely relax, it's hard to find a better series than this. This particular novel continues to develop the two principal characters - though it manages to keep just enough back to make the reader want to read the next in the series to see what else can be disclosed there.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Dalby VINE VOICE on 18 April 2009
Format: Paperback
This is another in the Marplesque series of murder mysteries that involve the two lady amateur sleuths from Fethering. Fethering is a quiet village in the retirement coast of the South of England so so these novels reflect a different age of detective stories where there is not a scene of crime officer in sight. There are no DNA fingerprints only amateur sleuthing and large amounts of Chilean Chardonnay. But for all that they are more realistic than many. The criminals are not hauled off crying I would have got away with it except for that pesky busy-body. They are all arrested pending a complete police investigation and none of them are guilty before being convicted.

So if you want a nice friendly murder mystery you could give to anyone in the family to read these are a safe bet when you have finished all the Agatha Christie.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By C. FULLER TOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 28 May 2013
Format: Paperback
I have read four or more of Simon Brett's Fethering Mysteries and always enjoy them. I think the reason for this includes his easy style of writing and his ability to describe things simply and not at length. I also have a liking for the character of Carole Seddon as being a retired civil servant I recognise much of her behaviour. Jude is a free spirit and it was another side of her that we see in this story and also some of her past which Carole wonders about frequently.
The scope for characters is considerable as the trustees of Brackett's are a funny lot and the throw back to the First World War added a new dimension. Again, the plot is well written and as a who dunnit the story works successfully. I am sure I will read all of these stories as I come across them and I know that they will be entertaining as they all have been so far.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 20 Sep 2007
Format: Paperback
I would have thought that Murder in the Museum was even more contrived than it is if I hadn't known an American woman who sought to write an "authorized" biography of a prominent Englishwoman from the same period as the fictional Esmond Chadleigh. Clearly, Simon Brett must have run into one of those overly protective families during his life . . . and was inspired to write this ironic account of our "minor" figures get treated like royalty if they happen to be your relative.

In a place like South Stapley, you have to contrive to create murders because this is an area not known for its violent crime. But the contrivance in this story is too much. You'll see the creaky plot outlines stretching out in front of you as you ponder on the poor editing in the book. Clearly, this book was written under a tight deadline.

In this fourth outing of the Fethering mystery series, Carole Seddon is improbably on the board of trustees for Bracketts House, the home of minor poet, children's story author, and essayist Esmond Chadleigh. Carole finds she's made a mistake, but events intervene to keep her on the board before she can decently resign. The trustees are in a flap because the foundation is short of operating money, wants to build an addition, and an American scholar has expressed interest in writing what may be a somewhat irreverent biography of the departed author. Matters become more complex when a human skull (with an extra hole) is unexpectedly excavated in the garden. In addition, the new director and the former director are battling it out for power.

Jude, in the meantime, has received an old lover, Laurence Hawker, who smokes and drinks as much as ever. Carole isn't thrilled by this "intrusion" on her increasingly friendly relationship with Jude.
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