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The Body on the Beach (Fethering Mystery #1)

3.52 of 5 stars 3.52  ·  rating details  ·  1,076 ratings  ·  127 reviews
Sensible Carole Seddon doesn't have the tolerance to deal with her new bohemian neighbor, Jude. But Jude doesn't seem so bad when Carole discovers another addition to the neighborhood-a dead body on the beach bearing two wounds on its neck.
Paperback, 320 pages
Published September 1st 2001 by Berkley (first published 2000)
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Community Reviews

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This is the first book in the Fethering mystery series by Simon Brett and I enjoyed very much. It was well-paced, with enough action to keep me reading and with two likable characters who I hope to find out more about. Carole Seddon is a retired public servant who has settled in the seaside town of Fethering, located near Brighton on England's southeast coast. Carole lives a routine life, walking her dog, following the routines and mores of the other retired people who have settled there. A new ...more
Nancy  W'f
I am always on the lookout for cozy mysteries that don't have themes (knitting, food, herb shops, what-have-you). I don't know how I managed to miss Simon Brett for so long, but I am really glad I finally ran across his books. This is the first of the Fethering mysteries, named for their setting, the seaside town of Fethering, England. The main characters are well drawn and could very easily be people that I know. They have enough personal quirks to make them interesting, but not so many that th ...more
Sian Wadey
Sometimes it's nice to just kick back and relax with a cup of tea and a nice little murder mystery set in a little village based in my home county and enjoy the ride. For the most part, this is one of those books. It's set in Fethering, not far from Brighton (where I was born), so it was nice to be able to picture the country side. Simon Brett did a great job of setting the scene and describing the area. He did a great job of describing the eccentric range of characters that live in Fethering (m ...more
Jan C
A couple of unlikely sleuths; although that's true of most ofSimon Brett's sleuths.

Carol is an early retiree from the Home Office. We don't know where her new neighbor Jude came from. We know almost nothing about her. Not even her last name. But I like her. And she's loosening up Carol. That can only be a good thing.

There were a few surprises here.

Carol is out walking Gulliver and happens upon a body on the beach. By the time the police got there the body was gone. Why it took Carol so long to
Clare O'Beara

This is a character-based mystery starting off a series. Sadly I didn't find the characters very good or at all interesting. The main protagonist is written as a retired unmarried civil servant lady who has never led an interesting life and lives quietly in a seaside cottage. Come on, nobody is that dull. She would have joined several clubs for French conversation or flower growing or bridge or something as soon as she came to live there. So this mousy woman is a caricature. She lives next door
Anirban Das
Simon Brett who won this year’s CWA Diamond Dagger for his contribution to the Crime writing genre is known for his mysteries which is surely defined as “Cozy mysteries” in todays standard, but would have been dubbed simply as “Mysteries” in the years gone by. Among his numerous series’ this one features two middle aged woman in the village of Fethering. Carole Seddon and Jude (just Jude) are neighbours. Carole being a woman with a stiff upper lip and Jude being the proverbial Happy-Go-Lucky. Ca ...more
The first in the Fethering mystery series sees retired divorcee Carole Seddon safely in a comfortable routine in her cottage on the South Coast. However, her safe, if somewhat uneventful life, is soon to be shaken by two events. The first is that, during an early morning walk on the beach with her dog, Gulliver, she discovers the body of a man. The second is the fact that she has a new neighbour, the gregarious and open minded Jude (no surname offered), who flouts the unwritten rules and convent ...more
Simon Brett has created the seaside village of Feathering, in England, that is a quaint background for an updated re versioning of a Miss Marple type mystery. He completely captures the scenes and residents of Feathering, so it feels like a second home for this reader. Our protagonist, Carole Seddon, is a fifty something, divorced, former employee from the Home Office. Being "proper" and quietly in the background of society is her goal for her latter years. All goes well until a free-spirited, l ...more
Nancy Oakes
A good first entry of this series featuring Carole Seddon, who lives in the tiny little seaside village of Fethering in England. One day Carole is out walking her dog when she comes across a body on the beach. She looks at it, walks home, and because her dog is stinky from being in the water, she gives him a bath. Then because she made a mess in her kitchen, she cleans up her kitchen. THEN she calls the police and when they arrive, they don't take her seriously. It seems that by the time the pol ...more
Mary Gilligan-Nolan
My sister gave me this book to read and as she has recommended good books I have liked in the past, I decided to trust her judgement and try it out. This is a series also, which I am always interested in. It turned out, I did like it and am eagerly awaiting the second book to arrive in the post. It is light reading, a murder mystery with some good humour. Carole Seddon has retired to the village of Fethering from her job in the Home Office and has bought a dog for walking and is intent on leadin ...more
Sometimes I finish a book and I know exactly what i want to say, but there are times when I can think of nothing beyond what the book is about and how much I liked it.

