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Hopjoy Was Here

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Member Reviews

Inspector Purbright’s latest case in Flaxborough involves a missing gentleman… but he’s not sure who. Gordon Periam and his lodger Brian Hopjoy have been living together happily until one evening the neighbors hear a terrible fight. The next day, the police are removing heaven knows what from the bathtub drain. They believe it’s the acid-dissolved remains of one of the housemates, but as neither of them are there, they don’t know whose they are. This begins an investigation that also brings in some government officials. It seems that Hopjoy was some kind of secret agent. Was he found out, and that’s why he was killed? Or is he even the one that’s been killed? Or has ANYONE actually been killed? These are the questions Inspector Purbright must answer.

Another decent entry in the Flaxborough mysteries. As ever, the writing is quite witty. However, it is also rather slow at times, as in other books. The mystery was really good, though, with lots of twists, turns, and red herrings that keep you guessing right up until the last few pages. I still very much enjoy Inspector Purbright and Sargeant Love. I did not at all care for the government agents. Overall, though, a quick read and good fit for the series. I liked it much more than the last one I read. Thanks to NetGalley for the free ebook.
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English mysteries can be so much fun.  There is just a different vibe than American ones.  Two men has disappeared and no one can find them or any evidence of what might have happened.  There is much more humor here than would be expected as the detectives dig for clues in drains and inside cabinets.

I found this much fun to read.
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Our Man In Havana

	Ah, the perverted joys of the Cold War! Flaxborough has a spy in its midst--but he's disappeared, along with his landlord. With exceptionally clever, dry wit, various characters are nicely put in place with aptly malicious assassination (of both character and characters?) and deliciously wicked turns of phrase. And amidst all this description the wonderful plot winds sinuously (or is that Ross?) to its conclusion. Laugh-out-loud funny!
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Written in the 20th century, the reader meanders slowly through a male dominated world with descriptions of every place and person. The pacing was slow, the suspense was non-existent but the twist was clever,  For lovers of a slow unwinding mystery, this is for you. For thrill seekers, look elsewhere.
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I was given an advanced copy through Netgalley for my review. I would highly recommend this book to family and friends and will buy a copy for myself.
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Hopjoy Was Here is the third in the Flaxborough Chronicles and another winner in Colin Watson's classic English crime procedural. Like the other books in the series, this entry sees Inspector Purbright on the hunt for a potential murderer. It's not immediately clear if there has been a murder, so Purbright & co. have to figure out what has happened and to whom.  The author's incredibly dry humor and sense for the absurd is spot on and this book is really funny albeit macabre (see cover for this edition) in places. 

This re-release, out 22 March, 2018 from Farrago is 160 pages.  Originally published in 1962, this reformat and re-release is available in ebook and paperback formats.  The plot is convoluted (in a good way) and the humor is wry and subtly sharp.  For having been written over 50 years ago, it has aged very well and doesn't seem very dated at all in my opinion.

Colin Watson was a really masterful precise and wrote very enjoyable humorous books.  This is one of them and well worth picking up.

Four stars, I liked it very much!
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I received this free from NetGalley and the publisher for an honest review.
This is the third in the Flaxborough Mystery series and it is a humdinger of a mystery. Starting with 2 missing people and a bathtub being carted out of a house by policemen until the very surprising and ironic end this mystery kept me guessing all the way through.
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So this one begins literally with a bang as a drinking fountain is blasted to smithereens. Inspector Purbright is simply delightful in this book. He is quickly becoming one of my favorite detectives. Highly recommend this series still! The cast of characters had me wishing I was in the novel as well!
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This series is so much fun! It's simply witty, quirky and a totally enjoyable read. Acid-bath murders are the topic of this tale and its solutions to solving crimes from another time. Purbright shines in this story. I hope there will be more in this series soon. 

