Broomsticks Over Flaxborough (A Flaxborough Mystery Book 7) Kindle Edition
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To me, Watson's books are a nice combination of a Christie cozy and a Wodehouse farce, with some naughty bits that would have embarrassed Christie and Wodehouse, both. This one ain't Christie. If you enjoy Watson's writing style (as I do), go ahead. If you're looking for a puzzle to solve, you'll be disappointed.
When a couple of schoolboys find an abandoned vehicle with womens' clothing inside they anonymously call the police. What is discovered is that the car belongs to a missing woman and during the investigation it is discovered that this woman was the mistress of a Mr. Persimmons, who has also become missing. At first the police simply think that they have run away together, but then the body of Mr. Persimmon is discovered and a mysterious mask washes up in the river that makes DI Purbright rethink his initial conclusion...
A local reverend calls the police because there have been desecrations in his church and when they arrive they find odd things - corpses of a frog, a mouse, and what appears to be an effigy of the poor reverend. They also discover that the reverend is part of group of four men who are concerned with the seemingly satanic worshippers and trying to help those that have been affected.
But it is from an unlikely source - one of a group of women who are working for a company promoting "Lucillite" - a product that makes your wash the brightest it's ever been - that gives them the break they have been looking for and it's not too long after that, with the help of intrepid Sergeant Love, that Purbright is able to put the clues together and find the truth of the matter..
Again we visit the village of Flaxborough where this time the mysterious goings on of a group of devil worshippers is about to be discovered. It is only when a young woman disappears and the body of a man is discovered that brings things to the attention of the police, and their activities are about to be laid bare for all of England to see.
Purbright delights me. He is an intelligent man who, with the help of his faithful Sergeant Sid Love and his other officers, manages to glean bits and pieces of information and put them together in a truly impressive manner. This time out they are searching for a coven that has apparently committed murder and are brazen enough to believe they can get away with it. Unfortunately, they don't count on the resolute DI Purbright, who is as good a detective as they come.
It is indeed a pleasure reading about the investigation and how thorough Purbright's crew is; at the end he masterfully creates what is nothing more than a coordinated raid on some of them to bring out the murderer into the open, and I was truly surprised by the result. It is always satisfying to see the unexpected become the truth.
When the book was finished and everything came together nicely, the tale was absorbing and written well; my only disappointment is that the author is deceased and when I am done with the series there will be no more. Highly recommended.