Name: The Liar in the Library Author: Simon Brett Genre: Crime fiction
- A local library book talk event
- The best-selling womanizing author gets killed
- Several fans and readers attended the event
- One with a hidden grudge against the author
- The only suspect is the village’s amateur sleuth
A Liar in the library is an easy afternoon read.Burton St Clair or Al Sinclair (as Jude knew him 20 years back) wrote the best-selling book “Stray leaves in Autumn”. It is for the same book he came to Fethering Library for the book talk. Jude knew him through his first wife Megan. But lost contact with both of them when they got divorced. Jude saw he didn’t change much over the years. He was always obnoxious and an adulterer. When he saw Jude, he tried to make a pass which got responded with a hard slap.
Next day she had police detectives at her doorstep, hinting her to be the primary suspect. She was the last person to see him alive.
This was the first book I read in the 18-part crime fiction series. Jude and Carole were the novice detective of the Fethering village. Jude was a healer. Carole’s was in public service (retired from the Home Office). The author described the quintessential English village, a pub called Crown and Anchor (also the gossip center of the village), the houses nearby and the library where the murder took place.
What I loved in the book were the characters, the subtle humour throughout the storyline. Jude was in Fethering after being in several professions. She is at peace with her surroundings, which convinced her to become a healer. Carole did not get as much space in the book as Jude, given the focus was on Jude being high on the suspect list. However, in situations where Carole was investigating the case on her own, she was shown witty and smart. The characters and the environment mingled well. I haven’t read the earlier books but that didn’t prevent me from admiring Jude and Carole and their uncanny partnership. In fact, I feel I should be reading the previous books in the series.
The author narrates the story in the 3rd person. The entire plot doesn’t slump even for a moment. The story developed from chapter to chapter. There were many references to the golden age crime fiction. The smaller characters have this effect. There were fine touches of contemporary issues like the general behavior towards the foreigners, homeless and drug addicts, their difficult background and diminishing of the libraries and their funding (or lack thereof). This gave a pleasant twist to the plot.
Someone who reads a crime fiction might figure out the suspect. The most appealing part was the motive of the crime. The other interesting part was indulging the reader in reading another book (within this book). I loved the clever try by the author which was successful.
The book is a delightful read with reminisces of the golden age and elements of contemporary crime fiction novels.
My rating for the book: 4.5 stars
Thank you NetGalley and Blackthorn books for giving this ARC in exchange for my honest review.