The Case of the Gilded Fly (Gervase Fen #1)
Theater companies are notorious hotbeds of intrigue, and few are more intriguing than the company currently in residence at Oxford University. Center-stage is the beautiful, malicious Yseut, a mediocre actress with a stellar talent for destroying men. Rounding out the cast are more than a few of her past and present conquests, and the women who love them. And watching from...more
Robert Bruce Montgomery A.K.A. Edmund Crispin was a composer as well as crim ...more
This very much fits with the sense his writing gives of Montgomery (Crispin was a nom de plume) as a person. He writes very cleverly, and with a sort of academic enthusiasm, but does not seem to understand people very well. ...more
It's been a long time s ...more
This first detective novel by Edmund Crispin (nom de plume of composer Robert Bruce Montgomery) has all the characteristics beloved by fans of his masterpiece The Moving Toyshop: the hothouse Oxford University atmosphere, the ornate and impish prose style, the bewildering superabundance of literary allusion, and that memorable—if not quite beloved—character, the eccentric English professor (and amateur detective) Gervase Fen.
When actress Iseult is found shot in the head with a pistol days before ...more
Having had a few days to allow this murder mystery to percolate through my brain, I have come to the conclusion that the whole thing is a novel-length p*ss-take of the genre and that the author was laughing up his sleeve at the reader the whole time. Set in Oxford during World War II, the story revolves around a repertory theater group who are putting on--from scratch in one week--a play by a brilliant playw ...more
The Book Description: Theater companies are notorious hotbeds of intrigue, and few are more intriguing than the company currently in residence at Oxford University. Center-stage is the beautiful, malicious Yseult, a mediocre actress with a stellar talent for destroying men. Rounding out the cast are more than a few of her past and present conquests, and the women who love them. And watching from the wings is Professor Gervase Fen--scholar, wit, and fop extraordinaire--who wou ...more
A locked room mystery set backstage of the current Oxford University company in residence whose just so happen to be more than passing acquaintances with resident amateur sleuth and professional English literature lecturer, Gervase Fen.
Aside from the excellent prologue (which felt almost as if it had been tac ...more
The actual details o ...more
The first novel in the Gervase Fen series and the first of Crispin's novels which I've read, this was the August 2012 group read for the English Mysteries Book Club. Gervase Fen, an Oxford don and gifted amateur detective, solves the murder of an actress apparently hated by all who knew her.
This review, written by my friend Jane and this one written by my friend Tracey, leave me little to say about the novel. Jane and Tracey (as usual) do a great job with their analysis of the strengths and wea ...more
One of Crispin's best Gervase Fen novels, The Case of the Gilded Fly is about murder in a repertory company in Oxford. Nowadays, the decline in theatregoing has killed off the provincial rep scene which used to be so important to the theatre community, and most British theatres outside London play home to sequences of touring productions of lightweight pieces sold to the public by a star name, usually a TV actor, rather than being the home of the ...more
I know we are to taught to regard 'style over substance' as a bad thing, but sometimes style is enough. And oh my, Crispin writes with style.
If you do take the plunge, the kindle version is very useful for looking up all the words and ...more
El misterio de la mosca dorada de Edmund Crispin. Lo intelectual no está reñido con lo popular
“Allí, junto al camposanto, hace un alto la locomotora, con morbosa pertinacia, emitiendo esporádicos gritos y lamentos de deleite necrofílico. Un sentimiento de feroz e irritante frustración se apodera entonces del viajero. Ahí está Oxford, apenas a unos kilómetros de distancia se encuentra la estación, y aquí, el tren. A los pasajeros no se les perm ...more
Scanning my Big List ‘o Books, this title caught my eye. It sounded vaguely fanciful, and though obviously mysterious, was filed under ‘comedy’ rather than ‘crime’. So far so good. A bit of casual Amazon research turned up that it was indeed a mystery, set in Oxford, written by an Englishman. Even better. What cinched the deal, however, was a Goodreads review in which I was promised a tho ...more
You see, a couple of years ago I snatched up a selection of Edmund Crispin’s works in elderly green Penguin editions. Pretty books, but unfortunately when I opened the first in the series I discovered that it began at page 25.
The mystery of the missing pages is unsolved, but I have learned to open and check old books now before buying.
Now, back to the book.
I always find it ...more
In The Case of the Gilded Fly Fen has an opportunity to demonstrate his incisive thinking and forensic imagination when a particularly unpopular second-rate actress is killed in the college rooms below his own one evening when he and his wife, Doll ...more
"Sheila McGraw, the young woman who produced the plays at the repertory theatre in Oxford, traveled third-class. She did this ...more
Un misterio "quién lo hizo" británico de manual. De hecho, sigue tan al pie de la letra las reglas del género, que los propios personajes bromean con ello, ya que ellos mismos saben que están dentro de una historia de detectives.
Segunda historia del detective Gervaise Fen escrita por Edmund Crispin que leo, pero primera en la cronología del personaje. Me ha gustado mucho, pero menos que "La juguetería errante". Opino que "La jugueter ...more
From the back flap:
“Edmund Crispin,” creator of nine detective novels and one book of stories featuring Gervase Fen, was under his real name Bruce Montgomery, a highly successful composer of music for motion pictures. A graduate of Oxford and at one time a schoolmaster (a fact to which he attributed, tongue-in-cheek, his knowledge of the criminal in human nature), he was also briefly an actor. This varied background gave him the factual ...more
Unfortunately I thought this story suffered from a few flaws. The protagonist, Professor Gervase Fen, his amateur sleuth was a bit too smug and condescending as in insufferable in this particular story, which is the first in th ...more