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The Glimpses of the Moon (Gervase Fen, #10)
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The Glimpses of the Moon (Gervase Fen #10)

3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  276 ratings  ·  40 reviews
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 ruralcalm is shattered. Soon the corpses are multiplying and the entire community isinvolved in the murder hunt. While the rector, the major, the police and a journalist, desperate for the scoop of the century, chase fals ...more
Published by Amereon Limited (first published 1977)
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This later installment is somewhat at odds with the feel of the earlier books -- there is a strange and to me displeasing juxtaposition of more explicit nastiness (animal torture, human dismemberment, child abuse, unhealthy sexuality) with sudden farcical scenes of slapstick. Even more displeasing was the crude sexual (and usually sexist) jokes that seem to have largely displaced the more literary cleverness that characterized Crispin's earlier books.

The mysteries themselves were convoluted and
I received a copy of The Glimpses of the Moon from Bloomsbury Reader via Netgalley.

I chose this book because I had just read the first Gervase Fen mystery "The Case of the Gilded Fly" and thought Fen would be an interesting detective to follow. I realized that this book was somewhat later in the series, but I didn't realize that it was written in the 1970s. While there were many contemporary references in the first book -- most of which I didn't catch because, of course, I wasn't born when it wa
Chase Kimball
Edmund Crispin is the pen name of Bruce Montgomery, an organist and composer of film and more serious music. As a sideline he wrote mysteries. I have long been fanatically fond of his novels, and recently started re-reading "Glimpses of the Moon." I love these books for their gentle humor and fantastic approaches to staple mystery conventions like "the locked room." They are also extremely literate, with many references to Shakespeare and great poetry. These are among the hardest mysteries to fi ...more
Lisa Kucharski
The finale book by Crispin with his detective Fen, and a book where he let his hair down and created all sorts of fantastic events, as well as some characters (one resembling the author.)

In this mystery Fen stays mostly on the outside but does in fact, hold the answer to finding out the identity of a victim and murderer. A great way to end the series, but I would suggest to those coming to Crispin's work to not read this first. It is a last book, and whether Crispin knew of his death, it still f
Rishiyur Nikhil
The London Times says: "One of the last new exponents of the classical
English detective story ... elegant, literate and funny".

I'd agree with that assessment re. the writing style, but I think the
plot line is weak.

The style is indeed reminiscent of a mix of Agatha Christie (English
countryside murder mystery), P.G.Wodehouse (laughingly absurd
situations and dry commentary on countryside shenanigans), and uses
lots of English words beyond my vocabulary (literate).

It's also quite dated in its termino
I hadn't read any Gervase Fen mysteries in years. Here's my reactions as I read this one:
Page 100: Wow, Crispin is great. Why the hell did I ever stop reading these?
Page 200: Oh, right, now I remember.
Page 300 (last page): This is the problem with comic mysteries. If the humor isn't suited to yours, the book is much more of a slog to read than a non-comic mystery. On paper, I should love this series: the detective is a professor of English Literature at Oxford, and the mysteries are usually gold
Helen Walton
These are my new soothing read. I love golden age detection fiction - and these are perfect. Gervase Fen is a delightful chief detective and Crispin excels in farce. This books is full of the absurd- cow car chases, elderly majors dropping out of trees, exploding pylons and masses of hilarious characters (like the electricity board employee who turns out to be an incompetent thief booby-trapped by the vicar).

The only issue is that the prejudices of the period do infuse the book - one has to igno
Sue Berg
Glimpses of the Moon (Unabridged)

Author: Edmund Crispin
Philip Bird
Audible Ltd
Running Time:
5 h 20 min

another audio version that does not appear in the "other editions" options --

this is my favorite Fen book -- there are a couple of really good "fiasco" events in the book but what makes it my favorite is that this is an audio version and i just love the laugh of the vicar during one of these fiascoes!
the actual crime is a bit gruesome ... but somehow that lau
I'm sure part of the reason that I didn't enjoy this was that I jumped into a series at a later point instead of starting at the beginning. However, I just didn't enjoy any of the characters at all, even once I began to figure out who was who. In the middle of the book when the narrative switched to the police, at first I was very annoyed (and frustrated - even more characters to sort out!) but eventually I ended up enjoying those characters more than Fen and his compatriots. I finished it so th ...more
Kathleen L Donnelly
Top Notch Crispen

