- Title: Mrs. Pargeter’s Plot
- Author: Simon Brett
- Date Reviewed on GoodReads: 01/01/2016
Mrs. Paregeter’s Plot is a very amusing British Cozy-style mystery (set in the modern day). Mrs. Pargeter is a widow whose deceased husband ran a gang of thieves and troublemakers, who also sponsored ex-thieves into more legitimate professions that were related to their life in crime (such as the ex-getaway driver who now owns his own limo service), but Mrs. Pargeter doesn’t know any of the details of her former husband’s life, nor does she know the source of her considerable income. She simply has her dead husband’s address book of people to call in case of trouble.
This book is part of a series, but it’s the only volume I’ve read – and it was a quick read. The story begins with Mrs. Pargeter traveling out to a plot of land she inherited from her husband that she is having her dream home built on. Her builder is Concrete Jacket, one of her husband’s old friends who has gone straight. Unfortunately, before he can tour the foundations with Mrs. Pargeter, he shows her his surprise: a built-in wine cellar. Which, it turns out, is occupied with a corpse. The police arrive immediately, and Mr. Jacket is arrested. Mrs. Pargeter becomes determined to prove he didn’t do it, even though the corpse, Willie Cass, had been heard threatening Mr. Jacket earlier. Mrs. Pargeter works with a PI, named Truffler Mason and her husband’s “associates” to solve the case.
But throwing a monkey in the works is “Fossilface” O’Donahue – a former member of the gang known for both his bad luck, and being, well, an idiot that caused several members of the gang to spend time in jail – O’Donahue is back. He, however, has had a jailhouse conversion, and is determined to make “restitooshun” as he calls it for Mrs. Pargeter and the entire gang. He’s also determined to show that he’s developed a sense of humor. O’Donahue’s fiercely unhelpful activities liven up this book with both humor and surprises.
Overall, Mrs. Pargeter’s Plot was a fun British cozy. It had some interesting characters (all with improbable names), a straightforward plot, and it was very short. I enjoyed the book, and would recommend it to fans of the modern cozy. I’d also buy another book in the series. Enjoyable and fun!