Bump in the Night
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...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
This mystery is full of eccentric cha ...more
It's a decent plot which maintains interest (although I'd spotted the culprit well before Purbright did), but ...more
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 ...more
Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me a free e-ARC of this book.
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 ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more