Bringing the sensibilities of a Christie novel, the story is about uncovering a motive and reason, rather than focusing on the more salacious elements of gore, gunshots and fast-paced chases. There's a good deal to gossip about — everything from drunk driving to murky business dealings to marital infidelity goes on regularly, and everyone knows everyone else's business. As well as a series of humorous detective novels set in the imaginary town of Flaxborough, featuring Inspector Purbright, Watson also wrote and later revised a study of detective stories and thrillers called Snobbery with Violence. Funnily enough, the chief of police in Chalmsbury is always away on a Tuesday - ostensibly at the civil defense center. The weapon of destruction is dynamite, which turns out to be home-made, and there is an interesting little puzzle of a poem that is a mash-up of Ben Jonson and Emily Dickinson. The plot is tricky enough to hold the reader's interest but it is the farcical nature of the initial scenario which brings the humour - the blowing up of a water fountain. The locals of Chalmsbury are a tight knit lot.
It was hard to warm to Larch and Inspector Purbright, whom I know from the fourth instalment and who is much more relatable, did not appear until the half-way mark. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility. The characters are almost caricatures of small town life. Colin Watson 1920-1983 had a delightfully fun way of writing, spearing each of his often stuffy, pompous characters with incisive descriptions. Watson had a wonderful mastery of the English language and the book is very witty and reveals a dry sense of humor.
Like many series, the books improve for the first two or three, hit a peak in the middle of the series, and then tail off a little towards the end, but even the less good ones are still way ahead of most of the competition. His book Hopjoy Was Here 1962 received the Silver Dagger Award. Colin Watson 1920—1983 was a British writer of and the creator of characters such as Inspector Purbright and Lucilla Teatime. The plot premise was probably fairly ingenious and perhaps a bit risqué at the time of writing but can now be regarded as rather standard but it's well done and held my interest throughout. Watson doesn't feel as well known as other authors of the time and that's a shame. Police chief Hector Larch is married to Hilda, daughter of Councilman Pointer.
Desk Sergeant Worple retaliates by being as unhelpful as he can be - you can just hear it in your head - you've either been there or done that. I'm beginning to think of Flaxborough in the same way. The book got more engaging at that point. Review first appeared at Columbo In England? It is the conversations and the people involved that makes this book very interesting to read. It was originally published in 1960 and is quite a nice little glimpse into British village life of that era. The town is populated with run-of-the-mill characters - wine merchant, haulage broker, optician, jeweler, theatre manager, newpaper editor and reporter, park keeper, as well as some not so run-of the mill: the rhymer, the chronic confessor, the genially promiscuous woman, the fit thrower, and the kleptomaniacal housekeeper.
It has a slower, gentler pace, with an arch sense of humor lurking in the corners. Bump in the Night is set in a town nearby to Flaxborough, named Chalmsbury. And Pointer, being the un likeable chap that he is, gets his petty little revenge after hanging up on the police by slamming his wife's bedroom door to scare her, and then pretending to be asleep when she comes to tell him she heard something. On one occasion two glass decanters are rendered extremely cheap when she casually transfers the stoppers to a tray of miscellaneous items, which she then bids for as well. This is a police procedural series from the late 1950s and early 1960s. Who could be doing this and what are their motives? The great oceans of feeling that we're always immersed in do not give themselves readily to superficial knowledge; the urge to view surfaces as representative of entireties is one of humanity's most egregious idiocies. The time is around 1957 or 1958.
To look but not see is a cliche for a reason. Here a series of explosions demolishes a statue, a fountain and an optician's sign. I thoroughly enjoyed A Bump in the Nig I would like to thank Netgalley and Farrago for an advance copy of A Bump in the Night, the second novel in the Flaxborough series to feature Inspector Purbright, originally published in 1962. The solution seems perfectly obvious from early on, so you can be sure that won't turn out to be the real one in the end. I have no doubt that I shall read the whole Flaxborough series as they are reissued, and I'm looking forward to them enormously. Originally published on my blog:. There are so many twists and turns and it kept me guessing right until the end.
The townspeople know him too well, however, to be bullied. The spine may show signs of wear. Underneath all the humour and light social commentary, there's an excellent plot, full of motives, alibis and clues, and it's not long before the destruction of property escalates to a death and a murder investigation. Colin Watson died in 1983. It's an enjoyable denial mechanism. Oddly enough the chief of police in Chelmsford is always away on Tuesday nights at the civil defense center. In that town, the original Victorian police station - complete with huge wooden hooks in the walls for the sergeants' horses' saddles - had only been replaced by a new police station four years earlier, in 1974.
A couple of brief passages may give you a flavour. It was hard to warm to Larch and Inspector Purbright, whom I know from the fourth instalment and who is much more relatable, did not appear I received a copy of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley. I especially enjoy reading his interrogation scenes, almost none of which take place in a police station. Bump in the Night is the second in the Flaxborough Mystery series by Colin Watson. Either because I'm bored, or I just don't realize it's a joke.
These portrayals stop, cleverly, just short of caricature. The Flaxborough mysteries are wryly humorous with some wickedly funny subtle bits. I loved the first book in the A Flaxborough Mystery Series: Coffin, Scarcely Used and was eager to get to book 2: Bump in the Night. They work beautifully as whodunnits but it's really the world he creates and populates. So suddenly Inspector Purbright from the neighbouring town of Flaxborough finds himself drafted in. The shocked and entertained locals discuss the events for a few chapters before the police chief, Inspector Hector Larch, becomes involved. Biggadyke's long history of malicious pranks includes having tormented Barrington Hoole, local optometrist, since their school days.