Pignon Scorbion & the Barbershop Detectives
The year is 1910, and in the small and seemingly sleepy English municipality of Haxford, there’s a new chief police inspector. At first, the dapper and unflappable Pignon Scorbion strikes something of an odd figure among the locals, who don’t see a need for such an exacting investigator. But it isn’t long before Haxford finds itself very much in need of a detective.
Luckily, Scorbion and the local barber are old acquaintances, and the barbershop employs a cast of memorable characters who—together with an aspiring young ace reporter for the local Morning News—are nothing less than enthralled by the enigmatic new chief police inspector.
Investigating a trio of crimes whose origins span three continents and half a century, Pignon Scorbion and his “tonsorial sleuths” interview a parade of interested parties, but with every apparent clue, new surprises come to light. And just as it seems nothing can derail Scorbion’s cool head and almost unerring nose for deduction, in walks Thelma Smith—dazzling, whip-smart, and newly single.
Has Pignon Scorbion finally met his match?
For fans of Sherlock Holmes and Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot, author Rick Bleiweiss’s quirky new detective and ensemble cast of characters set against the backdrop of small-town England in the 1910s, will feel both comfortingly familiar and thrillingly new.
Set in 1910 England, Bleiweiss's entertaining debut introduces Chief Police Insp. Pignon Scorbion, who's newly stationed in the small town of Haxford, where he renews his friendship with barber Calvin Brown. While getting his hair cut, Scorbion learns that a young man named Jonathan Bentine has appeared out of the blue to claim that retired linen merchant Mortimer Gromley fathered him out of wedlock. That shocking accusation naturally disrupts the Gromley household, and Scorbion chooses to resolve the question from his chair in Brown's establishment, turning the barbershop into his temporary office. Other mysteries follow, including the murder of a man who built stilts for a circus act. The barbershop's customers and employees help investigate. A few false notes, such as Scorbion befriending Dr. Watson at "a meeting that paired those engaged in the art of detection with practitioners of witchcraft," a gathering Sherlock Holmes's colleague would be unlikely to attend, scarcely matter. Bleiweiss does a solid job of establishing his lead as a well-rounded character capable of sustaining a series. Golden age fans appreciative of a light approach to traditional tropes will be eager for a sequel.
A Must Read Mystery
I have always admired and respected Rick as a record executive. I never knew that he was a gifted author until I read his book Pignon Scorbion and the Barbershop Detectives.
I don’t usually read mysteries, but I was drawn to this one because I wanted to support Rick in his creative endeavor as he was so instrumental in supporting me in my music career.
I couldn’t put the book down. I loved reading it and was so impressed how he wrote this period piece using the words and phrases of the times.
A well deserved congratulations Rick Bleiweiss. The book is sensational. Brilliant writing. I am sure that everyone will enjoy this book and recommend it to all.