Have I said lately how much I love Simon Brett’s mysteries? Mrs. Pargeter is a wonderful sleuth and the cast is fleshed out by a colorful, fascinating cast of characters, such as Gary the driver, Concrete Jacket the builder and his wife Tracy, Truffler the detective, Hedge clipper Clinton, Keyhole Crabbe – lock pick extraordinaire, and Fossilface. Mr. Brett’s trademark sly social humor is threaded throughout. The mystery resolves quite satisfactorily through Mrs. Pargeter’s sleuthing with the help of her deceased husband’s cohorts.
In one episode from the book, Concrete Jacket is locked up in his cell awaiting trial and Keyhole comes to visit to talk some sense into him. The only issue is that Keyhole himself is currently incarcerated in another prison:
A suspicious light came into Concrete’s eye. “‘Ere, this isn’t an escape, is it?”
His visitor was appalled by the suggestion. “Good Heavens, no. Very risky business, escape.”
“Too right,” the builder agreed. “Makes you a marked man, that does.”
Keyhole nodded. “Oh yea. Wouldn’t catch me doing it. Server your time like a good boy, no fuss, get your remission for good behavior – that’s my philosophy.”
“It’s all right to nip out for kids’ birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, that kind of number – otherwise, you just got to knuckle down and do your bird.”
Anyway – fun, well written, good mystery plot. I highly recommend Simon Brett’s books.