A Nice Class of Corpse By Simon Brett

A nice little mystery is this one. A small boarding house cum hotel for the elderly but active on the coast of Littlehampton is the centre of the story. Our heroine, Mrs. Pargeter, is a widow who has come to stay long term. The management of the hotel maintain an air of gentility that is not welcoming to the newest arrival and she is not sure why. In fact management insists upon financial stability and a certain class of person and the hotel is run on a tight schedule. We meet all the residents of the hotel at the beginning of the story as they have all come down for afternoon tea and we begin to make opinions of each one of them.

After just a couple of days one of the guests has what seems to be an accident. Our Mrs. Pargeter is not convinced that she met with her untimely death alone. Is her arrival the reason for the death or just a coincidence? She decides to investigate and uses the tools that her late husband had left her to accomplish the task. We begin to discover what he did for a living and all the contacts he has around the country at the disposal of his widow. The death is not an isolated incident and then we are off to an exciting start of a mystery. He keeps me guessing until almost the final page! In my defense I don’t believe we are given too many clues as to the identity of the perpetrator but it was very well done. I have to say that I like the way Mr. Brett writes and the plot is not at all obvious.

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