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…
Witty and a little wicked, Colin Watson's tales offer a mordantly entertaining cast of characters and laugh-out-loud wordplay.
Nice and cosy
Both a police procedural and a nice cosy mystery. A good story that left me guessing. Nice wrap up and a little unexpected twist at the end of not just whodunnit. This is slower paced than more modern story and relies on the intelligence of the modern reader who understands the difference between 20th and 21st century crime solving techniques.
I look forward to the rest of the series.