Sunday, May 06, 2007

Whatever's Been Going on at Mumblesby? - Colin Watson

First published 1982. 172 pages.

Published the year of Watson's death at the age of 62, Whatever's Been Going on at Mumblesby? was the final Flaxborough series novel.

Following the death of a local solicitor, many of the residents of Mumblesby seem reluctant to commiserate with his common law wife, Zoe. This may be because of her "common" roots (her father owned a pub)... or it may be because many of the priceless antiques that she has now inherited were obtained by blackmail.

Inspector Purbright stumbles onto the case after rescuing Zoe from her mysteriously locked bathroom. While checking the house (and discovering an arson attempt), he chances to see a lump of wood displayed like a treasure in a locked steel cage.

Purbright is intrigued, and after sending the affable Sergeant Love to the village to uncover the local gossip, he is left with a number of leads... and the knowledge that the suicide of the town nymphomaniac several years ago was actually a murder.

Purbright eventually uncovers proof that while the murder was committed by one man, it was aided and abetted by a group of villagers. And the lump of "holy" wood he discovered in Zoe's house finally starts to make sense.

No comments: