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Simon Brett

Macmillan £16.99hbk

Reviewed by Peter Guttridge

Simon Brett, a former radio producer who was instrumental in discovering The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, is one of British crime's most assured craftsmen, with idiosyncratic characters proving winning creations. His latest series, a classic set of English murder mysteries, is set in the small Sussex town of Fethering and features a hardy couple of involuntary sleuths, Jude and Carole Sleddon. For their fourth outing, this pleasing and persistent duo are confronted by town politics, a skeleton in a kitchen garden and another, still warm, body, when the home of celebrated first world war poet Esmund Chadleigh is turned into a museum in his memory. A feast of red herrings, broadly drawn characters and gentle thrills and spills litter the witty plot. Crime writing just like in the good old days, and perfect entertainment.