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  • The Match.com of the '60's can be murder!

    Thanks to NetGalley and Farrago Publishing for the advanced review copy of Lonelyheart 4122, the fourth book in the Flaxborough Chronicles, and the opportunity to once again visit the English village of Flaxborough and watch police Inspector Purbright and Sergeant Love at work. As the story opens, it’s 1967 and Purbright and Love are investigating the disappearances of two older women of some means. The only connection they can find between the two women is the Handclasp House Marriage Bureau. Handclasp House is a local dating agency owned and (seemingly very discretely and thoroughly) managed by Mr. & Mrs. Staunch. Privacy is ensured: clients are referred to by assigned numbers only and all correspondence goes through Handclasp House. While conducting interviews at Handclasp House, they meet Miss Lucilla Edith Cavell Teatime, possibly another potential victim. But is she? Just what exactly is she up to? And who is Lonelyheart 4122? The Flaxborough Chronicles are old school British police procedurals beginning in about 1957. Every story has been a bit different; this one doesn’t have so much focus on the townspeople, but Purbright and Love can capably carry the story through, and Miss Teatime is a delightful addition to the cast of characters. She is not at all what she seems, and each chapter reveals a little more about her character, and adds a little more confusion to her agenda. The mysteries are solid, with detailed police work, eccentric and quirky supporting characters, and a sprinkling of clues and red herrings thrown in for Purbright and Love (and you) to work with to try and solve the crime. The writing is superb but the absolute best thing about the Flaxborough Chronicles is Colin Watson's way with the words; his clever use of language will have you feeling as if you are there with the characters, immersed in the scene. They are that vivid, and often laugh out loud funny – once you realize what outrageous statement or observation he disguised in everyday words. I am hooked on this series. You will be too, and if you haven’t yet read them I advise you to start at the beginning, so you don’t miss a thing. I received a copy of Lonelyheart 4122 from the publisher via NetGalley.

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  • Terrific

    A real zing to the writing, super characters and a clever and satisfying plot - what a thoroughly witty and enjoyable book. I only wish it hadn’t finished quite so suddenly; but I can see why the author wanted to stop on that punchline

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  • Fun read

    Watson has a unique style with funny dialogue and unusual characters. English slang mixed with early 1960s country town makes all his books totally different from more gruesome detective procedurals today. Not cozy but crazy. Start with his first one.

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