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Publisher's Summary

Death and decapitation seem to go hand in hand in the Devon village of Aller. When the first victim's head is sent floating down the river, the village's rural calm is shattered. Soon the corpses are multiplying and the entire community is involved in the murder hunt. While the rector, the major, the police and a journalist, desperate for the scoop of the century, chase false trails, it is left to Gervase Fen, Oxford don and amateur criminologist, to uncover the sordid truth.

©2012 Edmund Crispin (P)2013 Audible Ltd

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.0 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Story

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  • Sires
  • Chesapeake, OH, United States
  • 04-28-13

Excellent Narration of A Satirical British Mystery

This was my first run-in with Philip Bird, but I am really pleased with his work on this book. He manages to differentiate the characters very well-- which isn't easy when the speaking characters are mostly male. I thought this was as close to a five star performance as makes no difference.

As for the story. This is the last book published by Edmund Crispin (aka Robert Bruce Montgomery). His popular detective, Oxford Don Professor Gervase Fen, is house sitting for a couple of friends traveling in Canada while writing a book on the post WW II modern novel. About eight weeks before the beginning of the story, a murder had been perpetuated against a most deserving victim. However, it was the events that occurred after the murder that led to the arrest and incarceration in an insane asylum of Hagbert, a local eccentric with a mania for work.

As usual Crispin populates his story with a host of amusingly looney characters. There's also some jokes that don't quite come through in the narration. For instance one character is named Thouless who is composer of music for movies-- he is currently working on music for a horror movie title Unalive. Crispin under his real name, Bruce Montgomery, composed music for movies including the first six "Carry On" movies. There's also a tortoise named Ellis with an underbite who needs his pansy petals premasticated; an overly amorous tom cat named Stripey; the Major who despite his years of service in the Cavalry disliked horses, mainly because he had never been thrown; and assorted other local characters including Titty and Tatty (Titania and Tatiania) a pair of elderly sisters who had one deaf aid between them and a devotion to what they fondly imagined was a Botticelli painting of the Assumption of the Virgin.

So part of the time the book is a mystery and part of the time it is a farce. And I have to believe that the ridiculously drawn out denouement was intentional. There's also sly literary references everywhere.

Recommended highly for those who are willing to accept a satire of the mystery genre and delight in ferreting out Crispin's donnish humor (or humour, I guess I should say).

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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lighthearted listen and a murder mystery

“There is humour which for the cheerful friends we got, and for the thinking parties there is a plot”

Taking some time in Devon, Fen meets up with the Vicar and the Major at a time when a few peculiar murders are done. A journalist joins the trio and together they, like everyone elce in town, talk about who might have 'done it'..
In amongst the Church Fete, Anti Hunting protests,. misbehaving power lines, a gift of a pigs head to make brawn and promiscuous people, the plot unfolds.
Scatterings of Donish quotes from often obscure authors and creative observations are here in plenty. ( 'as insubstantial as ectoplasm at a séance').

Tongue in cheek as usual, this is a delightful listen so well narrated by Phillip Bird.

The following is the order of writing/publishing (not all available yet from Audible)

The Case Of the Gilded Fly..(1944)
Holy Disorders
The Moving Toyshop
Swan Song
Love Lies Bleeding
Buried for Pleasure
Frequent Hearses
The Long Divorce
Beware of the Trains
The Glimpses of the Moon (1977)
Fen Country (posthumously)

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Fantastic

The use of language is wonderful.There is a goog plot a d good character.I really like witty writing.

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  • Susan C.
  • Madison, WI United States
  • 05-08-17

Sublime nonsense.

This is one of my favorite books. Full of good humor, gore, and adorable characters.

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A winner.

If you're like me and enjoy learning new words, appreciate beautiful sentence structure, and like eccentric characters, you will enjoy Crispin's work. I had previously read the book and got much more of the humor through Bird's excellent delivery. This is a rare book that I will re-read and listen to again. Odd insight--I liked the speed better at 75%. Perhaps that made the British accent easier to understand.

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Best Crispin on Audible

This is the funniest of the Edmund Crispin on Audible. Philip Bird does an excellent job of conveying the period feel and delivering Crispin's understated humour with subtle style.

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A disappointment

Would you try another book from Edmund Crispin and/or Philip Bird?

no. It was hard to keep track of the characters and frankly they just weren't very interesting.

Has Glimpses of the Moon turned you off from other books in this genre?

no

How could the performance have been better?

I bought it to listen to on a long trip with my husband, he couldn't understand the British accent of the reader. We haven't had this problem before with British narrators. I wish I hadn't wasted my credit on this book.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

There wasn't any cursing.

0 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
  • PFK
  • 04-07-13

Such fun!

This is one of the funniest, zaniest detective stories I know, beautifully written in dead-pan style. The plot is weirdly wonderful but the characters and the events are the books real joy. This title is one I turn to when I am feeling ill and depressed.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Avril
  • 08-03-14

What an treasure for my library

Any additional comments?

I can hardly believe that I have not read or listened to any Fen mysteries before now. What a treasury of perfect, gentle and humorous, English detective stories unsullied by sex and unnecessary gore. I am now well on the way to acquiring all available audiobooks in this series. Beautifully read by Philip Bird.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • amanda
  • 07-09-13

some very funny moments

What did you like most about Glimpses of the Moon?

the humorous parts, made brilliant by the narration

Who was your favorite character and why?

the Major, he was so matter of fact

What does Philip Bird bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

the intonation of the different characters

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

i found it funny and entertaining

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Valerie
  • 05-20-13

Great twist

Edmund Crispin's use of the English language is second to none, which makes his stories a pleasure to read on so many levels. I doubt many writers today have such a grasp of the breadth and beauty of our rich language.

Glimpses of the Moon is the funniest of the Gervaise Fen mysteries that I have read. He brings together an eclect cast of characters into a witty whodunnit with a clever twist.

Very entertaining and enjoyable!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Dr
  • 07-01-13

Fun and different

Where does Glimpses of the Moon rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This was a fun book and very different from my usual listening. The story was amusing the characters well drawn and a rich variety of people is depicted.

What did you like best about this story?

Story and characters so different from the norm

Have you listened to any of Philip Bird’s other performances? How does this one compare?

This is the only one to date

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It made me laugh several times

Any additional comments?

I shall look out for more by the author

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 08-08-17

Elegant read

Enjoyed time, place, tone and great narration. Denouement bundled and hurried unappealingly into final chapter.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Rogayah
  • 07-17-16

Amusing

Another one of the Gervase Fen stories with the usual collection of eccentrics and suspicious villagers.

As always Fen helps the police solve the seemingly unsolvable murder mystery. The stories may merge one into the other but they are lively and light, unlike some earnest and grim contemporary detective stories. It is always nice to be able to smile or chuckle at something someone says or does in these stories.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Alex
  • 12-13-15

Smug, sarcastic and trying too hard to be funny

Having read other reviews, I was so disappointed. I think perhaps this is one of those books that you either love or hate - I hate it! I’ve listened for three hours and I can’t go on. The author’s ‘voice’ is very strong, he makes cynical and sarcastic descriptions that interrupt the ‘reality’ of the story. It’s trying far too hard to be funny and to me it just comes across as smug and unpleasant. I love the English Country House Murder Mystery genre but I prefer the light spoofing humour of James Anderson more than this sarcastic, cynical offering. Not for me!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Mrs. K. I. Richards
  • 09-30-15

enjoyabe listen

Any additional comments?

well written with murder and humour this is the last book in the series.<br/>in this story I liked the major who burst into song singing the advert jingles.<br/>enjoyed the series and recommend it.<br/>Philip bird performed all the books making them an enjoyable listening experience.<br/>

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • My Idoru
  • 06-02-17

So good I listened twice

Would you consider the audio edition of Glimpses of the Moon to be better than the print version?

Whilst I enjoy reading Crispin, Philip Bird is so good a narrator he makes it even better

What did you like best about this story?

So many threads ravelling and twining together, so many fine 'rustic' characters.

What about Philip Bird’s performance did you like?

Bird just brings the characters to life in the best way.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

(Benny Hill chase music)

Any additional comments?

Proper laughed.