I finished The Body on the Beach by Simon Brett, the first of his series of Fethering mysteries, weeks ago but it has taken me until now to formulate my thoughts.

They start in the form of a simple recipe:

Take a traditional English mystery.
Dust with:
E F Benson, for observation, for wit and for knowing how communities work.
Joanna Tro
Simon Brett gets great reviews and has more than one murder mystery series going. I decided to give him a try, and so checked out The Body on the Beach, the first in the Fethering mysteries.

Good things: he writes well, the setting is interesting (a self-satisfied village on the southern coast of England), the characters are diverse enough without being too weird. Such supporting cast as the Vice-Commodore and poisonous Winnie Norton are drawn with a spare deft hand.

Bad things: I didn't really li
This is the first in Simon Brett's Fethering series. For those of you who are not regular readers of mysteries there is a category known as "cozies" and this series fits nicely into that category. Cozies are typically set in quaint, small towns or villages with characters you can easily imagine as your own friends and neighbours. The Body on the Beach introduces us to Carole and Jude - very believable amateur sleuths - who live in Fethering, England. I am currently reading this for the second ti ...more
Andy Theyers
Simon Brett is the current president of the Detection Club; that should prepare anyone for the type of book this is. It's well done. The clues are in all the right places, the detective pairing is well balanced and the claustrophobia of setting is well observed.

My only complaint is that he can't quite help slipping into pastiche occasionally. Not enough for it to actually *be* a pastiche though, which means that daft puns and knowing references really jar when they appear (however infrequently).
On a mystery roll lately! What a delightful read. Mystery and charming characters with just enough improbabiltiy and humor to keep me totally engaged. Loved the writing style. I will read more of Simon Brett.
Bev Taylor
the first the fethering mysteries - he can't have fond a suitable title with two 'a's'!

this introduces carole (with an 'e' and jude as the amateur detectives

carole finds a body on the beach. this she reports a bit later to the police but the body has vanishes! h/e the police r pretty useless - there must have been marks there before the tide came in and they do not around the area

then the body reappears - but does it?

carole and jude r on the case to find out the truth but even they discover th
This is the first book in a wonderful murder-mystery series by Simon Brett. I've enjoyed his Mrs. Pargeter and Charles Paris series as well, but I have a particular fondness for Carole and Jude - two wildly dissimilar neighbors in their early 50s....can't imagine why I'm so interested in stories about a couple of ordinary women in that age group...

The two women investigate murders mainly because they have the time and they're too curious about what happened to wait for the police to get their ac
Simon Brett introduces us to the seaside English village of Fethering through the eyes of two of its residents: Carole Seddon and Jude...ah, just Jude.

Carole's lived in Fethering for years, and has learned the unspoken social rules of the very proper and regimented village. Jude moves in next door to Carole on the same day Carole discovers a corpse while walking her dog Gulliver along the beach. When the police inform Carole that they found no body (suggesting she's either lying or ill), Carole
Lolly's Library
This is one of those charming cozy mysteries, in the vein of Agatha Christie's Miss Marple, portraying a quaint, quirky English village, of the type which probably only exists in fiction as it's so quaint and so quirky as to be unreal, and its quaint, quirky inhabitants. (And, yes, I'm going to use those two 'q' words throughout this review because I like them and they work so well.) It's the kind of book you read not so much for the mystery, which can be quite satisfying in its own way, as for ...more
Carole is a prim and proper no-nonsense lady who lives in the “elite” community of Fethering on England’s South coast. Certain things are done and certain things are definitely NOT done in Fethering, as Carole likes to point out. One morning while walking her Labrador, Gulliver, she comes across a (dead) body on the beach. She reports said body to the police but when they go to check it out, the body is, gasp, gone. No one will believe Carole that there ever was a body her except her wacky new n ...more
Jasmine Giacomo
A fun case of mixed up corpses, but I was disappointed in the "villain".

The novel starts off with the exceptionally proper Carole discovering a body washed up on the beach where she walks her dog. By the time she gets back home, washes the salt off the dog, cleans the kitchen, and reports the body, however, it's not there anymore for the police to find. And the next morning it's back...or is it?

