03 January 2013

Court Tennis Corpse, Of Course

The mystery of why some people fetishize Real Tennis — not, you'll probably be surprised to learn, the tennis reality you are likely aware of — is a small part of the mystery driving The Corpse on the Court — perhaps this generation's best mystery featuring real/royal/court tennis (n.b., typed with nary a jot of checking to see if there are any others).

Simon Brett's fourteenth (British town) Fethering tale is set in motion by a new lover and an older gent, dead and prone in the middle of the real tennis court, the high ceilinged, four-wall enclosure used for this version of the "game of kings." There's some coincidence of investigations, a long forgotten and perhaps forever unread memoir and, ultimately, a happy-ever-after ending (in the police procedural/cozy sort of manner), which never quite manages to sell the allure of the sport ... which the author does acknowledge by letting a protagonist doze off mid-rule reading.

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