Crime Fiction Alphabet: H is for The Hanging in the Hotel

The Crime Fiction Alphabet has reached the letter H this week and I’ve chosen Simon Brett’s The Hanging in the Hotel. I listened to the audiobook read by Simon Brett. This is the fifth book in his Fethering Mysteries series.

Synopsis from Fantastic Fiction:

A young solicitor is found hanged from his four-poster bed in a country house hotel following an all-male society dinner the night before. Jude doesn’t believe it was suicide, and with her friend Carole’s help, it would appear that The Pillars of Sussex are involved in a grand collusion. 

Jude and Carole are neighbours and they often find themselves involved in solving murders! They’re an interesting pair, Carole a retired civil servant, cautious and analytical, Jude, impulsive, an alternative healer and very inquisitive (nosey). Jude perseveres in believing the young solicitor’s death was murder, despite the police insistence that it was suicide. Her belief is reinforced when her friend Suzy Longthorne, the hotel’s owner, wants to keep things hushed up and accepts it was suicide. There are too many inconsistencies for Jude to accept that idea. The Pillars of Society are an obnoxious bunch, misogynists, who drink too much and are very fond of themselves, and they are the prime suspects.

Jude and Carole go over and over the events, discussing the whys and wherefores, talking to everyone concerned, who all seem to have impeccable alibis, and following up lots of red herrings.There was just too much speculation and introspection which slowed down the action.  The murderer could have been anyone and by the end I didn’t much care who it was.

I didn’t like this book as much as the others that I’ve read, namely The Body on the Beach, the first in the Fethering series, The Stabbing in the Stables and Murder in the Museum. It may be because I was listening, rather than reading, so I shall still read more of the Fethering books.

11 thoughts on “Crime Fiction Alphabet: H is for The Hanging in the Hotel

    1. I haven’t listened to many audiobooks but I think I prefer reading because a) I can read faster than a narrator can speak & b) I would rather ‘hear’ the characters’ voices for myself than listen to a male narrator attempting female voices and vice versa.


  1. Much to my surprise, I still like reading this series even though I get annoyed sometimes at the women. I’ve read seven, and want to continue.


  2. Haven’t read any of these books yet but have seen a few episodes from BBC TV series. I think my library has them, will be looking for them.


  3. Out of curiosity I checked some of your earlier reviews for this series. I do have the first one (paperback ed.) and I will go ahead and try it. I also noticed that you had read one of the Blotto and Twinks series, which I had wondered about. Maybe too silly for me; would have to try them. I read a lot of the Charles Paris series from the 70’s and 80’s.


  4. Margaret – Thanks for choosing a Simon Brett novel. I admit I’m more familiar with his Charles Paris series than with this one, but I do like Brett’s work 🙂


  5. I find it annoying when there is so much speculation and introspection that it slows down the action. I think it’s needed but too much makes it boring. Thanks for the review.


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