The Shooting in the Shop
Five Star, Dec 8 2010, $25.95
In Fethering, England Carole Seddon makes pre ghost Scrooge and Grinch look like Santa supporters compared to her feelings about Christmas. She believes the holidays are a ridiculous waste of time, money and energy. Her preference is to pretend the Yuletide season does not exist as it has not since her painful divorce from David and her son Stephen chose work over celebration. Now Stephen married to Gaby with a daughter Lily wants a family Christmas. Thus when her BFF Jude orders her to go Christmas shopping with her at Gallimaufry‚ she objects initially until she remembers it is discounted sales time so she agrees as only a bargain is anything positive about Christmas.
A few days after the two friends went shopping, Gallimaufry burns down. Once the fire is put out and the area cool, a body is found amidst the ashes and rubble. Although the death of pretty Polly Le Bonnier, the stepdaughter of the owner of Gallimaufry, initially looks like a tragic accident, a bullet is determined as the cause of death. Having solved mysteries before, the dynamic amateur duo Carole and Jude investigate with Gulliver assisting them.
The Fethering mystery series is always a wonderful English cozy starring a charming pair of amateur sleuths (in fairness; Jude is charming while Carole remains so wound up a shilling could not fall out of her crack). Their latest escapade is a fun whodunit as the detecting is well conceived containing a fabulous late twist and Carole becomes a reborn-holiday cheerleading aficionado due to her most gorgeous granddaughter. An eggnog toast is given to Simon Brett for another fine Fethering investigative whodunit.