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Mrs. Pargeter's Pound of Flesh (Crime, Penguin) Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Penguin Books
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140234853
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140234855
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 10.8 x 17.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 113 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Format: Hardcover
Mrs. Pargeter is at a health spa, but she does not seem to dislike her body. The health spa business relies upon the emotions of guilt and envy. Mrs. Pargeter and her friend Kim Thurrocks are attending gratis. The late Mr. Pargeter had had business connections with the owner. Mrs. Pargeter is not inclined to eat the diet food. Eating creme brulee pleases the chef.
There are shady characters at the spa, but only Mrs. Pargeter seems to notice and she is not concerned. She witnesses an overly thin girl being wheeled from the premises. She hires a detective to find some answers. The supposed decedent is an only child. The detective has the name of Truffler Mason. At the spa the Dead Sea Mud Bath treatment is based on a book. The difficulty with mud is keeping it muddy. The basement of the place is divided into cubicles for the mud treatment.
The boyfriend of the university student, the thin girl, is located. Eventually Mrs. Pargeter travels to Cambridge to interview some of the girl's fellow students. At the spa the customers aree dressed in Mind over Fatty Matter leotards. These costumes accentuate their bulges.
Mrs. Pargeter discovers an employee disabled by the mud and finds the response of the physician suspicious. Mr. Pargeter had been involved in questionable schemes and so Mrs. Pargeter's frame of reference is broad-based, liberal. It is discovered a whole line of goods has emerged from the concept of Mind over Fatty Matter. Mrs. Pargeter uses an investigative journalist to challenge the creator of the concept in search of clues to explain the doubtful scenes she has encountered at the spa.
Along the way it is discovered that the owner of the spa, Arkwright, acually belongs to a Rotary Club. It turns out an experimental treatment to alter body shape underlies the problems at the spa. The writing is accomplished and merry.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 8 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
A frothy delight Dec 25 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book is, in a word, delightful. Mrs. Pargeter, she of the comfortably ample physique, checks into a posh "fat farm" with her friend Kim, who wants to shed a few pounds before her husband is released from an obligatory, er, engagement. I was perfectly willing to suspend all logical objections to the rather thin plot, as Mrs. Pargeter and her late husband's cronies enchanted me. I'm not generally a fan of the British cosy, but this one kept me reading late into the evening; and if it hadn't been Christmas eve, I'd have rushed out to find a few more of Mrs. Pargeter's adventures to sustain myself over the coming long weekend.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Fat Farm, Death Farm Sept. 14 2010
By Nash Black - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
MRS. PARGETER'S POUND OF FLESH by Simon Brett is a special diet of fun and murder for the widowed lady who in a moment of weakness agreed to accompany a friend to a famous weight loss spa.
She was getting a much needed rest without following the dietary counsel until she sees a young girl's body being wheeled away on a gurney. Then her nose twitches as she finds herself on a quest for justice.
Nash Black, author of TRAVELERS.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A gem. May 10 2012
By New books - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Delighted to have found Mrs Pargeter after many years. I read them all way back and am rediscovering them. Simon Brett is a master.
A Canterbury Crime
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
The difficulty with mud is keeping it muddy June 21 2004
By Mary E. Sibley - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Mrs. Pargeter is at a health spa, but she does not seem to dislike her body. The health spa business relies upon the emotions of guilt and envy. Mrs. Pargeter and her friend Kim Thurrocks are attending gratis. The late Mr. Pargeter had had business connections with the owner. Mrs. Pargeter is not inclined to eat the diet food. Eating creme brulee pleases the chef.
There are shady characters at the spa, but only Mrs. Pargeter seems to notice and she is not concerned. She witnesses an overly thin girl being wheeled from the premises. She hires a detective to find some answers. The supposed decedent is an only child. The detective has the name of Truffler Mason. At the spa the Dead Sea Mud Bath treatment is based on a book. The difficulty with mud is keeping it muddy. The basement of the place is divided into cubicles for the mud treatment.
The boyfriend of the university student, the thin girl, is located. Eventually Mrs. Pargeter travels to Cambridge to interview some of the girl's fellow students. At the spa the customers aree dressed in Mind over Fatty Matter leotards. These costumes accentuate their bulges.
Mrs. Pargeter discovers an employee disabled by the mud and finds the response of the physician suspicious. Mr. Pargeter had been involved in questionable schemes and so Mrs. Pargeter's frame of reference is broad-based, liberal. It is discovered a whole line of goods has emerged from the concept of Mind over Fatty Matter. Mrs. Pargeter uses an investigative journalist to challenge the creator of the concept in search of clues to explain the doubtful scenes she has encountered at the spa.
Along the way it is discovered that the owner of the spa, Arkwright, acually belongs to a Rotary Club. It turns out an experimental treatment to alter body shape underlies the problems at the spa. The writing is accomplished and merry.
Funny and murderous April 20 2008
By Roger Long - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
In this book Simon Brett does for diet fadism what Evelyn Waugh did for the phony funeral business in "The Loved One." Both books are well written, dead serious (pardon the adjective pun) and funny all at the same time. Mrs. Pargeter is no Mrs. Pollifax, another 60ish widow who gets involved in solving crimes. At first I expected and feared Mrs. Pargeter would ape her American counterpart. But Mrs. Pargeter comes from a very strangely checkered background. whereas Pollifax is a lily white--but tough--garden clubber.

The plot of "Pound of Flesh" is not spectacular. It's the clever language that holds the readers attention, not the masterful unraveling of crime. It all begins at a very phony "fat farm" where our heroine and her friend are registered. Nothing there and no employees there are quite what they hold themselves out to be. And soon Mrs. Pargeter is involved in (dare I say, without giving away the plot?) murder.

There are paragraphs that I liked so much that I had to go back and read again right away. Mud from a backyard pond is smeared on guests and told it is mystical Dead Sea residue. Sargasso Seaweed, with which guests are flogged, is just pond weeds from the same backyard. Gourmet meals consist of lettuce and cottage cheese. Weaving through it is a mean diet telly guru woman, the likes of which we have seen too often on American TV. And all this is for starters.

Mystery fans and humor fans and just fans of good writing will like this one a whole bunch.

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