Sunday, May 18, 2008

Lonelyheart 4122 by Colin Watson

First line: Arthur Henry Spain, butcher, of Harlow Place, Flaxborough, awoke one morning from a dream in which he had been asking all his customers how to spell 'phlegm' and thought - quite inconsequentially: I haven't seen anything of Lilian lately.

Inspector Purbright is investigating the disappearance of two respectable middle aged ladies. They both had recently availed themselves of the services of a local marriage bureau, Handclasp House. At the same time, Miss Lucilla Teatime arrives in town on the lookout for a suitable ‘business’ opportunity. In the course of the investigation Purbright discovers a trail of deception and murder, with a little blackmail on the side.

Flaxborough is a fictional English town populated with some remarkable and delightfully eccentric characters. Nothing is ever as it seems in this wonderful series. Watson combines quirky characters and dry humour into a well-plotted story.

Lonelyheart 4122, first published in 1967, is the fourth in Watson’s Flaxborough series. For a list of all 13 titles see Fantastic Fiction. I've managed to pick up all but one or two titles at second hand bookshops, and I’m slowly working my way through them.

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed this one Helen - but it took me a while to believe these were spoofs. I just thought they were a bit eccentric and sort of out-of-time