Reading the Detectives discussion

Coffin, Scarcely Used (Flaxborough, #1)
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Buddy reads > Coffin, Scarcely Used by Colin Watson

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Susan | 10025 comments Mod
In the respectable seaside town of Flaxborough, the equally respectable councillor Harold Carobleat is laid to rest. Cause of death: pneumonia.

But he is scarcely cold in his coffin before Detective Inspector Purbright, affable and annoyingly polite, must turn out again to examine the death of Carobleat’s neighbour, Marcus Gwill, former prop. of the local rag, the Citizen. This time it looks like foul play, unless a surfeit of marshmallows had led the late and rather unlamented Mr Gwill to commit suicide by electrocution. (‘Power without responsibility’, murmurs Purbright.)

How were the dead men connected, both to each other and to a small but select band of other town worthies? Purbright becomes intrigued by a stream of advertisements Gwill was putting in the Citizen, for some very oddly named antique items…

This is the first in the Flaxborough series, a new one for the group and we hope you will join us in discussing it.

Please do not post spoilers in this thread - thank you.


Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 8960 comments Mod
This thread is now open for discussion - who is reading this book? I'm about halfway through and finding it a quick, fun read. so thanks to Rosina for suggesting this one!


Martha | 13 comments I’m also about halfway through and I’m loving the writing style and dry wit of the author. I would definitely like to continue with this series!


Sandy | 2790 comments Mod
I also love the wit and the story is interesting.


Jill (dogbotsmum) | 2062 comments I found this very slow and wordy. I thought the plot was good,but it took ages to follow it as there was a lot of repetition.


Pamela (bibliohound) | 363 comments I'll be starting this soon, once I finish Murder at Christmas. I'm interested to see what this series is like.


Rosina (rosinarowantree) | 765 comments I first read some of the Flaxborough novels when they came out - when I was a lot younger. I was really pleased to be able to revisit the sleepy (if homicidal) town thanks to Kindle. I have actually read all of them this year, but will be more than happy to re-reread along with the group, if you decide to carry on with the series.


Susan | 10025 comments Mod
I thought the beginning was particularly good, with the funeral scene. Yes, I think we definitely need to try the next book, at the very least!


Jill (dogbotsmum) | 2062 comments I will read the second book as I always think with the first the author is just getting into it. Also, as it is not until May, I may be feeling differently.


message 10: by Susan (last edited Dec 14, 2018 10:55PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Susan | 10025 comments Mod
Fair enough, Jill. I don't want to burden us with more than three Buddy Reads a month, but read on and you can still join in with the discussion.

May will be here before we know it though!


message 11: by Susan in NC (last edited Dec 17, 2018 09:12PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 2881 comments I’m about halfway through and like the detectives and the humor, but it feels a bit slow - maybe it’s the odd and very unlikable suspects- I know they’re supposed to be pillars of the community, which automatically makes me think they’re up to something! I’m hoping it will pick up for me tomorrow, and I’ll be able to get a handle on who’s behind the murder and why...


Susan | 10025 comments Mod
I agree that the beginning was better than the end.


Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 2881 comments Susan wrote: "I agree that the beginning was better than the end."

Oh, dear, that’s not very encouraging! Well, as a long-time mystery buff, I’m willing to give some leeway to a first book in a series if I like the obviously recurring characters- and in this case, I do. I’d like to try more of the series with Purbright and Love - and hopefully, this apparently demented coroner!


Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 2881 comments Jill wrote: "I will read the second book as I always think with the first the author is just getting into it. Also, as it is not until May, I may be feeling differently."

Exactly- I can forgive things in a first book if I like the premise.


message 15: by Judy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 8960 comments Mod
I'm interested to see that a seven-part TV series based on these books was made in the 1970s, Murder Most English: A Flaxborough Chronicle, starring Anton Rodgers as Inspector Purbright and Christopher Timothy as Sgt Love. There is a BBC DVD set available, so I will hope to watch it in future after reading more of the stories.


message 16: by Judy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 8960 comments Mod
I will definitely read on with these as I thought this was a lot of fun. I enjoyed the author's witty writing style.


message 17: by Ruth (new)

Ruth | 314 comments Judy wrote: "I'm interested to see that a seven-part TV series based on these books was made in the 1970s, Murder Most English: A Flaxborough Chronicle, starring Anton Rodgers as Inspector Purbright and Christo..."

I can remember enjoying this series at the time but can't remember anything about it apart from that it starred Anton Rodgers who is an actor I reaaly like.


message 18: by Susan in NC (last edited Dec 19, 2018 06:42AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 2881 comments Having read this first in the series, and seeing the promise with the humor and detectives, I’m envisioning an early Midsomer Murders (or did someone already say that? Sorry, it’s the only humorous British police procedural TV show I’m familiar with!)


Susan | 10025 comments Mod
For those interested in following on with our Midsomer Murders series, the second book (and a future Buddy Read, Death of a Hollow Man: A Midsomer Murders Mystery 2 Death of a Hollow Man (Inspector Barnaby #2) by Caroline Graham is currently 99p in the kindle sale.


message 20: by Bicky (new)

Bicky | 332 comments I found this to be a very funny book with an unsurpassed description of the undertaker and the Chief Constable could only have been appointed to his post in good old England.


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