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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

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4.3 out of 5
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  • Witty, wicked - and delightful mystery!

    What an amazing discovery of this delightful book by Colin Watson, and how wonderful to learn there are more where this came from. This is an old-style British police procedural with good, solid detective work that takes place in the respectable seaside town of Flaxborough in 1957 or 1958. It is a little gentler and more slow-paced than today's non-stop-action thrillers, but that does not mean it is in any way lacking in suspense, complex plotting, well-developed characters, or a seemingly endless supply of ingenious ways to die. Prominent citizens of Flaxborough are dropping like flies, and it falls to Detective Inspector Purbright and his team to figure out what is going on. Suicide? Accident? Murder? There are clues aplenty, but they don't always lead in the right direction. And just when you think you've got your suspect, he dies. The ending is a surprise, believable but unexpected and a marvelous lead-in for the next book in the series. And if nothing at all happened in the storyline, the language alone would be worth a read. It is droll and dry and funny, sometimes laugh out loud funny. I often found myself doing a double-take at some particularly outrageous turn of phrase, or just stopping to read a sentence or paragraph over and over just because the wording was so devilishly clever. I received a copy of Coffin Scarcely Used from NetGally and Farrago Books. I loved it, and am on my way to read Bump in the Night, the second book in the series, right now.

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  • Loved this book!

    A fantastic ‘cozy’ read enjoyable from start to finish. I am already reading the next in the series and have purchased several more. If you are a fan of Ngaio Marsh, Dorothy Sayers, Margery Allingham and/or Georgette Heyer the chances are very high you will love this well written and witty mystery.

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  • Wickedly funny

    More wickedly funny criminal antics in Flaxborough. Cheerfully salacious goings on mixed with murder, misappropriations & even a little blackmail cause me to chuckle after rereading yet again. Remember the Flaxborough novels date from the days before political correctness & enjoy their robust humour & merry mayhem!

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  • Classic Crime Fiction with a light touch

    Colin Watson was a well-known writer of crime fiction set in the fictional small town of Flaxborough during the late 1950's. Farrago Books is bringing back new editions of the series beginning in February. For those who have an interest in British crime fiction, Coffin Scarcely Used is a treat. The town of Flaxborough is filled with quirky characters, both likable and unlikable. The main character, Inspector Purbright, is perhaps not the most charismatic but provides gentle humor and a dogged determination to solve the case. There are more twists and turns in the investigation of the related deaths that I could count. It kept me on my toes and I have to admit, I did not see the solution coming! Thanks to Farrago and NetGalley for an advance copy. The opinions are my own.

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    1 person found this review helpful

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  • Entertaining read. Neatly funny and clever.

    I ordered another Watson read. Well written and entertaining.

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