The Flaxborough Crab was first published in 1969, although its title in the US was Just What the Doctor Ordered, and is the sixth novel in the Flaxborough series. H. R. F. Keating, in his critical study Crime and Mystery: The 100 Best Books, praised the 'solidity of Watson's Flaxborough saga.' Watson, Keating said, 'created in his imaginary Flaxborough a place it is not preposterous to compare with the creation of Arnold Bennett in his classic Five Towns novels, or even perhaps with William Faulkner's Yoknapatawpha County'. All twelve of Colin Watson's 'Flaxborough Chronicles' were set in this fictional town that could be found somewhere in the East of England and it is home to 15,000 inhabitants that appear, on the surface at least, to be bland and conservative, but as the novels show appearances can be deceiving. . . . Raising another flower - a lank, brownish-yellow affair - Miss Pollock deliberately avoided the leading contestant's eye and looked appealingly to the further part of her audience. 'Now, what about some of you other ladies? Wouldn't you like to have a try?' 'Old Man's Vomit,' snapped the omniscient Mrs. Crunkinghorn. 'You don't want to hold that too near your dress, me dear.'

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