The Liar in the Library, the latest in the ‘Feathering Mystery’ series by Simon Brett, combines his trademark wit and dark observational humour with a tightly-plotted murder mystery into the death of a philandering author following an event at Fethering Library.

Series stalwarts Carole and Jude are back, although the focus is definitely more on Jude in this instalment as she finds herself becoming the prime suspect as a result of her previous connection with the deceased! Jude has been a bit of an enigma in the series to date so it was interesting to find out more about her and to get a book that is written more from her perspective – although I have to admit that I did enjoy the sections featuring the acerbic Carol with her dry humour and her cynicism!

The supporting characters are an eclectic bunch, with the return of fan favourites such as Ted from The Crown and Anchor, alongside some new faces from the library. One of the joys of Brett’s Fethering series is his ability to depict small-town life, with all its petty grievances and trivialities. There’s some fantastic humour in his observations and it provides a nice counterpoint to the more serious tone surrounding the investigation.

The Liar in the Library is sure to delight fans of Brett’s previous work. Although it can be read as a standalone, with the mystery being completely self-contained, I do think reading some of the earlier books in the series provides a better understanding of the characters and of the town of Fethering itself – Jude, Carole and their friends in Fethering are getting quite developed now and this is definitely a series that can provide fans of cosy mysteries with much enjoyment if started from the beginning!

Amy Louise Blaney, The Shelf of Unread Books, 4/3

The Liar in the Library by Simon Brett
Black Thorn 9781786894861 pbk Jun 2019