My copy came from Net Galley. My thoughts and opinions are my own. This review is left of my own free volition.
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This was my second book by Colin Watson and I felt the same as I did have reading the first. I enjoy the light-hearted, clean mystery but some of the enjoyment is lost in the dialogue for me. It seemed so wordy sometimes that I grew bored trying to catch up to who is who and what was going on. The mystery in this was more enjoyable to me with a slightly gruesome tale that I enjoyed trying to solve along with the book. I thought I had the murder all figured out about half way through, but was pleasantly surprised to find I was wrong as more twists and turns came about.
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Hopjoy Was Here by Colin Watson Digital reissue of a classic police procedural originally published in 1962. While there are a couple of scenes that induced groans (Ross' seduction, for example, read like a James Bond farce), the book is a clever, well written, and well-paced mystery with enough surprising twists and turns to keep any reader entertained. Character development was not an important part of mysteries in the first half of the twentieth century, so modern readers used to internal dialogues and angst may be disappointed, but the characters are sufficiently fleshed out to allow the reader to sympathize with them. Although characterized as a police procedural, this is not a McBain-type police novel, but rather an English country murder in which the detectives are not the standard amateurs but police and government agents. Clever and enjoyable and a very fast read. Recommended/A
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Nothing against the book, but I’m just not a fan of Colin Watson’s writing. I don’t understand when he’s making a joke. I’m bored while reading and I don’t really know what’s happening in the books
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I love this series! Mr Watson's descriptions of his characters are quite colorful and I feel that I know them well.  Just when I thought  I had figured out this whodunit the author totally surprised me! I highly recommend this book for those of you who love British police  procedurals. Thank you to the publisher and to NetGalley for allowing me to read this book.
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Another winner! The wordplay had me stitches at times. Very enjoyable book! Looking forward to more by this author!
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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.
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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.
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This is the third book in Colin Watson's excellent Flaxborough series.  Written with a wry humour and clever plotting, these stories are cosy, understated and totally enjoyable.  

I've not read the series in order, but that doesn't seem to matter.  The constant seems to be Detective Inspector Purbright and his sidekick, Love, both of whom are engaging to follow as they unravel some bizarre crimes in the small town of Flaxborough.

This story centres around a murder that might not even be a murder, shady goings-on in a shared house and a whole host of odd supporting characters.  It has been said that these stories are slower than enjoyed by a modern readership, but I liked the pace and the chance to meet a range of weird and wonderful Flaxborough residents and policemen.

I don't think this is the strongest of the series, but an enjoyable read for those who like their crime with a side order of humour.
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This is the second Flaxborough mystery I’ve read and it lived up to my expectations.  This is a great English whodunit. There are clues here and there but the twists and turns kept coming and made me rethink things to try to solve the mystery.  As with the other book I read, the crime was very unique and involved. It’s hard to believe that the local police will be able to figure it out.  But they have some government spooks to help them this time. One of them was a pompous jerk.  I was hoping he’d be humiliated by the local police. The spooks definitely look at things from a different perspective.  Mr. Chubb is worried that they will “underestimate our people” in their ability to commit crime.
The is a lot of wry, witty, satirical humor as well as vivid descriptions and personification.  It’s a lot of fun to read. One woman is described as “a desiccated woman with a cruel, helmet-like perm” (location 59). Purbright says matter-of-factly, “Murdering people, Mr. Warlock, must be a somewhat distracting business.  Even the most conscientious practitioner probably tends to overlook things” (location 282).
It’s helpful to read this book on a Kindle where you have an instant dictionary as there are many unfamiliar words (i.e., monody, insouciance, mendacity).  There are some long run-on sentences that make it harder to listen to it aloud and still be able to follow the meaning.  But it’s a great read.  I’d recommend it.
Thank you to Farrago for providing me with a free e-copy of this book.  I was not required to leave a positive review.  All opinions are my own.
Flaxborough Mysteries
Book 1:  Coffin Scarcely Used
Book 2:  Bump in the Night
Book 3:  Hopjoy Was Here
Book 4:  Lonely-Heart 4122
Book 5:  Charity Ends at Home
Book 6:  The Flaxborough Crab
Book 7:  Broomsticks Over Flaxborough
Book 8:  The Naked Nuns
Book 9:  One Man’s Meat
Book 10:  Blue Murder
Book 11:  Plaster Sinners
Book 12:  Whatever’s Been Going On At Mumblesby
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I've enjoyed the previous Inspector Purbright books but this one didn't quite grab me in the same way. I think that happens with all authors (certainly to me anyway) in that it's hard to love every book. 

This one has all the usual mix of offbeat characters, wry humour, a wonderful way of writing but I struggled to get into the plot with this one. It was an entertaining, short read just like the others. I've got the rest of the series that has been released and have faith that the others will be as good as the earlier two books.

Free arc from netgalley
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Revisiting these cozy mysteries from Colin Watson is so fun, the characters are delightful
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