19th June 2021.
This has become one of my favourite crime series. The books are beautifully written and cleverly plotted with a humorous underbelly of social comment, and engaging and charismatic characters. I particularly enjoy the way the relationship between Carole and Jude is developing. With each book, we learn a little more about Jude’s colourful past. While the two amateur sleuths are different in many ways, they share the same determination to get to the truth.
In this case, it’s the hanging of a young solicitor at a country hotel where Jude is waiting tables. She’s there to help out an old friend and finds herself struggling to believe the young man committed suicide. She spoke to him the night before and he was in high spirits, not suicidal.
But it seems the Pillars of Sussex, a secretive all male group have other ideas. Determined to protect their reputation and some of their more important members, they thwart Jude’s efforts to discover the truth. Meanwhile, Carole approaches the Pillars through another of their members, who has taken a fancy to her.
The story unfolds in small increments until Carole and Jude finally put all the pieces together for an exciting climax at the hotel. Along the way, the author never misses a chance to poke fun at the self-importance of secret societies and the foibles of the middle classes.
If you’re looking for a classy cosy mystery series with humour, distinctive plots and great characters, look no further.
Fethering resident Jude soon regrets helping out at an event at the Hopwicke Country House Hotel. The all-male society, The Pillars of Sussex, are visiting and keep Jude up until the small hours when the last of the rowdy men goes to bed.
When one guest doesn’t show up for breakfast the next morning, Jude presumes he’s feeling the effects of the night before and searches him out. Only to discover his body hanging from the beams of a four-poster bed. Unconvinced that this was suicide, Jude enlists the support of fellow amateur sleuth Carole to crack the case.