For Mrs Pargeter, it is a matter of principle that she should complete any of her late husband's unfinished business. Amongst his many bequests, perhaps the most valuable is his little black book, in which he listed all the people who ever worked for him, with details of their particular skill sets. This means that whenever Mrs P has a crime to solve, she can readily contact someone with the relevant expertise.
When the owner of Polly's Cake Shop 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 an 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.
Jude's life has been turned upside-down thanks her new man, Piers Targett, who's keen to get her involved in his hobby – or obsession – of Real Tennis. But when one of Piers' friends dies on the court in suspicious circumstances, Jude finds herself caught up in the police investigation. Meanwhile, Jude's neighbour Carole is trying to identify the human remains known locally as the “Lady in the Lake”.
"Simon Brett Doesn't Disappoint!"
Carole Seddon hates Christmas – it all seems rather a waste of time. So when her best friend, Jude, drags her along to go shopping at a local store called Gallimaufry, she can feel her inner-Scrooge knocking. Then Gallimaufry is burnt down and a body is discovered. It seems like a tragic accident, but it’s not natural causes when a gun is involved.
"Tops in plot, people & narrator"
Invited to a Private View of the work of controversial artist Denzil Willoughby, the good citizens of Fethering are not quite sure what to expect. And it certainly turns out to be a lively affair, culminating in a confrontation between Willoughby and his ex-lover, followed by a heated argument with the gallery owner and a rival artist. But what no one could have anticipated was that the evening would end in sudden, violent death.
"Brett Never Disappoints"
When Jude agrees to lend her vintage chaise longue for the local Amateur Dramatic Society’s production of George Bernard Shaw’s The Devil’s Disciple, little does she realise she’ll end up in a starring role. It’s an ambitious play, culminating in a dramatic execution scene: a scene that’s played for real when one of the leading actors is found hanging from the specially constructed stage gallows during rehearsals. A tragic accident - or something more sinister?
Carole Seddon has never enjoyed holidays much. Nevertheless, she has allowed herself to be persuaded by her friend Jude to accept a fortnight’s free accommodation at a luxurious Turkish villa owned by Jude’s property developer friend Barney Willingdon. But from the outset the holiday is marred by a series of menacing incidents.
"Another fun entry into the Carol/Jude saga"
Landing a minor part in the Empire Theatre Eastbourne’s Christmas production of Cinderella, Charles Paris soon discovers that his main role is to gently introduce the show’s baffled American star, Kenny Polizzi, to the bizarre customs of English pantomime. During their sessions in the local pub, Charles finds himself increasingly caught up in Polizzi’s tangled affairs. But Charles is about to be far more involved than he might wish when he stumbles across a body beneath Eastbourne Pier.
Bracketts, an Elizabethan house near the town of Fethering, is about to be turned into a museum. Once the home of celebrated poet Esmund Chadleigh, it has been decided that it should now become a shrine to his life and poetry. But the transition from house to museum is running far from smoothly, and Carole soon begins to regret her decision to be on the Board as she witnesses bitter antagonism and rivalry amongst the other members. Then a sudden discovery is made.
Due to financial hardships at Tawcester Towers, the Dowager Duchess has decreed that the only way the family fortunes can be restored is to marry Blotto off...to an American! Reluctantly, Blotto, together with Twinks and his trusty chauffeur Corky Froggett set sail.
"And I do like Simon Brett!"
The Hopwicke Country House Hotel is to host an event for the all-male society, The Pillars of Sussex. Jude helps out on the night, and in the early hours of the morning she watches with relief as the rowdy guests drag themselves to their beds. The next morning, one young solicitor is absent from breakfast. But when Jude heads for Nigel Ackford's room, presuming he is feeling the effects of the night before, she is horrified to find him hanging from the beams of his four-poster bed.... Was it suicide? Jude has her doubts.
Tawcester Towers, the family seat of the Lyminster family, has suffered an unwelcome injection of distant cousins - so distant that they aren't even British! Count Igor and Count Lyudmilla Bashusky had to flee Russia after the Revolution and have spent the intervening years building up debts in the hotels of Europe's capitals and sponging off ever more exasperated (and distant) relatives.
"Love Blotto and Twinks"
When alternative healer Jude pays a visit to Long Bamber Stables to meet an unusual new "client" - a horse - and his owner, Sonia Dalrymple, she does not expect to stumble across a man's body in the darkness. Co-owner of the stables Walter Fleet has been viciously stabbed to death, and Jude suspects she may have arrived only seconds after his murder. Unable to resist a mystery, friends Jude and Carole begin to make discreet enquiries.
"Another good book"
The Dowager Duchess has decided to sell off the less important family possessions. Blotto and Twinks are dispatched to help the valuer. He spies some Egyptian artifacts and in some excitement rushes back to London, leaving Blotto and Twinks alone in the attic, where they are drawn to a sarchophagus decorated with hieroglyphs. Twinks starts to translate: "Anyone who desecrates this shrine will be visited by the Pharoah's curse..." - just as Blotto prises the lid off.
The affluent seaside resort of Smalting is unaccustomed to crime. So when human remains are found beneath the floorboards of one of its beach huts, the community is awash with suspicion and fear. Amateur sleuths Carole Seddon and best friend Jude are drawn into the mystery, and their suspicion quickly falls on attractive Philly Rose, a young Londoner newly arrived in the area, whose boyfriend has recently vanished in mysterious circumstances.
When healer Jude pays a visit to Long Bamber Stables one evening - to meet her unusually equine new client and his owner Sonia Dalrymple - she does not expect to stumble across a man laying in the darkness. Co-owner of the stables, Walter Fleet, has been viciously stabbed to death. Sleuthing neighbours Jude and Carole begin to make discreet enquiries, but it soon becomes clear that Long Bamber Stables is a hotbed of dangerous passions, murderous rivalries and hidden truths.
What's your poison? Fethering residents, Jude and Carole, get more than they bargained for when a lunchtime meal in their local pub leaves everyone with food poisoning. The landlord is horrified and when a series of disasters start to befall his business it looks like it could be the end of the road for the Crown and Anchor. Left with a bad taste in their mouths - and not just from the food - the two amateur lady detectives wonder if it might just be more than a run of bad luck, which is forcing their favourite pub into bankruptcy.
Carole Seddon hates Christmas - it all seems rather a waste of time. So when her neighbour and best friend, Jude, drags her along to go shopping at a local store called Gallimaufry - she can feel her inner-Scrooge knocking. But the sales are on and even Carole can't resist a bargain. Then a few days later - Gallimaufry is burnt down and a body is discovered in the ashes. It seems like a tragic accident but no one can die of natural causes when a gun is involved.
Charles Paris returns again, in a fringe show at the Edinburgh Festival, with another nubile girl to provoke him, his accommodating wife to console him and a gory murder to challenge him. Edinburgh and the Festival are both background and foreground with Charles flitting between a production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, a ‘mixed-media’ satire, a late-night revue and his own one-man show on Thomas Hood. Then a fading pop star is murdered, there’s a bomb scare in Holyrood Palace and someone makes a suicide leap from the top of the Rock….
Carole had never had such a bad hair day! The last thing she expected when she went for a trim at 'Connie's Clip Joint' was to find the body of Kyra, Connie's assistant, in the back room, strangled. Immediately involving her friend and neighbour Jude, Carole becomes determined to investigate the death. Meanwhile Kyra's boyfriend Nathan Locke has vanished. His family, an eccentric, controlling bunch don't seem overly concerned.