Friday, June 15, 2018

Blue Murder (A Flaxborough Mystery #10)

Author:  Colin Watson
Genre:  Mystery

Hardcover; Mass Market Paperback; Digital Book
ISBN #:  9780413461308; 9780749306694
Farrago Publishing
160 Pages
Various Prices; $3.99 Digital Amazon
June 28, 2018


A peculiar pornographic movie has been wowing viewer in the Gulf.

One of the more scurrilous English Sunday papers gets a tip-off that this exotic blue production stars respected residents of the coastal town of Flaxborough, and a team led by the well-known investigative journalist Clive Grail arrives in a Rolls Royce.

Word of the looming scandal soon gets out and the town's quixotic mayor, Alderman Charlie Hockley, spurred on by the loan of some antique duelling pistols, issues a challenge to Grail!  DI Purbright's stern warning falls on deaf ears, but before the duel can take place a far more sinister fatality occurs...


When members of a newspaper come to town in order to find out which residents of Flaxborough have participated in a blue film, there is immediate outrage by the mayor.  This is fueled by the fact of an oculist who has recently purchased a pair of dueling pistols and wants to get some use out of them.  When the mayor goes to the local newspaper editor, Kimble, the oculist, Hoole, is there and they convince Mayor Hockley to challenge Clive Grail to a duel to defend the town's honor.

But while Grail has no desire to participate, he's also in a bit of a quandary.  It seems that he and the rest of his crew have watched the film, along with Kimble and one of his reporters - who informs them that there is a bit of a problem with it.  In fact, if it were to get out, Grail could be made a laughingstock.

So Grail and his cronies devise a way to exit the situation:  fake a kidnapping and demand the film never be shown - and, as his "friends" have devised among themselves without his knowledge - the added bit of a 'ransom' of fifteen thousand pounds.  But something goes terribly wrong, and that's when DI Purbright steps in...

This is another wonderful mystery from the mind of Colin Watson.  DI Purbright learns about the duel from his chief constable, Mr. Chubb, and does his best to inform the parties that it might be better if it didn't go off, being illegal and all.  But then he learns about the film and when he discovers something more fatal along the way, it is up to himself and his team of officers to try and find the truth of the matter.

It is enjoyable indeed to watch our Purbright at work as he puts the clues together, and I love this series and wish there were more (alas, it was not to be as Mr. Watson passed away in 1982).  Purbright is an intelligent man who has a way of watching people and learning things from them without even apparently trying.  The endings are not traditional, as it were, but still things are always wrapped up tidily.  However, while they can be read as stand alone novels, I suggest you begin with the first and read them in order.  Highly recommended.


More on Colin Watson's Books:

No comments:

Post a Comment

Dance of the Scarecrows (A Jonathan Wilder Mystery #1)

Author:  Ray Sipherd Genre:   Mystery Hardcover; Paperback; ISBN #:  9780312143060; 9780373262878 Worldwide Mystery 252 Pages Various...