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Coffin, Scarcely Used

A Flaxborough Mystery, Book 1
Narrated by: Simon Shepherd
Series: Flaxborough Chronicles, Book 1
Length: 6 hrs and 35 mins
5 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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Publisher's Summary

In the respectable seaside town of Flaxborough, the equally respectable councillor Harold Carobleat is laid to rest. Cause of death: pneumonia.  

But he is scarcely cold in his coffin before Detective Inspector Purbright, affable and annoyingly polite, must turn out again to examine the death of Carobleat's neighbour, Marcus Gwill, former prop. of the local rag, the Citizen

This time it looks like foul play, unless a surfeit of marshmallows had led the late and rather unlamented Mr Gwill to commit suicide by electrocution. ('Power without responsibility', murmurs Purbright.) How were the dead men connected, both to each other and to a small but select band of other town worthies? Purbright becomes intrigued by a stream of advertisements Gwill was putting in the Citizen, for some very oddly named antique items....

Witty and a little wicked, Colin Watson's tales offer a mordantly entertaining cast of characters and laugh-out-loud wordplay.

©2018 Colin Watson (P)2019 Audible, Ltd

What listeners say about Coffin, Scarcely Used

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good old British crime novel.<br />

found it a bit of a struggle to start with. all that stuff upper lip stuff but as story and characters developed throughly enjoy the story.

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  • Sharon
  • 02-05-2020

Perfect for Catherine Aird and Dorothy Sayers fans

I haven't researched this author yet, but this is a story the equal of those of the Golden Age of Mystery -- fans of the beloved Catherine Aird (Sloan and Crosby series) and Dorothy Sayers (Lord Peter Wimsey series) and Ngaio Marsh (detective series) will enjoy this novel. This novel is for people who like intellectual mysteries, who enjoy puzzles, who like the well crafted tongue in cheek wit of British mysteries of the 1930's thru 1970's … I am very much hoping this author has written many more, as I've already collected all of the Airds, Sayers, Marsh, Nero Wolfe (Rex Stout), and other golden age writers. If those novels run to your taste also, and you can tolerate a well crafted slice of life romance with complications, then I recommend Georgette Heyer to you … try The Reluctant Widow first , it's very amusing.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Patricia
  • 08-03-2020

Carefully Crafted Puzzle

I thoroughly enjoyed this mystery. Unlike another reviewer, I thought the narrator did a very fine job. I can't imagine what she expected, but I believe Shepherd was a perfect choice to read this book.

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  • Berryjazzy
  • 29-03-2020

Coffin Scarcely Used

Performance was superb! Simon shepherd made this story come alive! I could listen to him for hours!

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  • John S.
  • 11-06-2020

Couldn't get into it

Should've been a contender, but I had trouble following the story. By the end, I still had no real idea of the characters, nor exactly what had happened. It wasn't a bad, or dull, book; just never got an traction. Will try another to see whether that works better as the writing itself, and narration, were fine.

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  • Zeeta
  • 04-05-2020

Excellent, more please!

Please acquire the rest of the Flaxborough mysteries series so that I can buy them. I love the author's sense of fun as he creates intriguing plots and characters. However, the wry observations on human behavior and hilarious internal thoughts and the dialog are just wonderful. These mysteries are so entertaining and Simon Shepherd is the perfect narrator for them, More please!

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  • ms p j rann
  • 17-02-2020

What fun

I came across Colin Watson in the 70's through the TV dramatisations, that encouraged me to read the books and I loved them. Although this recording does not quite capture the idiocyncracies and laid back sophistication of Inspector Purbright it was pretty good and as the reader warmed to his work the book improved. However I recommend the other two books 'A bump in the Night' and best of all 'Hopjoy was Here'. Watson is funny, macabre and has a cynical perception of small town life (well he was the editor of a local newspaper). It's nice to see that he is rude about everyone.

Please please can we meet Miss Teacup one of my favourite characters in his ouvre - more would be most appreciated.

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  • D R
  • 17-02-2020

Disappointing was expecting more

I bought these stories because i had recorded & listened to BBC dramatised plays of Colin Watson books about 25 years ago

these books lack the dry humour of inspector Purbright thus the reading is just dry

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  • Portrait Artist
  • 23-02-2020

Dreadful!

I had hoped that Simon Shepherd would bring a professional actor's quality performance to this story. How wrong could I be? This was the worst recording I have heard to date. His rendering of this story was monotonous and menacing. I was unable to distinguish between the story telling and the characters and I could not finish Chapter Two. My favourite time to enjoy Audible stories is when I am relaxed and not rushing around so I listen in bed. On this occasion I, eventually, fell into a troubled sleep which turned into a nightmare where I felt I was being strangled. I am so disappointed. Mr Shepherd is a good actor but I am returning this production as, in this case, his performance is abysmal and, actually, quite disturbing.

1 person found this helpful