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Bump in the Night

(Flaxborough Chronicles #2)

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  375 ratings  ·  71 reviews

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 repo

Kindle Edition, 190 pages
Published March 8th 2018 by Farrago (first published 1960)
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4.12  · 
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Jun 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Bump in the Night by Colin Watson is a 2018 Farrago publication. (First published in 1960)

The Flaxborough Chronicles by Colin Watson is a mystery series, which began in 1958 and ran through the mid-1980s. Farrago has reissued the series in digital format and has given the covers a new and improved look.

I had never heard of this author or series until I discovered them on Netgalley a while back. What a terrific find!

In this second installment, the country town of Chalmsbury is experiencing a sp
Richard Derus
Jun 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindled
Real Rating: 4.75* of five

It feels puling somehow to knock off a quarter star rating this quiet procedural that bears the same copyright date that I do. My weak little bleat of dissatisfaction is that I despise Larch and missed Purbright, who is nowhere to be found in the entire first half of the book.

But it's again an old-fashioned tale of morality and punitive cruelty, more so than the first Flaxborough outing. The central mystery is not, as one expects from Watson, the one he's assigned to s
Kirsty ❤️
Mar 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was just delightful. I love classic crime; detectives solving crimes without the tricks of modern day technology and this book gave me everything I wanted. There's a lovely sense of humour running through it. 

I was surprised these were actually written in the 60s. Watson doesn't feel as well known as other authors of the time and that's a shame. There's a typical sense of Englishness about the book. It's set a couple of decades after WW2 and hosts a lovely and somewhat unique cast of charac
Feb 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Bump in the Night is the second book in the Flaxborough Mystery series being republished by UK publisher Farrago. It was originally published in 1960 and is quite a nice little glimpse into British village life of that era. Colin Watson (1920-1983) had a delightfully fun way of writing, spearing each of his often stuffy, pompous characters with incisive descriptions. The mystery in this police procedural keeps you guessing right up to the end, which I quite appreciated. A fun, quick read with hu ...more
Jun 10, 2019 rated it liked it
This is the second in the Flaxborough mystery series, which was first published in 1960. It is set in the nearby town of Chalmsbury, which suddenly sees a number of explosions – including a park fountain and the head of a statue. The local police are seen as not doing enough to discover the person behind these disturbing events and a deputation are sent to demand action, resulting in Inspector Purbright, from Flaxborough C.I.D. being called in to investigate.

This mystery is full of eccentric cha
Jun 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Book two finished in record time, I am absolutely loving the Flaxborough series. Fantastically written, wonderfully engineered. Onto book three....
Sid Nuncius
Feb 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Bump In the Night is the second book of the Flaxborough series (after Coffin, Scarcely Used) and if anything I enjoyed it even more than the first. This time, a series of small nocturnal explosions destroys a drinking fountain, a statue and the like in Chalmsbury, and eventually Inspector Purbright is called in from neighbouring Flaxborough to investigate as matters become more serious.

It's a decent plot which maintains interest (although I'd spotted the culprit well before Purbright did), but
Susan in NC
Jun 22, 2019 rated it liked it
I liked the quirky characters and humor and would read more by this author. I was distracted by some other things and didn’t rush back to the book, but that may have been more “wrong book, wrong time”. The writing is very funny, farcical and clever, and the mystery well done and made sense, once it was all out in the open - I just had begun to lose interest. Again, that’s me, not the author- this is his second mystery I’ve read, I’d read another for the humor.
Mar 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018, crime
Skulduggery in Middle England...

Chalmsbury is normally a quiet town with at least a veneer of respectability. So it's a bit of a shock when the residents have their sleep disturbed one Tuesday night when somebody blows up the local drinking fountain. A prankster, is the general feeling, but when on the following Tuesday a statue unfortunately loses its head in another blast, people want the police to get to the bottom of it before more damage is done. The problem is the local Inspector is friend
Sep 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Another enjoyable mystery by Colin Watson starring Inspector Purbright. I like how Watson portrays the different kinds of people, showing us both who they appear to be and who they really are. And Purbright is the best--I can be confident he will never just settle for the easy answer, but will always find the truth.

Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me a free e-ARC of this book.
Lis Carey
Apr 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, arcs, mystery
The town of Chalmsbury experiences a series of explosions that blow up monuments and landmarks, and the small town's police force is making no progress. Flaxborough loans DI Purbright to conduct an investigation--one perhaps less hampered by being personally connected, for good or ill, to every possible suspect.

Police chief Hector Larch is married to Hilda, daughter of Councilman Pointer. Local haulage magnate Stan Biggadyke is having an affair with Hilda, and last year, had a car accident that
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 sa ...more
Jul 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Columbo In England?

Why, I asked myself, does Inspector Purbright seem so very familiar? And it came to me finally that the unfailingly polite but politely insistent Inspector Columbo, as immortalized by Peter Falk, was very closely based on this character! The gentle humor and clever plots were also borrowed in style, if not in fact, from this same source. Of course, these Tales are not set in Southern California but rather in small village England with his own set of rules and mannerisms as mo
A thoroughly pleasurable book that knows exactly what it is and never pretends to be anything else. It’s amusing, witty, well-written, even a little touching in the end. Perfect relax-my-brain-while-buried-in-grading kind of reading.
Linda Baker
Things are generally peaceful in the country town of Chelmsford until one Tuesday night when a municipal drinking fountain is blown up. On succeeding Tuesday nights, a statue of a local worthy loses its head in an explosion, and a local oculist loses his treasured premises sign which features a giant glass eye. Oddly enough the chief of police in Chelmsford is always away on Tuesday nights at the civil defense center. The town has its prime suspect, prankster and almost universally disliked Stan ...more
Venetia Breakwell
Aug 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Procedural crime novels from a different era; I'm so pleased that I fell across this character driven series!
Mar 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018-read
What a marvelous idea it was to re-release this series. Those of us who did not read it the first time around can now experience the joy of visiting Flaxborough, and I'm ready to visit for a long time.

Bump in the Night is the second in the Flaxborough Mystery series by Colin Watson. The time is around 1957 or 1958. The place is the English village of Flaxborough and the surrounding countryside. We are back with Inpector Purbright, who cleared up that brothel and butchery business last year, but
Christine Cody
Jul 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As I continue my retirement goal, to read blissfully and almost non-stop through the hundreds of wonderful mysteries written over the past 90 years, it still amazes me when I "discover" another great writer I had never heard of, one that seems to have remained unknown to many, if not most, people. Unlike Agatha Christie, who continues to be the first name people mention when speaking of 20th-century mysteries, Colin Watson is one of many talented and clever authors whose name seldom arises in co ...more
Elaine Tomasso
Feb 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 neighbouring town of Chalmbury is experiencing some strange events with various well known landmarks being blown up. As DCI Larch doesn't seem to be taking it very seriously the Chief Constable sends Inspector Purbright to take a different angle on these explosions.

I thoroughly enjoyed A Bump in the Nig
Feb 10, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, mystery
First published 60 years ago in England, the Flaxborough Chronicles feature Inspector Purbright in the quiet town of Flaxborough. In his second adventure, Purbright is sent to the nearby town of Chalmsbury to look into a series of bombings. First a memorial water fountain was demolished in an explosion, then the head was removed from a statue with another bomb, and an antique optometrist's sign was blown to smithereens. Who could be doing this and what are their motives? The local police chief d ...more
Feb 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Replete with red herrings, BUMP IN THE NIGHT is the second book in the Flaxborough Mystery series. Originally published in 1959, it is another kinder, gentler, more polite police procedural where folks call each other Mister so-and-so or, in the case of policemen, by their rank as in Mr. Purbright or Inspector.

Once again, I am compelled to note that reading this series is much like watching BBC offerings like "Midsomer Murders" or "Father Brown." I have often commented that Midsomer is a really
Aug 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"High the very apotheosis of un-Englishness," or so declares Inspector Purbright in Bump in the Night, Colin Watson's second volume in the Flaxborough Mystery serices.

Watson, who wrote his novels in the 1960s, focused on the traditional British mystery, with twelve of them set in the fictional city of Flaxborough. In this novel, Purbright is loaned to a nearby small town constabulary to solve a string of bombings--three in all--that have proven most unsettling to the town worthies
Jun 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Originally published on my blog: Nonstop Reader.

Bump in the Night is the second Flaxborough mystery by author Colin Watson. Originally published in 1960, this is a reformatting and re-release by Farrago books.

