The Torso in the Town

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Simon Brett, 2002 – Fethering #3

I am on a roll! I just finished the third book in Simon Brett’s British cozy mystery.

The Torso in the Town is much like Books 1 and 2. An unlikely corpse – or part of a corpse – turns up in a home in which Jude is attending a dinner party, so Jude and her unofficial detective partner Carole decide to investigate. They really have no good reason for doing so; they are just exceedingly nosy.

There are so many elements that parallel Death on the Downs, the book preceding this one, that I was slightly disappointed in the formulaic nature of this book at more than on point. I even thought I had solved the murder myself, way too soon, based on one line of dialogue.

Boy, was I wrong! I never ever would have guessed the identity of the person who briefly held Jude prisonor, nor would I have figured out who the killer was. (They might be the same person, or they might not. No spoilers here.)

Kudos to Simon Brett for creating a killer that few would suspect. The two main characters are flawed, likeable women, and Brett knows how to build a world, even if that world is just a village. Because so many events were cliche, I’m not giving this five stars, but it certainly has a five-star ending.

Geoffrey Howard/Ralph Cosham narrates with his usual skill.

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