Ned Bunn wasn’t a popular member of the society. When he finds his daughter Bertha and Wilfred Flounder koochikooing in the shop (after hours), he throws Mr.Flounder out, literally. And soon after, Mr.Bunns gets thrown out of his own shop. He’s shot by someone and with the velocity and all the physics that’s involved with the bullet and all, Mr.Bunn is now in the gutters, dead.
The man had had caused some problems before and even ill-treated his own daughter but who would go to such an extent and kill him? The Bunns family are a weird lot. And so are the villagers. Inspector Littlejohn is asked to investigate. With the help of his right-hand-man, Sergeant Cromwell, Inspector Littlejohn ruffles some feathers here.
This is the second George Bellairs book that I read. After having liked The Case of the Famished Person, I was expecting a lot from this book and I was a bit disappointed.
There was a lot of beating around the bush, finger pointing and ego. The story seemed to be going nowhere in the first half. Ned is dead (wow, that rhymes, doesn’t it!?) and then Mr.Browning is found dead. The death of Mr.Browning was a shocker. One moment the guy is talking to Littlejohn saying that he would accompany the inspector to the station to give a statement and the next minute he’s found dead!
Then there is Violet. With her puppy dog face and blinking, she can melt anyone and anything! Every man wants to marry her! The Medlicotts are a weird lot too. Mrs. Medlicott being Ned Bunns’ sister and all, it is believed that her husband offed Ned for money. The Medlicotts have twin daughters – Dolly and Polly – quite imbecile-looking-and-acting girls.
The Bunns family are large in number. During Ned’s funeral, there was almost a traffic jam in the village! This was the mid-1900’s so one can imagine how a traffic jam would look like! Bathsheba Bunns makes a guest appearance with her bath-chair. The woman is so fat, so fat that she has to be wheeled in her bath-chair everywhere. Aunt Sarah is Bathsheba’s competitor in everything, including fatness! There were a couple of unnecessary details about how the coach tilted to a side whenever Aunt Sarah sat in.
Inspector Littlejoy, oops I mean Littlejohn, takes the stage during the second half of the story. Though he’s called in soon after the murder, Cromwell’s role in the story is highlighted. He becomes Aunt Sarah’s eye candy and ends up in her will! The pub owners – Blowitts, have a story of their own.
Overall, I felt that it was a stretched story. Ned dies and then yada, yada, yada, and here you go – I found the perp! Speaking of which, the identity of the perp was pretty obvious halfway through the story. Which again was a bummer. Littlejohn then goes to prove the guy guilty. From washing dirty laundry in public to weirder than weird weirdos, this book had it all. However, there was no suspense. The story started on a good note and then fell flat.
If you are familiar with Bellairs works then give this book a try. If you have never read any of Bellairs book, then do not start with this book or you will be disappointed. Bellairs is one such author that one must read in their lifetime. Classics yes, but with a kind of writing that makes it so different from the others.
Character Development: 3/5
Overall Rating: 3/5
Title: Corpses in Enderby (Chief Inspector Littlejohn #22)
Author: George Bellairs
Published on: September 3rd 2017 (first published 1954)
Genre: Crime and Mystery
I was sent a free download of this novel from Poison Pen in exchange for a honest review.
Just The Facts, Ma’am : How – at least two deaths with different means (one shot to death and the other bashed in the head)
Purchase Links: Book Depository