Member Review

Coffin, Scarcely Used

Pub Date:

Review by

Anjana S, Reviewer

Last updated on 23 Feb 2018

My Recommendation

I read this book thanks to NetGalley, and I pushed it up my reading list in order to have it coincide with its republishing. This book was originally published in 1958, and the difference in 'Vintage mysteries' are very clear when it is written by someone who actually lived in the era.

This is based in a small town of Flaxborough and the local constabulary is decidedly trying to get to the bottom of the case before Scotland Yard needs to be brought into the scenario (unlike most others that I have read, where Scotland Yard are the heroes). There is something to be said for local knowledge of the people of the town.The tale starts in an innocuous fashion, with just the funeral of someone we know very little about. A few months in to the future, there is another death. This death starts our Inspector Purbright down a path to identify the kinks in the case.The revelations are complicated and the ending was quite a surprise to me although I had given up on trying to guess the outcome.

The narrative has a very round about way of coming to the point and even though it might not appeal to a lot of people, I enjoy it ( I feel like giving myself a self-congratulatory pat when I decipher what the actual joke in all of the explanation).Overall, it was good read and I am looking forward to trying the next in the series and hopefully it gets better from here.

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