This book is a tutorial on making the English language musical. Dr. Fen, professor is once again making himself at home in one of the most unusual Devon villages. There, he is caught up in mystery to make Christie blush. I loved the finely tuned outrageous cast of characters that abound in this book. In short, it is Cold Comfort Farm meets Hamish Macbeth. I recommend it strongly for mystery readers who enjoy a story infused with wit charm. Highly recommend.
Gervase Fen is taking a sabbatical and staying in the cottage belonging some friends of his while he writes a book on the modern novel. The village had been the scene of a murder a few weeks before Fen’s arrival but for once he isn’t that interested in it until he starts to hear a bit more about it. Then he starts to wonder whether the right person has been convicted. Fen himself is carrying around a pig’s head from which he is going to make brawn which adds a certain surreal element to the stor ...more
Susan Ferguson
I love Edmund Crispin's books. I don't think I had read this one before, Gervase Fen was rather detached in this one except for giving the detective the clue he needed to solve it. He was quite amusing in his pondering of the book he was writing on novelists. He wasn't terribly excited about it and not at all thrilled with some of the books and authors. His occasional comments from left field were hilarious.
This is the only writer I have read where I keep having to look up words. I read this on
Lisa H.
This was the book that caused me to expand my horizons, from a long-established steady diet of science fiction and fantasy, to include mysteries. My best friend STOLE IT from a rack of paperbacks at the grotty little store off campus and gave it to me for my 18th birthday. (I didn't know until much later that she had stolen it.)

Beginning in 1944 with The Case of the Gilded Fly and ending with the publication of Glimpses shortly before his death in 1978, Crispin (aka Bruce Montgomery) produced n
Mar 05, 2013 Jen rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: mystery
he Glimpses of the Moon, a Net Galley ebook, is a quirky, amusing, and literary mystery full of allusions and comical characters, set in rural Devon. A delightful satire.

The novel is something of a parody, and the characters are more important than the murders. Professor Gervase Fen is writing a book on the post-modern novel while staying in the house of vacationing friends in the Devon countryside and finds the original murder of a character named Routh uninteresting, although his friends and n
Pam Mcbride
On a search for literate, cozy mysteries I came across Edmund Crispin's Gervase Fen mysteries and opted to start with the one that had garnered the most stars on Goodreads, rather than the first in the series. The opening charmed me and led me to believe I was on familiar escapist ground in an idiosyncratic English village (there's a Major! And a vacationing Oxford don! And the best Rector EVER!). A third of the way in I was so delighted with the author's wit and slyly unorthodox cast of charact ...more
Imagine if you will an Agatha Christie, but seen in the distorting mirror of a fairground. All of the characters in this book are eccentric, if not completely barking mad. The incidents described are all more or less to do with the plot, but are little gems taken in complete isolation. I recommend in particular the one involving the hunt, hunt saboteurs, a herd of cows and a motorcycle rally for sustained comic lunacy. In the end whodunnit seems almost to be immaterial.
Gloria Mccracken
This is the sort of mystery I would have had no patience with when I was younger. But I have mellowed. If however, you feel like you'd like to have some idea of what is going on most of the time, this is not the series for you. It is full of, let's tell it like it is: ODD characters, many of whom seem to have very little reason for being in the story, except for general zaniness. However, some of them do have a relationship to the plot; the trick is telling which are which. So if you ...more
Martin Davies
There are lots of things to not like about Edmund Crispin novels if you want to look for them (old-fashioned? certainly; strong female characters? er, perhaps not)but when I start reading I forget them all. Loved this as a child and still do. There some good stuff with bumpy things in sacks and a pleasingly mysterious dismembered corpse.
One of Crispin's more manic offerings, as he takes his amateur detective professor of literature out of Oxford and sets him down in a small country village full of eccentric characters, including an arthritic but adventure-seeking retired major and the most wonderfully curmudgeonly rector ever to be found in detective fiction, and it all winds up with a completely unrealitic but insantely chase through the briars and brambles of the countryside.

