Pignon Scorbion & the Barbershop Detectives

By Rick Bleiweiss

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For fans of Sherlock Holmes and Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot, author Rick Bleiweiss’s quirky new detective and ensemble cast of characters set against the backdrop of small-town England in the 1910s will feel both comfortingly familiar and thrillingly new.The year is 1910, and in the small and seemingly sleepy English municipality of Haxford, there’s a new chief police inspector. At first, the dapper and unflappable Pignon Scorbion strikes something of an odd figure among the locals, who don’t see a need for such an exacting investigator. But it isn’t long before Haxford finds itself very much in need of a detective.Luckily, Scorbion and the local barber are old acquaintances, and the barbershop employs a cast of memorable characters who—together with an aspiring young ace reporter for the local Morning News—are nothing less than enthralled by the enigmatic new chief police inspector. Investigating a trio of crimes whose origins span three continents and half a century, Pignon Scorbion and his “tonsorial sleuths” interview a parade of interested parties, but with every apparent clue, new surprises come to light. And just as it seems nothing can derail Scorbion’s cool head and almost unerring nose for deduction, in walks Thelma Smith—dazzling, whip-smart, and newly single. Has Pignon Scorbion finally met his match?

Full Description

Release

02-08-22

Abridgement

Unabridged

Genre

Fiction/Mystery & Detective

Release

02-08-22

Abridgement

Unabridged

Genre

Fiction/Mystery & Detective

Description

For fans of Sherlock Holmes and Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot, author Rick Bleiweiss’s quirky new detective and ensemble cast of characters set against the backdrop of small-town England in the 1910s will feel both comfortingly familiar and thrillingly new.

The year is 1910, and in the small and seemingly sleepy English municipality of Haxford, there’s a new chief police inspector. At first, the dapper and unflappable Pignon Scorbion strikes something of an odd figure among the locals, who don’t see a need for such an exacting investigator. But it isn’t long before Haxford finds itself very much in need of a detective.

Luckily, Scorbion and the local barber are old acquaintances, and the barbershop employs a cast of memorable characters who—together with an aspiring young ace reporter for the local Morning News—are nothing less than enthralled by the enigmatic new chief police inspector. 

Investigating a trio of crimes whose origins span three continents and half a century, Pignon Scorbion and his “tonsorial sleuths” interview a parade of interested parties, but with every apparent clue, new surprises come to light. And just as it seems nothing can derail Scorbion’s cool head and almost unerring nose for deduction, in walks Thelma Smith—dazzling, whip-smart, and newly single. 

Has Pignon Scorbion finally met his match?

Praise

“This charming tale of the eccentric Chief Inspector Pignon Scorpion, artfully told in the style of the detective stories of old, will be sure to delight fans of Christie’s original Hercule Poirot series, as well as cozy mystery and historical fiction readers. I’ll be looking forward to more cases being solved by this delightful cast of colorful characters in the barbershop!” Natasha Boyd, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, internationally bestselling and award-winning author of The Indigo Girl

“Bleiweiss’s novel is a worthy addition in the tradition of Conan Doyle and Christie. Holmes and Poirot, please make room for Pignon Scorbion.” Reed Farrel Coleman, New York Times bestselling author of What You Break

“Extortion, theft, revenge, and murder fractalize into a dazzling kaleidoscope of crime in Rick Bleiweiss’s Pignon Scorbion & the Barbershop Detectives. Taking over as chief police inspector of a not-so-sleeping English town circa 1910, Scorbion finds an unlikely investigative team in the denizens of Calvin Brown’s barbershop. The subterfuge begins Day One, but the action really heats up when a circus comes to town, touching off a three-ring spectacle of deception, detection, and deduction. Get comfortable in your favorite barber’s chair, turn the sign on the door to Closed, and draw the window shades, because it’s hard not to binge-read when the end of every chapter leaves you with another puzzle to solve. Bravo, Rick Bleiweiss!” Robert Arellano, Edgar Award finalist and author of seven novels, including Havana Lunar: A Cuban Noir

“In Pignon Scorbion & the Barbershop Detectives, Rick Bleiweiss captures the tone and pace of early twentieth-century detective fiction, with a fresh new protagonist. The book’s clever mysteries, Holmesian language, and engaging ensemble will grab you from page one.” Edwin Battistella, author of Dangerous, Crooked Scoundrels

“Shades of Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot, and Perry Mason—Chief Inspector Pignon Scorbion is here! Kick back, put up your feet, stow away your cares, and prepare for some good old-fashioned fun. You are in a barbershop in a small English town, circa 1910 with Scorbion and his eccentric group of deputies. Follow the threads of clues as one by one they emerge in murders and mysteries, even a traveling circus. Using inductive reasoning worthy of his predecessors, Bleiweiss’s writing is crisp, yet evocative, and the story is a breath of fresh air which readers will love.” Pamela Binnings Ewen, bestselling author of The Queen of Paris

“It’s adorable. I frequently laughed out loud while also envying Rick’s impeccable plotting. Hats off to him and his merry band of solvers. A superbly structured detective story in its own right, Pignon Scorbion & the Barbershop Detectives is also a respectful, affectionate, and frequently very funny tribute to classic British detective fiction. It just might become a classic, itself." Nancy Pickard, New York Times bestselling and award-winning author of The Scent of Rain and Lightning

