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In the novel Dead Man's Folly, Constable Robert “Bob” Hoskins is the one of the police officers investigating the murders at Nasse House. He is the local constable for the area around the house and nearby village.

In the initial stage of the investigation, Inspector Bland relied on Hoskins to supply his impressions and background information on the local personalities. As someone familiar to the locals, Hoskins was employed to fetch people and bring them for interview by the inspector. Hoskins was comfortable in his role and never hesitated to express an opinion of his inspector's views or deductions.

Hoskins is described as being "a man of inquisitive mind with a great interest in everybody and everything". He also has "a gossiping wife", and so knows a lot of personal information about the local residents of the area.

Hoskins has "an ingrained prejudice of foreigners". He was quick to suspect Etienne de Sousa without basis. Mrs Tucker does not think much of his abilities, saying that all he does is check parked cars on the common. Nonetheless, Inspector Bland himself "much preferred Hoskins's rural wisdom to the smart know-all attitude of Frank Cottrell."

When Hoskins is off-duty, he enjoys drinking in the Bull and Bear. While he is there, a large part of his conversation involves "sexual 'goings-on'", a subject in which he is an "absolutely specialist".

During the investigation, Hoskins is given the duty of going into the boathouse, and looking out the window, while the pleasure steamer, the Devon Belle, is passing by. He is able to see the performance put up by Alice Jones and a colleague, but he himself cannot be seen by anyone on the pleasure steamer.

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