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by Simon Brett
Berkley Prime Crime, July 2004
345 pages
ISBN: 0425196518

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Suzy Longthorne is in a bind and she desperately needs help. Her once exclusive hotel is in need of a cash flow. After the events of September 11 she has seen bookings at her hotel drop, so in order to make good on her investment she has opened the doors of the Hopwicke Country House to the general public.

She is currently hosting a meeting of the Pillars of Sussex, an exclusive gentleman's group of business and community leaders from the area. They tend to get a bit rowdy after drinking and Suzy is short-staffed so she goes to her dear old friend Jude to see if she can help waitress the party. Jude accepts and gets more than she bargained for.

While at the hotel Jude is frazzled with all the many chores she has to do, working as a waitress, bartender, and a maid Most of the members of the Pillars of Sussex are lushes and sexist and she is forced to deal with them. She even helps a prospective member of the group back into his hotel room after he falls drunk outside. He regales Jude with all his dreams and aspirations as he hopes to join the men's organization. When, on the very next morning, he is discovered hanging from the bedpost everyone is convinced that it was suicide. All except for Jude. The man had lots of dreams and was planning on doing some great things. The last thing on his mind was suicide; Jude is convinced of it. So why is everyone in a rush to call his death suicide?

THE HANGING IN THE HOTEL is the latest alliterative entry in the English village of Feathering mysteries. The British cozy mystery series is filled with light humor, colorful characters, and outrageous situations from the lead characters in the story. Jude is a free-spirited and determined middle-aged woman who will find out the truth into the death and even involve her straight-laced neighbor Carole Seddon to help her. If you are ever killed she is the lady you want in your corner and if you are looking for a good time she should also be on your shelf. This book is jolly old fun!

Reviewed by Angel L. Soto, December 2004

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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