The ebullient, amusing, and sixtyish Melita Pargeter ( Mrs. Presumed Dead, LJ 4/1/89), widow of a talented and much-loved ex-con, takes the waters at a health spa in order to help a friend. Melita starts snooping, however, when she spies men removing a body in the dead of night. Still, using the services of her late husband's criminal cronies, Melita courts disaster as she nears the truth. The author's wry tone, coupled with Melita's cheek, will make everyone want to visit. This is up to Brett's usual high standards.
"British cozy" is the perfect term for this whimsically humorous story about the strange goings-on at a British health spa. It's easy to picture Angela Lansbury in the title role of Melita Pargeter, whose mild, pleasant manner and grandmotherly demeanor mask a mind like a steel trap, a cool head, and a wily intelligence; she's nobody's fool, thank you very much. In this episode, when Mrs. Pargeter and her younger friend, Kim, visit a health spa, Mrs. Pargeter is pleasantly surprised to find a friend of her husband's in charge. But there are some very odd and unsavory activities taking place amongst the Dead Sea Mud Baths and the "Mind Over Fatty Matter" exercise classes. Imagine Mrs. Pargeter's shock when two dead bodies turn up! Still, she's not about to let anyone get by with murder, and once she begins to investigate, the criminals don't have a chance. In short, a delightfully appealing assortment of characters, witty dialogue, original plot, and some rapier-sharp digs at the current health-and-fitness craze make this an entertaining read.