Sunday, January 28, 2024


The Body on the Beach (Fethering, #1)

The Body on the Beach by Simon Brett

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Mainstream fiction

Very little disturbs the ordered calm of Fethering, a pleasingly self-contained retirement town on England’s southern coast. Which is precisely why Carole Seddon, who has left behind both her husband and her career at the Home Office, has chosen to reside there. So Carole is surprised to encounter a new neighbour with one name and a colourful past. 'Jude' is not really Fethering . . . but even she is not as surprising as the body Carole finds on the beach.

A body, it has to be said, that has disappeared by the time the police arrive. Only Jude is ready to believe what Carole says she saw – and from that moment on, the two women resolve to turn detective.


Prolific British whodunit author, Simon Brett, begins a new series set in the coastal town of Fethering. Is it perfect? No. But I loved it and eagerly anticipate reading further in the series.

The town of Fethering - with it's lovely beach area, local pub, and housing clusters separated by wealth and social status, or lack of - feels like a major character. Secondary characters are interesting and sometimes quirky, but not over the top. Setting and characters are well established in this first story and will feel welcoming when I return to the next series book.

The two protagonists, Carole and Jude, are delightful. Carole's life had been pretty quiet until Jude, her new neighbor, moved in. Opposites in personality, Carole isn't sure what to make of her as they become connected through the discovery of a disappearing body on the beach. I love their humor and slowly growing friendship. Jude remains a little bit of an enigma and it will be interesting to learn more about her. The mystery was well crafted and fun to try and figure out, not that I ever did.

** Mainstream fiction, a little profanity

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