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Running a cake shop can be murder

The Killing in the Cafe: A Fethering Mystery By Simon Brett Severn House Mystery & Thrillers Pub Date: March 1, 2016


Free spirited life counselor Jude and her practical, no-nonsense neighbor Carole are once more thrust into investigating a murder when one of Jude’s clients finds a body… a body that goes missing shortly after its discovery. Jude’s client, Sara, believes she may have been hallucinating, but Jude isn’t so sure.

Polly’s Cake Shop has long been a fixture in Fethering. Now, the owner is selling, and residents fear the cafe may become a Starbucks, part of a vast commercial enterprise foreign to village life. Sara convinces Jude to take part in the committee organized to Save Polly’s Cake Shop. Jude dreads the personality clashes and the inevitable ego trips involved.

Then the body reappears, now badly decomposed on Fethering Beach. The dead man is a stranger, but he visited Polly’s Cake Shop the afternoon before his death and asked to speak with the owner. Who was he and why did he come to Fethering? Who would kill a stranger and leave the body in the Cake Shop's back room?

I enjoyed The Killing in the Cafe immensely. Jude and Carole make a good investigative team. Jude is more intuitive while Carole is more straightforward. Although their approaches differ, these two intelligent women complement each other. The bluff and bluster of the SPCSAC rang true, as anyone who has sat on any committee will attest. I absolutely loved Binnie. She was such a colorful person, who clearly lived life as she pleased. The only item that just didn’t feel right was Jude’s easy acquiescence to Sara’s request not to contact police - despite the handkerchief spotted with the blood of the victim. Had there not been physical evidence, I would have been more understanding.

All in all, Simon Brett has given readers yet another wonderful cozy to add to their reading list.


The Killing in the Cafe is available for preorder and will be released March 1, 2016.

I received a copy of The Killing in the Cafe from the publisher and in exchange for an honest review.

—Crittermom Description The wickedly entertaining new Fethering mystery featuring chalk-and-cheese detective duo Carole and Jude Polly’s Cake Shop has been a feature of the shopping parade for many years, but when its owner announces her retirement, the Fethering residents start to worry about the loss of this popular amenity. Alarmed by rumours that the café might become a Starbucks, a group clubs together to form the Save Polly’s Cake Shop Action Committee. The plan is that Polly’s should become a community venture, managed and run by volunteers from the village. Roped in to help, Jude finds the committee meetings fraught with petty power struggles, clashing personalities and monstrous egos. Matters take a turn for the worse when she and Carole come across a badly-decomposed body on Fethering beach – and uncover a link to Polly’s. Not only do the two neighbours have to find out whodunit, they are also faced with the thorny question: is it possible to run a business on that most volatile of commodities - goodwill?


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