Note: Although this novel seems to be set in the la
oh so clever and fussy! everybody's got a thing, from the turtle who can only eat pre-chewed pansy petals to the commercial jingle-loving, tone-deaf Major (who breaks into song inopportunely). totally tongue in cheek and irreverent. the book is viciously aware of itself, as we see when the Major mentions that Fen must have solved the mystery since we're almost to the end of the book, and Fen himself criticizes Crispin's choice of subject matter. the atmosphere is totally quirky and eccentric, no ...more
I have read several Fen books. This is definitely different, but probably my favorite. The audio edition narrated by Phillip Bird is delightful.
The author seems to have been feeling very misanthropic when he wrote this. While it is true none of the main female characters are portrayed very flatteringly, the same is true of the men, including Fen. I found I could put that aside and enjoy the ever present humour.

What I found harder to gloss over was the gruesome descriptions of animal cruelty and the death of Mavis Trent in the beginning. After skimming quickly over those and firmly refusing to remember them, I settled down to enjoy the f
Having enjoyed other Gervase Fen books, I was disappointed with this one. Just can't get past the generational sexism here.
Maia B.
It's total farce! Fen is transformed from a hilarious, really weird man into somebody totally normal because every single thing that happens in this book is based on farce. I stopped reading about a hundred pages from the end because it was too ridiculous. I really couldn't enjoy it - it was just bad. And I didn't even rapidly skip to find the murderer, then stop reading. I wasn't really interested in who the murderer was. And the humor was really off-color or not funny at all.

This is the worst
This was a very fun book. It took me a little while to get into it, but it was worth the trouble. Great characters, good story, lots of laughs. I was very glad to have it on my Kindle. Edmund Crispin uses a lot of archaic language. Having a dictionary at my fingertips was really helpful. I really enjoyed this book and am ready to read it again. My enthusiasm convinced my husband to read it. I'll be glad to have someone to share it with. Thank you to NetGalley for introducing me to this delightfu ...more
Les Wilson
See "Miriam's" review for my feelings on this book.
Laurel Hicks
Well done, Mr Crispin! A murder mystery with much more than murder in it.
(Audio version) Classic British cosy mystery - or meta cosy mystery! Clever language and steroetypical characters and plot with non-steroetypical twists are very satisfying and humerous. This book nods to itself and the entire genre! My only problem is that I didn't really get into the characters as I would with a less clever book. As funny and quick as it was, it doesn't have the heart of the best mysteries. Fun, though!
I thought Crispin got too tangled up in his various comedy scenes and left the mystery to drift a lot of the time. He hadn't written a mystery in 20-some years, and this was released shortly before his death. The author (composer Bruce Montgomery) still had his lively sense of farce, but less writing discipline.
This book was written after Crispen let Gervase Fen rest for about 25 years. It took me a while to appreciate the change of era as well as a change in the style of writing but once I settled in I was thoroughly engrossed in what was much more a comedy of manners in the flower power years than a mystery. It was witty, farsical and fun.
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Edmund Crispin was the pseudonym of (Robert) Bruce Montgomery (1921-1978). His first crime novel and musical composition were both accepted for publication while he was still an undergraduate at Oxford. After a brief spell of teaching, he became a full-time writer and composer (particularly of film music. He wrote the music for six of the Carry On films. But he was also well known for his concert ...more
More about Edmund Crispin...

Other Books in the Series

Gervase Fen (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • The Case of the Gilded Fly (Gervase Fen, #1)
  • Holy Disorders (Gervase Fen, #2)
  • The Moving Toyshop (Gervase Fen, #3)
  • Swan Song (Gervase Fen, #4)
  • Love Lies Bleeding (Gervase Fen, #5)
  • Buried for Pleasure (Gervase Fen, #6)
  • Frequent Hearses (Gervase Fen, #7)
  • The Long Divorce (Gervase Fen, #8)
  • Beware of the Trains (Gervase Fen, #9)
  • Fen Country:  Twenty-Six Stories Featuring Gervase Fen (Gervase Fen, #11)
The Moving Toyshop (Gervase Fen, #3) The Case of the Gilded Fly (Gervase Fen, #1) Love Lies Bleeding (Gervase Fen, #5) Swan Song (Gervase Fen, #4) Holy Disorders (Gervase Fen, #2)

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