“Fans of Hercule Poirot and Sherlock Holmes will love Pignon Scorbion & the Barbershop Detectives. Get ready to be transported back to Edwardian England in this rousing tale of camaraderie and cerebral detective work. In an era before computers and DNA matching, an inspector’s intellect ruled the day. With no detail missed, no stone left unturned, Bleiweiss has crafted a detective who can crack even the toughest cases with flair!” Andrews & Wilson, bestselling authors of Sons of Valor & Tier One

“Bleiwiess’s debut novel is sure to delight fans of traditional mystery. The novel harkens back to the Golden Age of mystery fiction, and Pignon Scorbion is a detective comparable to Hercule Poirot. His unlikely group of ‘deputies’ at the barbershop brings a fresh perspective to this fascinating mystery. I look forward to the next in the series!” Amanda Flower, Agatha Award–winning & USA Today bestselling author

“Bleiweiss’s Pignon Scorbion, the new (circa 1910) chief police inspector of the British hamlet of Haxford, is a splendidly unique addition to the list of entertainingly eccentric investigators who use brain over brawn. With a deductive prowess and penchant for precise couture that are more than a match for his contemporary Hercule Poirot, Scorbion prefers to solve his mysteries (here ranging from proof of parenthood to pig theft to bloody murder) in a barbershop, assisted by a young newshawk (his Watson), a trio of amusing tonsorial artists, and a bookseller as bright as she is beautiful. Good company. Good fun.” Dick Lochte, Nero Wolfe Award winner and bestselling author of Blues in the Night

“Pignon Scorbion & the Barbershop Detectives by Rick Bleiweiss is a delightful mystery filled with twists and turns. Detective Inspector Scorbion is a charming protagonist, and his barbershop detectives are a delight. I’m already looking forward to the next case.” Shelley Shepard Gray, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author

“Channeling a time of yore, and brilliantly ventriloquizing voices of a bygone era, debut crime novelist Rick Bleiweiss’s Pignon Scorbion & the Barbershop Detectives hurls us back over a century to the fictional town of Haxford, England, to delight us with a sophisticated series of mysteries that evokes masters of the ‘cozy’ craft in the fin de siècle, revivifying their timelessly seductive sleuthing methods and bringing them startlingly back to life. There’s a wonderful prestidigitation in the writing and how it veneers an ancient period with a three-dimensional verisimilitude. Charmingly, and improbably, set in a barbershop, Bleiweiss’s Chief Inspector Pignon Scorbion is a true original, a private eye cast in the mold of Poirot and Holmes with a touch of his own sui generis foppishness, cunning, and cerebrally deductive crime-solving. Once the opening case of a disputed paternity jumpstarts a concatenation of cases, the novel speeds along at a page-blurring pace, always returning to the barbershop where a colorful cast of amateur sleuths aid Scorbion in his relentless quest for the truth. Rich in period characters, interlarded with deft twists and hairpin turns in its unfolding, fans nostalgic for the old-fashioned, but never outdated, whodunit will revel in this shimmering recreation of the genre and will no doubt be treated to a veritable cataract of Inspector Scorbion books in the years to come.” Rex Pickett, New York Times bestselling author of Sideways

“The game is afoot, and the foot is firmly on the gas pedal in Rick Bleiweiss’s pawky, Sherlock-like mystery, Pignon Scorbion and the Barbershop Detectives. Driven by its razor-sharp title character (and joined by an often-hilarious host of deputized barbers) this case-cracking tale takes plenty of thrilling, genre-delighting twists and turns without ever running off the road. Bleiweiss writes with a cleverness that pleases rather than patronizes, and the observational powers of the percipient Inspector Scorbion rival those of any classic literary sleuth. Perfect for genre diehards and newcomers alike.” James Wade, Spur Award–winning author of All Things Left Wild and River, Sing Out

“Rick Bleiweiss’s Pignon Scorbion & the Barbershop Detectives has quirky, wonderful characters and all the elements of a great (and fun) detective story. I totally loved reading this novel!” Heather Graham, New York Times bestselling author

“Bleiweiss transports us back to Edwardian England with a fascinating new detective who is quite accomplished at rooting out truths.”  D. Eric Maikranz, author of The Reincarnationist Papers

“Bleiweiss’s entertaining debut introduces Chief Police Insp. Pignon Scorbion…Golden age fans appreciative of a light approach to traditional tropes will be eager for a sequel.” Publishers Weekly

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Rick Bleiweiss

Author Biography

Rick Bleiweiss started his career in music as a rock performer, producer of over fifty records, songwriter, and record company senior executive, and worked with Clive Davis, Melissa Etheridge, the Backstreet Boys, Kiss, U2, Whitney Houston, the BeeGees, and other industry legends  

Since 2006 as a publishing company executive, he has acquired works by bestselling and award-winning authors including James Clavell, Gabriel García Márquez, Rex Pickett, Leon Uris, and Nicholas Sansbury Smith, among others.  

In his latest creative endeavor, Rick has crafted the Pignon Scorbion historical mystery series—blending his love of the past with the twisty deliciousness of a whodunit. 

 Follow Rick and Scorbion at www.RickBleiweiss.com