Cover Image: Pignon Scorbion & The Barbershop Detectives

Pignon Scorbion & The Barbershop Detectives

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Member Reviews

Quite honestly, I have mixed feelings about this book...

It is a fun and easy read and contains enjoyable, if somewhat predictable, mysteries! I love all of the unique, misfit characters banding together to help Pignon solve his crimes! That said, I have issues with the language that is used in the dialogs. I felt it a completely unnecessary addition and I would have given this book more stars had it not been for that. Because of this, I chose to DNF it.

Thank you to Blackstone Publishing and NetGalley for giving me an advance e-copy of this book in exchange for my honest review!
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Pignon Scorbion is a detective by trade and has recently become the new chief police inspector in the English municipality of Haxford. He is looking for something that will give him some intellectual stimulation. At first, he thinks that the hamlet is a little sleepy. Yet before he knows it there are three cases in from of him. He elects his new friends from a local barbershop to be his deputies and together, they look for clues and interview witnesses and suspects. They come together to debrief at the barbershop and late by little the truth of the crimes is revealed. 

Pignon Scorbion and The Barbershop Detectives is set in 1910 England.  As a detective, he is a lite unconventional and this ruffles some of the people in the town. They are not used to change and do not want any trouble. In fact, they are a little defensive and protective of their community. That doesn't mean that there is not some backstabbing involved though (literally).

The book was a little slow for me. Part of that might have been the clunkiness of the dialogue. It could just be alot at times. The other reason it was slow for me was more than likely the fact that mysteries are not usual my cup of tea. My mom loves Agatha Christie and little by little I'm trying to open myself to see what these books are all about. And what I really liked about this universe is that it is connected to other well known characters from the same time. These includes Sherlock Holmes, John Watson, and Hercule Poirot. I may not be familiar with alot of mystery books but I do recognize those names. 

Pignon Scorbion and the Barbershop Detectives is the first book in a new detective series. Will I revisit Pignon and his barbershop Detectives? Possibly. I did find the characters endearing and liked the way they worked together. My only concern is the dialogue becoming tiresome for me. I wonder if an audio version would be better? I think it might especially if voiced by a British narrator!
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I had this as an audiobook and I really wish it was a printed copy because the threads do come together and it does jump about a bit so for me the audiobook was a challenge - lots of going back to check what I’d heard etc rather than flicking the pages. I enjoyed the book though and would give the author another go with the next in the series if there is one. My advice is to let it flow over you and not try to think too deeply!
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3 quaintly charming stars
“My brain is my most formidable weapon.” Pignon Scorbion

Some old-fashioned language and expressions flavor the dialog and narrative of the story set in 1910 small town England, but it is easy to understand in context.  “Keeping the presses running is duck soup for me.” There are very mild romantic hints as subplots, but the language, including murder descriptions is very clean.

Pignon Scorbion is a stuffy and formal police chief who is particular about his clothes and distinctive shoes. When he is ready to lay out the solution to the crime, he gathers the local “barbershop detectives” as well as the perpetrators. I found these revelations a bit long winded with no real action. I guessed some of the solutions. Of the cases presented, I enjoyed the circus mystery the most. 

The resonant British voice was easy to understand. It made me feel like I was there. Brenher handles different accents and female voices well. 

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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"I will be the one who stands as I unfold the facts and conclusions of this affair."

Thus Chief Police Inspector Scorbion makes sure everyone understands who is in charge in the brilliant historical fiction mystery Pignon Scorbion & The Barbershop Detectives by Rick Bleiweiss.

Love this book cover painting of the quaint English countryside town of Haxford where our story takes place. In 1910 Inspector Scorbion is a bit of a fish out of water with his refined ways and distinct detective mind when he is transferred to Haxford. Fortunately he is acquainted with the town Barber whose shop is a local hangout for some endearing quirky amateur sleuths.

The quiet town soon has three mysteries to solve: a con man stealing some land, a thief stealing an artifact and a pig and, lastly, a murder. Soon our masterful detective realizes there is a connection to all the crimes.

This novel is a gift to fans of Doyle's Sherlock Holmes (turns out Scorbion is friends with Dr. Watson) and Christie's Poirot (who is also named dropped). After reading this first book of this new series I listened to the audiobook and realized hearing the dialogue spoken with an English accent versus my Brooklyn one in my head made a huge difference. Narrator @matthewbrenher should play Scorbion in live action because he was perfection and this is just made for a BritBox (yes I have a subscription) or PBS Masterpiece series.

There is also a hint of romance for our talented Inspector with local bookstore owner Thelma. Their flirty moments are such fun. There is a lot of dialogue and time jumps and with each clue the mystery gets twistier. Just pure gold for true mystery fans. 

I received a free copy of this book/audiobook from the publisher via #netgalley for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.
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I knew as soon as I started the book, I wouldn't be able to put it down until I read the last word with a great cast of characters and a mystery that quickly became a page-turner. If you enjoy must-solve, twisty cozies, don't miss Pignon Scorpion and The Barber Shop Detectives.
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Pignon Scorbion and the Barbershop Detectives by Rick Bleiweiss is a little bit Sherlock Holmes and a little bit Agatha Christie. The story takes place in England in 1910 with flashbacks to prior timeframes and locations. 

When the town’s new Chief Investigator, Pignon Scorbion, arrives to town he seeks out his friend at the barbershop. From there the action begins as multiple incidents happen that require investigating and Scorbion uses his barbershop friends to help. 

What I liked the most about this story is that it really keeps you guessing. If I can guess the ending within the first half of the book it’s hard for me to finish, but I didn’t experience that here. In fact it elicited some gasps from me…which, are rare. 

Rick Bleiweiss’ writing style was easy to follow and matched the era he wrote about. Would this happen in 2022? No, but the wonderful thing about audiobooks is that you can shut your eyes and travel to far away lands and timeframes. Bleiweiss was descriptive enough to teleport me to 1910 England, yet didn’t drown me in the details. His plot was well thought out and engaging. 

I am interested in seeing this book in print because the one area I struggled while listening was the jumping of timelines. The transitions weren’t very clear so it would sometimes take me an extra paragraph or two to orient myself within the story. It’s not that the writing itself was hard to navigate and it may just be an audiobook only issue. 

For a debut novel I think Bleiweiss will slide right into the mystery genre as if he’s always been there. I can’t wait to read what is next.
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