A Thousand Steps

A Thousand Steps
A Thousand Steps by T. Jefferson Parker

Friday, July 26, 2019

FLASHBACK FRIDAY: The Body on the Beach by Simon Brett- Feature and Review


A brilliant new addition to the Berkley Prime Crime list ...

Berkley Prime Crime is proud to welcome one of mystery's most esteemed masters to its line-up of bestselling writers. This brand new series showcases Simon Brett at his charming best -witty, cozy, and sophisticated ... all at the same time.

In the English seaside village of Fethering (located next to the town of Tarring), recent retiree Carole Seddon just wishes to live a quiet, sensible life with Gulliver, her Labrador Retriever. But when she discovers a dead body on the beach while walking the dog, her sensible life is suddenly quite complicated. And with the help of her bohemian neighbor Jude, Carole finds a new purpose in life - as a detective.



The Body on the Beach (Fethering, #1)The Body on the Beach by Simon Brett
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Body on the Beach by Simon Brett is a 2000 Berkley publication.

This is the first in book in the long running ‘Fethering’ Mystery series.

Carole is walking her dog when she discovers a dead body on the beach. After reporting the crime, Carole is furious at the way she was treated by the police. She is also out of sorts because of her new neighbor, Jude. Carole likes her quiet, ordered life and Jude’s presence is bound to be a disruption.

But, much to her surprise, Carole finds herself intrigued by Jude, and discovers she is easy to confide in, although Jude doesn’t really reciprocate in the way Carole would like. The pair decides to investigate the suspicious death on their own, and discover they have a knack for detective work.

The village and all the quirky characters from the local pub add drama, humor, and excitement to the story as the mystery deepens once the ladies uncover more information. They eventually link together a rather complex set of circumstances, and slowly narrow down the suspects in a most disorganized, but effective manner.

This series came to my attention through Netgalley and Berkley publishing. I did not realize, when I was approved for 'The Liar in the Library', that it was part of a very long running series. So, before I tackled a book that deep into the thick of things, I decided to at least read the first few books in the series to get a better feel for the characters. I’m glad I decided to do that, since I have the distinct impression many the characters introduced here will become recurring ones and will develop more fully as the series continues.

As with most ‘first in a series’ mysteries, a lot of time is spent on time and place, and with the introduction of characters. The author created a nice, rich atmosphere in Feathering. It feels like an ideal backdrop for these characters. It’s a charming seaside village, but apparently it harbors a great many secrets and a bit of a sinister undertone.

Carole is an introverted type, while Jude is more gregarious. Jude remains a bit of an enigma, while Carole becomes more sociable. They certainly make an odd duo, but it works.

The mystery plot is a tad busy and messy, but it was the first case for these amateur detectives so I’m sure as they gain more experience they will get much better at playing detectives.

Overall, a solid beginning of the series and I look forward to visiting the quaint village of Feathering again soon.






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 ...'.

After his spells with the media he began devoting most of his time to writing from the late 1970s and is well known for his various series of crime novels.

He is married with three children and lives in Burpham, near Arundel, West Sussex, England. He is the current president of the Detection Club.


  1. I read this one a few years ago and had mixed feelings. I remember feeling that Carole and Jude really don't do much "detecting" but instead find out clues by eavesdropping and asking questions to the suspects. I remember thinking it odd that anyone who is considered a suspect would answer them. It just seemed unrealistic. I've wanted to go back and reread the first few in the series, as I listened to them on audio book and have found that sometimes skews my perception of a book.

    1. Yes, Carole and Jude's detecting skills were very sloppy. I gave this one the benefit of the doubt, as it was the first in a series. I hope the characters develop as the series progresses. Thanks so much for your comment and for stopping by The Book Review!!


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