Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Colin Watson for the holidays

What better way to honor America than by reading a classic British crime-fiction comedy? In Charity Ends at Home, Colin Watson again casts a satirical eye on the English village mystery. Here, in the fifth of his twelve Flaxborough Chronicles, he adds fierce rivalry within the world of pro-animal charities to a roster of targets that has included lechery, snobbery, sexual hypocrisy, blackmail and embezzlement.

But anyone who doubts that Watson loved his mythical eastern English setting should reads this little lyrical gem:

The streets were full of bicycles, clattering droves of them, bowling homeward from the docks and timber yards and factories. ... Timber men, packers, engineers, men from the wharves converged in speeding groups which then split at junctions and crossroads with banter and shouts of farewell. The older men, riding alone or in pairs, let the others pass while they sat in straight-backed dignity in their saddles and showed off skill at lighting pipes with one hand. They affected not to notice the antics of the boys who stood on their plunging pedals like rodeo performers or crouched, chin to handlebars, and furiously raced one another, with the squeals of the cannery girls as prizes.
When I left off my reading to watch the fireworks, an enthusiastic fund-raiser had just been found face-down in a well. I'll report back later on how she got there.

Click here for more about Colin Watson and the Flaxborough Chronicles.

© Peter Rozovsky 2007

Technorati tags:

Labels: , , ,


Blogger Dave Knadler said...

I do love that excerpt. Enough that I'll look for Colin Watson when I return an overdue Ruth Rendell to the library this morning. Thanks.

July 05, 2007  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Colin Watson has been one of my great recent discoveries, and I owe it all to blogging. I made a post a while back, I think on the subject of humorous crime fiction, and someone suggested Colin Watson. Around the same time, I read a comment about one of the Flaxborough Chronicles novels on this worthwhile Australian crime-fiction site:

The rest is history. I've written lots about Colin Watson since, both about his novels and about his interesting take on the social history of English crime fiction. My comments are here:

July 05, 2007  

Post a Comment

<< Home