The plot started off smashingly. Probably two different bodies, a bohemian neighbor with secrets of he
The Body on the Beach is the first of the Fethering mysteries by Simon Brett. It's a very light read, entertaining but not enthralling. My main problem is that I didn't like any of the characters. The main character is Carole, a boring stand-offish retiree from the Home Office, who might as well been labelled as "Librarian". Her friend is newly arrived neighbour Jude, a woman with a mysterious past - too mysterious in my view as you never learn anything about her, even when she is telling the st ...more
I really, really liked this mystery novel the first time around, and only somewhat less the second time around about 5 yrs later.

Plot revolves around two very different women who wind up working together to solve the mystery of the body on the beach -- a body that so very inconveniently disappeared before the police could investigate. Don't you hate when that happens?

This is a veddy Briddish mystery, set in the mostly quiet town of Fethering on the South Coast. Very prim and proper retiree Car
Morag Smith
Good 'cosy murder' (strange term, but there you go....). I do understand the mixed reviews I've seen - misliking the uptight character of one of the protagonists and the hazy history of the other but some I think are missing the point: Mr B. is laying the foundation for a series. A LONG series, based on the titles! Dare I sat this author is a 'serial' offender'? Sorry. He does have certainly a track record of long running series and the creation of the worlds that go with them. The characters, t ...more
First in a series set in Fethering on the south coast of England, featuring Carole Seddon, a fifty-something retired woman. I wasn't sure I was going to finish this when I first started it--Carole started out as an insufferable prig, concerned only with 'what the neighbors think' but after a bit she started loosening up and by the end was almost human.

Walking her dog along the beach early one morning, Carole discovers a dead body washed up on shore. She reports this to the police but when they
A cozy mystery that is pleasantly low on twee. Our two female sleuths are thankfully not caricatures, but people. Although the culprit may be a little obvious, the whole of the hows and whyfores are not, and it's satisfying to watch it unfold. Not a bad book to pick up when the library doesn't stock digital copies of any of the books you fancy. (More Tor books wouldn't go astray, just saying.)
Cheryl Daems
I enjoyed this British cozy very much. The 2 amateur detectives are 50-ish ladies, one very proper, one not, with the one who is not still a mystery by the end of the book, so the series is intriguing. But they become friends despite their different personalities and yes they solve the murder mystery and all its intricacies together. I will continue the series.
I listened to this book - the narrator was great. It took me about an hour to get into the story, but after that it sped by. I'd never read any books in this series and I'm ready to read another one.
This was the first in a cozy mystery series, new to me, about two dissimilar older neighbor ladies who take a stab at investigating and solving a murder on their own. The characters of Jude and Carole were pretty standard and written according to type, one old fashioned and prim, the other free and "bohemian." The mystery itself was ok, nothing spectacular but not bad. The ending was kind of abrupt. When it got to the identity of the dead man I felt like it was sudden, like someone had edited ou ...more
This is the first in a series of 'cosy' mysteries set in the village in Fethering. There's an interesting contrast between the two main characters of Carole and Jude - who have totally different personalities yet seem to bring out the best in each other. The mystery is good enough but the book is just starting to find out about the two characters, there's still a lot to learn about the two and that's making me want to read the next one. I'm a big fan of British thrillers/mysteries, I like the ge ...more
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Simon Brett is a prolific British writer of whodunnits.

He is the son of a Chartered Surveyor and was educated at Dulwich College and Wadham College, Oxford, where he got a first class honours degree in English.

He then joined the BBC as a trainee and worked for BBC Radio and London Weekend Television, where his work included 'Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy' and 'Frank Muir Goes Into ...'.

More about Simon Brett...

Other Books in the Series

Fethering Mystery (1 - 10 of 16 books)
  • Death on the Downs (Fethering, #2)
  • The Torso in the Town (Fethering, #3)
  • Murder in the Museum (Fethering, #4)
  • The Hanging in the Hotel (Fethering, #5)
  • The Witness at the Wedding (Fethering, #6)
  • The Stabbing in the Stables (Fethering, #7)
  • Death Under the Dryer (Fethering, #8)
  • Blood at the Bookies (Fethering, #9)
  • The Poisoning in the Pub (Fethering, #10)
  • The Shooting in the Shop (Fethering, #11)
Death on the Downs (Fethering, #2) The Torso in the Town (Fethering, #3) Murder in the Museum (Fethering, #4) A Nice Class of Corpse (Mrs. Pargeter, #1) The Stabbing in the Stables (Fethering, #7)

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