cover image The Poisoning in the Pub

The Poisoning in the Pub

Simon Brett, . . Five Star, $25.95 (297pp) ISBN 978-1-59414-890-3

Business at the venerable Crown and Anchor pub is flagging—and with good reason—in Brett's droll 10th mystery set in the West Sussex town of Fethering (after 2008's Blood at the Bookies ). An outbreak of food poisoning, with attendant bad press, temporarily shuts down the establishment. Then the grand reopening is spoiled by a rowdy biker gang and the brutal stabbing death of a beloved, mentally challenged kitchen helper. Before you can say “plowman's lunch,” plucky Carole Seddon and her friend, Jude, are on the case. As “women of a certain age,” Carole and Jude are often underestimated, a circumstance they use to good advantage, along with dogged persistence, feminine wiles and people skills. Those with counter-corporate leanings will enjoy the bashing meted out on a McPub chain bent on driving traditional public houses out of business. (Nov.)