As inventive as Agatha Christie, as hilarious as P.G. Wodehouse - discover the delightful detective stories of Edmund Crispin. Crime fiction at its quirkiest and best.
Richard Cadogan, poet and would-be bon vivant, arrives for what he thinks will be a relaxing holiday in the city of dreaming spires. Late one night, however, he discovers the dead body of an elderly woman lying in a toyshop and is coshed on the head.
When he comes to, he finds that the toyshop has disappeared and been replaced with a grocery store. The police are understandably skeptical of this tale but Richard's former schoolmate, Gervase Fen (Oxford professor and amateur detective), knows that truth is stranger than fiction (in fiction, at least).
Soon the intrepid duo are careening around town in hot pursuit of clues but just when they think they understand what has happened, the disappearing-toyshop mystery takes a sharp turn...
Erudite, eccentric, and entirely delightful - Before Morse, Oxford's murders were solved by Gervase Fen, the most unpredictable detective in classic crime fiction.
©1946 Edmund Crispin (P)2015 HarperCollins Publishers Ltd
"A clever, funny and rightly famous story set in Oxford 30 years before Morse started pounding the beat." (The Times, 100 Best Crime Novels of the Twentieth Century)
"The characters were so engaging and the writing so mischievous, that I thoroughly enjoyed it." (Miles Kington, Independent)
"Hilarious adventures." (Washington Post)
"One of the undiscovered treasures of British crime fiction: Crispin's storytelling is intelligent, humane, surprising and rattling good fun." (A.L. Kennedy)
"A classic crime novel with a surreal streak... It's a clever, energetic romp, written with wit." (Val McDermid, The Week)
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"Brilliant - possibly the best Gervase Fen novel!"
I would totally recommend this to a friend. All the Gervase Fen (not Phinn!) novels are hilarious, and quirky, and satisfying.
I can't isolate one thing - the characters, old friends by now; the plot - wow! Who would have thought?! The great writing - too much to love to isolate one thing. Enjoyed Paul Panting's reading too.
Well, Gervase Fen is irascible and erratic and impertinent and brilliant, so I suppose he must take the trophy.
If I had that long just to listen I would!
It is excellent - don't know what other superlatives to add. If you like classic mysteries, I would think you would enjoy this!
Well written, atmospheric descriptions of place, weather etc. Interesting vocabulary and literary illusions. This has been penned by an academic having fun.
"i want some excitement in my life"
that's what poet Richard cadogan tells his publisher and heads off to oxford to be with gervase fen an old friend. . he gets more than he bargained for when he inadvertently finds himself in a deserted toy shop. he then finds a dead body, so begins the third book in the series and it has everything you could wish for, following clues, chases both on foot and in a car, and funnier than the previous books. loved it.
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