cover image The Corpse on the Court

The Corpse on the Court

Simon Brett. Severn/Creme de la Crime, $28.95 (224p) ISBN 978-1-78029-032-4

Court tennis—the ancestral form of lawn tennis played by Henry VIII—provides the backdrop for Brett’s absorbing 14th Fethering mystery (after 2011’s Guns in the Gallery). Court tennis enthusiast Piers Targett introduces his new lover, amateur sleuth Jude, to the game at a club near her Sussex home. Early one morning, the pair arrive at the club to find an elderly member lying on the court, dead of a heart attack. Suspecting foul play, Jude resolves to look deeper into the death. Meanwhile, Jude’s good friend and neighbor, Carole Seddon, pursues a missing person’s case involving an adopted teenage girl of Russian origin who disappeared from home several years before. As the two investigations converge, Jude finds an important clue in a self-published court tennis memoir by a club member that apparently no one else has read. That Piers’s bedtime efforts to explain the arcane rules of the game put Jude quickly to sleep is another amusing touch. (Feb.)