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Hopjoy Was Here (A Flaxborough Mystery) by…

Hopjoy Was Here (A Flaxborough Mystery) (edition 2018)

by Colin Watson (Author)

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10510167,253 (3.98)3
Title:Hopjoy Was Here (A Flaxborough Mystery)
Authors:Colin Watson (Author)
Info:Farrago (2018), Edition: Main, 160 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:mystery, police procedural, Great Britain, series, The Flaxborough Chronicles

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Hopjoy Was Here by Colin Watson



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When Inspector Purbright receives an anonymous letter telling him to come to the home of a local because of mysterious happenings, he gets more than he bargained for. It seems that someone has been murdered: dissolved in acid, if you will; and Purbright knows that two men lived in the home - Periam and Hopjoy - but since neither can be found, he has no idea whom it was.

However, help is soon on the horizon. Appearing are two men of the government, apparently special agents, who tell him that Hopjoy was one of them and they need to know if the remains (such as they are) belong to him. So Purbright does what he does best: he sets his mind spinning and his men on the roundabout to find the remaining man and perhaps a killer.

What he does find is that one of the men remain, and he is on his honeymoon. While Purbright believes (somewhat) that the man knew nothing about what was occurring in his home, he nevertheless continues to investigate, wanting to know the details. And what he finds is not only disturbing, it seems the killer very nearly got away with it...

This is the third book in the series and a very good entry indeed. Inspector Purbright is at it again, deftly maneuvering his superior Chubb into thinking that he's the one who's come up with the idea to continue the investigation (as he always does) while doing exactly what he wants to do anyway. This time out, he has the dubious help of two agents, Ross (who gets a little more than he bargains for) and Pumphrey, who are conducting their own investigation but don't know the locals nor how to really deal with them but do their best.

The tale is well-told, and while this is an older book (written in 1962) I find that oftentimes the older books are some of the best, and this is no different. It is deftly told, and the plot is well done indeed, with plenty of twists and turns and quite a few surprises. While it feels we are on the same track as Purbright, when he is surprised, we are also. And we discover the truth at almost the same time and have much the same reaction as him.

In the end, I would say that this series has not disappointed me and I truly enjoy Purbright's clever mind. He is a marvelous British Inspector and I love spending time with him. The ending is also a surprise - I imagine both to Purbright and the murderer - but please do not skip to it and read through because it is the journey to the end that makes it all worthwhile. I look forward to the next in the series. Highly recommended. ( )
  joannefm2 | May 16, 2018 |
A very funny entry in the Inspector Purbright/Sergeant Love series by Watson.
Neighbors are fascinated as the police remove a bathtub from a house, and then begin a detailed inspection of the drains. What on earth?
Apparently a man has been killed and the body disposed of in a rather unpleasant manner. This book is full of twists and turns, plots reversals, and pompous characters. It’s a satire of books like The Man Who Was Thursday, a good mystery, and a book that will make you laugh. Highly recommended. ( )
  bohemima | May 2, 2018 |
Number 3 in the Flaxborough series shows just how creative Colin Watson was when it came to setting up his books. As I started reading I worried that the series had settled into a formula and that this new book would be like either books 1 or 2 (which were happily different from each other). Well, I sure was surprised when Hopjoy took off in an entirely new direction.

As always, the text is laced with close observations of human foibles and fixations that make me snort, chortle and laugh out loud.

I received a review copy of "Hopjoy Was Here: A Flaxborough Mystery Book 3" by Colin Watson (Farrago) through NetGalley.com. ( )
  Dokfintong | May 1, 2018 |
I received a free e-copy of this book and have chosen to write an honest and unbiased review. I have no personal affiliation with the author. This is another enjoyable British police procedural/crime mystery featuring the exploits of Inspector Purbright and his sidekick Sergeant Love. A man who is a secret agent is missing. There is no body though a crime is suspected to have taken place in the bath, a possible acid bath. This is a well-written crime mystery with a great plot and excellent character development. ‘Hopjoy Was Here’ is a great story full of twists and turns. I enjoy the wry British humor throughout the book. All the British crime mysteries written by Colin Watson are wonderful stories and very enjoyable to read. I look forward to reading more of them in the future. ( )
  iadam | Mar 22, 2018 |
I was so looking forward to the release of Hopjoy Was Here, the third Flaxborough Mystery by Colin Watson, and I was not disappointed. This story is more complex and feels much darker than the previous two books in the series, but Colin Watson once again through his delightful way with words presents a suspenseful mystery with a vivid, varied cast of characters and settings. He expertly combines humor and sadness as well as injecting some serious commentary about the times and towns like Flaxborough.

Once again, we are with Inspector Purbright and Sergeant Malley. The police have received a letter about some goings-on at 14 Beatrice Avenue and they are off to investigate. What they discover leads to the sight of four burly policeman manhandling a bath down the front path of the villa and the police digging around in the drain. It’s a very intriguing beginning. You aren’t quite sure what’s in that drain, but imagination goes wild – and it seems pretty disgusting. The two occupants of the house - nice Gordon Periam, the mild-mannered tobacconist, and his not-so-nice-bit-of-a-bounder lodger Brian Hopjoy – can’t be found, or . . . ewww. The mysterious Tweedle-dum and Tweedle-dee, aka Ross and Pumphrey show up to butt into the police investigation, all hush hush. James Bond, anyone?

Forensics, albeit forensics of 1957 or 1958 since DNA testing wasn’t used until 1986, come into play, but Warlock of the Forensic Science Labs, whose motto is ‘hang ‘em by a thread’ is pretty good at collecting and analyzing the evidence. There’s a lot of it, and nothing is as it seems.

Hopjoy Was Here is a solid mystery, with clues provided along the way but nothing is obvious. I didn’t figure things out until the end. And as always, due to Colin Watson’s mastery of the English language, I was left with some vivid images of people or places, a couple of new words or phrases to use, and some grooming tips. I’ll leave you with these examples: People: Pumphrey - had a habit of pulling his right ear lobe as if it put him in circuit with an electronic sensor, or jerking his long, pointed head forward and from side to side, as if his thoughts had to be continually shaken in their box to prevent them sticking together, and he stopped and turned his eyes, like those of an El Greco Christ, upon Ross. Warlock - rose and slipped his restless hands into his trouser pockets, where they continued to rummage like inquisitive mice. New words: Maybe you think I’m being a bit of a stupid-sides, and I don’t think I can recall a case of fiancecide. And finally, some fashion and grooming: Although an almost offensively inept hair style – plaits coiled into round pads over her ears – early Star Wars? And lastly, Purbright at the barber shop: Ah, you’re very wise sir; clipping does tend to stimulate. I personally find the best answer to what we might vulgarly call the hair nose-hole is to fire it a couple of times a year.’ His eyes wandered to a jar stacked with wax tapers. ‘like a railway embankment, you know.’ Purbright shook his head vigourously. And you must be laughing by now.

I thoroughly enjoyed Hopjoy was here and unhesitatingly recommend it. Read it for the words; the good mystery is a bonus. I received a copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley and am looking forward to starting the next in the Flaxborough series. ( )
  GrandmaCootie | Mar 22, 2018 |
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