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.