Originally published in 1960, this rerelease of the second in the Flaxborough Chronicles from Colin Watson is on the blog today – another classic British mystery featuring DI Purbright on yet another case, this one a bit further from home in
Bump in the Night
A series of small Tuesday night explosions are wreaking minor havoc in neighboring Chalmsbury: a fountain, a statue and a large glass “eye” in the town have been the targets. Pulbright has been brought in to solve the case, and there are no end to the potential culprits or charm in this story. Funnily enough, the chief of police in Chalmsbury is always away on a Tuesday – ostensibly at the civil defense center. But when the next explosion brings a death, and explosives are found hidden In the same place that the chief is….the questions abound.
From the local prankster to various eccentrics in the town, Pulbright is steadily interviewing, gathering facts and impressions, and working his way to a conclusion. Characters drawn with a sly, often surprising sense of the absurd, humor and a sharp eye for character abound – from overeager reporters to overly snobby hotel staff: no character is untouched by the keen wit and sharply clever prose. That is, in fact, the joy in these stories for the flow and language add to the reader’s visualization and enjoyment, and in this one at least, the culprit was easy to suss out. 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. If you enjoy a British murder mystery, particularly those that harken back to the ‘good old days’, this is a series to put on your shelf.
Title: Bump in the Night
Author: Colin Watson
Series: Flaxborough Chronicles #2
Also in this series: Coffin Scarcely Used, Hopjoy Was Here, Lonelyheart 4122
Genre: Contemporary Cozy Mystery, Historic Elements, Setting: Britain
Published by: Farrago
Published on: 8 March, 2018 (re-release)
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo
Tuesday nights have suddenly turned quite ridiculously noisy in the country town of Chalmsbury, where the good folk are outraged at having their rest disturbed.
It begins with a drinking fountain being blown to smithereens – next the statue of a local worthy loses his head, and the following week a giant glass eye is exploded. Despite the soft-soled sleuthing of cub reporter Len Leaper, the crime spate grows alarming.
Sheer vandalism is bad enough, but when a life is lost the amiable Inspector Purbright, called in from nearby Flaxborough to assist in enquiries, finds he must delve deep into the seamier side of this quiet town’s goings on.
Witty and a little wicked, Colin Watson’s tales offer a mordantly entertaining cast of characters and laugh-out-loud wordplay.
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: