This is a vintage murder mystery. 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.
Edmund Crispin was the pseudonym of Bruce Montgomery, an English crime writer and composer. He graduated from St John's College, Oxford, in 1943, with a BA in modern languages, having for two years been its organist and choirmaster. From 1943 to 1945 he taught at Shrewsbury School and in 1944 published the first of nine Gervase Fen novels, The Case of the Gilded Fly. He became a well respected reviewer of crime, writing for the Sunday Times from 1967 until his death in 1978. He also composed the music for many of the Carry On films. From the original editions: 'Edmund Crispin's recreations are swimming, excessive smoking, Shakespeare, the operas of Wagner and Strauss, idleness and cats. His antipathies are dogs, the French Film, the Renaissance of the British Film, psychoanalysis, the psychological-realistic crime story and the contemporary theatre.'