Turns out I took a detour to the Lynne Truss 'Constable Twitten Mystery' books instead, care of the library.
I wasn't sure at the start of the first book, "A Shot in the Dark", where the writer seemed to be deploying every semi-colon, colon and exclamation mark available just to demonstrate liberal use of punctuation, but once she got the story going it proved to be witty, exuberant and very cleverly done too. The second book, "The Man That Got Away", simply romped away from the start, which I much preferred.
I don't want to give any spoilers, of course, but the stories certainly play with the police detective genre in their 1950s setting of seaside Brighton society. Please note that you'd definitely need to read "A Shot in the Dark" before "The Man That Got Away", to get the full benefit and understanding of the peculiarities of the relationships formed in the first book.