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The Body on the Beach (Fethering, #1)
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The Body on the Beach (Fethering Mystery #1)

3.56  ·  Rating details ·  1,686 Ratings  ·  200 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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Nancy  W'f
Oct 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Jun 23, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery-british
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
Jan 13, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, fluff
Fun little mystery. I think it fits into the "cozy" genre. Not too gripping, but some fun characters and a decent story despite some improbabilities. A good book to listen to while walking or doing housework. I'm not a big series fan, but I'll keep this one in mind (though my library has only one other book in the series available to borrow on audio).
Apr 09, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: borrowed
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.
Feb 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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.
Betty Morrissey
Simple, enjoyable, full of fun characters.
May 11, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Morag Smith
Dec 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
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
Nov 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Gentler than a lot of modern detective novels with characters that are interesting and likeable enough but don't interfere with the plot. Some of them rely on stereotypes (pub landlord etc) but not to the detriment of the novel, it helped keep the focus on the story. It is set in locations I'm familiar with, which I enjoyed. I will read more of this series.
Jul 16, 2017 rated it liked it
Carole Seddon is intrigued by the arrival of her new neighbor Jude. Jude is everything that Carole is not--she is unorthodox in her dress, her lifestyle, and her approach to life while Carole is sensible, conventional, and follows social mores to the letter. But when Carole discovers a dead body on the nearby beach and phones the police, the body has vanished by the time they arrive. Or was it ever there? Carole and Jude team up to discover the truth and discover a developing friendship along th ...more
Julie Davis
Dec 20, 2017 rated it it was ok
This was a quick read and entertaining enough but I just couldn't enjoy either of the two main characters. Also, the way that Jude could charmingly ask a sincere question and get a full answer every time seemed strange. I have tried several Simon Brett stories and I just don't like his style. That is, aside from the BBC's charming adaptations of his Charles Paris mysteries (starring Bill Nighy) which are what attracted me to try the written word in the first place. I'll just stick with the BBC.
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
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
Mary Gilligan-Nolan
Dec 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Apr 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Oct 21, 2008 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: BBC listeners
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 29, 2009 rated it it was ok
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
Aug 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
Quite a fun read. This was a book I listened to and I must say that Simon Brett is an excellent reader. I liked the two amateur detectives and how different they were and enjoyed the humour.
I will certainly read more by Simon Brett
Nov 20, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: mysteries
I found this book a bit difficult to get into but worth finishing. There is a lot of reference to the British life and I had trouble relating to that. I found the main character a bit stuffy but that was probably intended.
Tracy Stackhouse
Sep 04, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
2 Thumbs up

Characters filled out to be real people. Interesting interplay between the two main sleuths. Plot held together excellently. Will try this author again.
Susan Wallace
Sep 26, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
A bit slow, the 2 women playing detectives are interesting, may follow series because I'm curious about them.
Feb 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
My first Simon Brett.
I enjoyed he main characters and got a number of chuckles. There were also a few surprises. I'll definiely continue with the Fethering mysteries.
Nov 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
These books are perfect comfort reads. The atmosphere Brett weaves is cozy and inviting and distinctly English, and though Fethering is meant to have a dark, sad, clannish sordidness underneath its stodgy, middle-class facade, it draws you in all the same. You want to snug in at the Crown and Anchor even though its patrons are a bouquet of tall poppies smugly rooted in their insular little world.

And while Carole Seddon is a prickly, prim, judgmental old prune of the first water, there's a pithy
2.25 stars. It’s ok. Got better as it went along. Will be reading the second book in the series to see if it improves.

The most annoying thing about this book was Carole’s character. Carole doesn’t just have a stick up there, she has an entire tree. She’s a caricature of a conservative middle aged woman whose main goal in life is to appear to have propriety 24/7 and ensure that her neighbours believe her to be without moral reproach. How boring!

Jude’s character is much more enjoyable. She’s the
Brenda Hicks
Dec 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Part female Odd Couple and part bumbling Sherlock Holmes, this is a cleverly written series about two crime solving friends, proper Carole and her intuitive next door neighbor, Jude. I enjoyed this trip through the mystery of the body on the beach. Fun characters, logical conclusions, easy and quick read. A good book to seal the deal on my goal. Time to figure out 2017.
May 06, 2018 rated it it was ok
A nice whodunit: A cosy-crime-feeling mystery featuring two odd-couple ladies, stuffy retiree Carole and new-to-the-neighborhood Jude, and their search for a body Carole found on the beach at the sea-side, pension-greased town of Fethering. Lots of colorful characters that I am sure will play a prominent role in the next Fethering mystery.
Mar 24, 2018 rated it liked it
Listened to this one while walking. Simple, straight-forward whodunit. Will probably listen to Fethering #2 to learn more about the two main characters, Carole and Jude, whose backgrounds we still know little about from this novel.
Jan 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
I love how Brett gets under the skin of the very proper ladies of Fethering. He explains how people feel about being respectable. Being so restrictive of one's behavior makes life so difficult. Poor Carole-so correct and clean.
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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 21 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)

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