The Flaxborough mysteries are wryly humorous with some wickedly funny subtle bits. This book especially has aged very well and reads like a much more modern book but still with the English country village atmosphere.

Inspector Purbright is likable, if a bit plodding, but he gets there in t
Mar 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Time for another visit to Flaxborough County! This is book 2 in the series and this time around we have a serial bomber in the village of Chalmesbury. After 3 bomb attacks the local council requests the help of Inspector Purbright in tracking down the perpetrator. But just as he’s getting started a 4th bomb results in a murder. Turns out not many people liked the victim and the list of suspects includes just about everybody. Purbright must use all his cunning to sort out the facts from the rumor ...more
May 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, 2018
This is the second entry in Colin Watson’s Flaxborough series featuring Inspector Purbright. It can easily be read as a stand-alone.
Chalmsbury residents are awakened by a loud noise. A memorial fountain has been destroyed by a small bomb. Most dismiss this as an unpleasant prank...but every Tuesday another structure is blown up. Finally the incredibly-named Stanley Biggadyke is killed by an explosion, and the case becomes serious.
Chief Inspector Larch, the heavy-handed, obnoxious but not stupid
Feb 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thank you to NetGalley and Farrago for the advance digital review copy.

Another neatly written and enjoyable instalment in the Flaxborough Chronicles and another triumph for the investigative powers of Inspector Purbright who has been dispatched to Chalmsbury to look into a series of mysterious “blowings-up”.

When the fourth explosion results in a death, has the mystery been solved…or not? Purbright’s gentle persistence, and refusal to accept the obvious, leads to the solution and a rather melanch
Amy Gennaro
Thank you to NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for a candid review.

If you like quaint mysteries, this book might appeal to you. I thought that this would be one of those books where you fall in love with the cast of quirky characters. But I struggled to even finish reading this book. There were not really any characters that I liked. They were just weird and unlikeable.

But the biggest problem that I had with this book is that the real solving of the mystery did not begin until after the half way
Mar 13, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook, netgalley
I received a copy of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley.

This is the second of the Flaxborough series and I found it far less enjoyable than the fourth (Lonelyheart 4122) - I am reading them out of order. Here a series of explosions demolishes a statue, a fountain and an optician's sign. The initial investigation is carried out by an Inspector Larch. 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
Lin L Barrett
Dec 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Racously funny in the manner of the best British mysteries

Which is to say, sharply observed from a psychological point of view, and written very precisely. Colin Watson's turns of phrase are rarely obtrusive, but still very enjoyable. His plots are never tedious or overwrought, but rather finely crafted.
On the other hand, it's rather easy to see why his work has been eclipsed over the years. It is almost, not quite, in the style of a cozy mystery. The semi-cozy style combined with a story which
Richard Newbold
Jan 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another provincial run out for the good natured, slightly bumbling Detective Inspector Purbright, this time away from Flaxborough in the neighbouring town of Chalmsbury, which has experienced a rash of seemingly minor explosive acts of vandalism, before the suspected perpetrator is consigned to oblivion in what at first seems a self-induced accident. Rereading that sentence, the time of the writing and the scene setting (the early 1960s) seem a long ago more innocent place, though Colin Watson d ...more
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Colin Watson was educated at the Whitgift School in South Croydon, London. During his career as a journalist he worked in London and Newcastle-on-Tyne, where he was a leader-writer for Kemsley Newspapers.

His book Hopjoy Was Here (1962) received the Silver Dagger Award. He was married, with three children, and lived in Lincolnshire. After retiring from journalism he designed silver jewellery.

As wel

Other books in the series

Flaxborough Chronicles (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • Coffin, Scarcely Used (Flaxborough, #1)
  • Hopjoy Was Here (Flaxborough Chronicles, #3)
  • Lonelyheart 4122 (Flaxborough Chronicles, #4)
  • Charity Ends at Home (Flaxborough Chronicles, #5)
  • Just What the Doctor Ordered (Flaxborough Chronicles, #6)
  • Broomsticks Over Flaxborough (Flaxborough Chronicles, #7)
  • Six Nuns and a Shotgun (Flaxborough Chronicles, #8)
  • It Shouldn't Happen to a Dog (Flaxborough Chronicles, #9)
  • Blue Murder (Flaxborough Chronicles, #10)
  • Plaster Sinners (Flaxborough Chronicles, #11)