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Love Lies Bleeding (Gervase Fen, #5)
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Love Lies Bleeding (Gervase Fen #5)

3.94  ·  Rating Details ·  1,204 Ratings  ·  46 Reviews
Castrevenford school invites English professor and amateur sleuth Gervase Fen to present the prizes at Speech Day. However the night before, strange events leave two staff members dead. The Headmaster calls on Professor Fen to investigate.
Paperback, 288 pages
Published April 5th 2007 by Vintage (first published 1948)
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Sep 15, 2008 Louis rated it it was amazing
Crispin's the writer who slipped more polysyllables into the whodunnit genre than any other. He occasionally runs so beautifully away with the language that it feels as though either he'd really rather not be writing crime novels, or he's forgotten that he is. For those who care, he delivers slippier & more satisfying plots than you've a right to demand, and for those who don't, he leaves you feeling you've had the kind of wonderful conversation you were worried you'd never have.
Le estoy cogiendo el gusto a las novelas de Edmund Crispin. Tras ‘La juguetería errante’ y ‘El canto del cisne’, la editorial Impedimenta nos ofrece ‘Trabajos de amor ensangrentados’. Se tratan de novelas protagonizadas por el profesor de Lengua y Literatura en Oxford y detective aficionado Gervase Fen, excéntrico, inteligente y perspicaz como pocos. Sus casos tienen que ver con misterios y crímenes a puerta cerrada, en los que se analizan las pruebas y pesquisas minuciosamente, pasando por ...more
Aug 15, 2016 Kirsty rated it really liked it
Such an inventive and well-constructed book. Some of the conclusion did seem very obvious, but only when it was revealed; before that, I was enraptured, and made no guesses as to what had happened, as I ordinarily do. A very enjoyable piece of crime fiction; an absorbing, intelligent, and surprisingly quick read.
Susan Johnson
May 29, 2013 Susan Johnson rated it really liked it
I finished the book last night and loved it. First of all it was set at a boys school. This is one of my fantasies. At one time I had four teen-agers at home ages 13-18 and thought that it would be lovely if we had the British system of sending teens away. I can't tell you how many days I dreamed of that. I don't know why they call them public schools when they're really private and cost money? Can anybody help me ou there?
I really liked Gervase Fen. I envisioned him as a rumpled old guy that yo
Philip Jackson
Dec 10, 2012 Philip Jackson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Edmund Crispin's books, while being great golden age detective stories, are also remarkably literary. I even had to reach for the dictionary for some enlightenment on one particular word I'd never heard of in this book. Crispin's detective, Gervase Fen, is an enormously likeable individual - a scholarly Oxford don who is perfectly suited to unpicking the intricacies of this particular puzzler which centres around the unexpected discovery of a long lost Shakespeare manuscript. Set in a private ...more
May 04, 2008 rabbitprincess rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of British mysteries, fans of Golden Age detective fiction
Recommended to rabbitprincess by: English prof
A nicely written story with a thoroughly idiosyncratic hero. Gervase Fen, language and literature professor, is called upon to perform some discreet detective work at Castrevonford School: two people have been murdered the night before the school's Speech Day, and the headmaster wants the case solved quietly. Fen calls upon his knowledge as a professor to solve the case, which eventually involves a lost Shakespeare manuscript as well as a missing schoolgirl and the aforementioned murder victims. ...more
Jeffrey Marks
Sep 27, 2012 Jeffrey Marks rated it it was amazing
Gervase Fen visits a school for a lecture and finds 3 murders and a kidnapping in less than 24 hours! Though not as wild as some of his earlier works, there's lots of fun to be had and I laughed out loud several times while reading it. Highly recommended it.
Jun 01, 2016 Rosemarie rated it really liked it
This is the first book that I have reas by this author, but it won't be the last. The writing is witty and the mood is light, for a murder mystery. All in all it was an enjoyable read.
Mariano Hortal
Publicado en

“Trabajos de amor ensangrentados” de Edmund Crispin. Shakespeare como excusa.

Siempre es un acontecimiento que veamos publicada una novela de detectives; no deja de ser curioso que con el impulso de Agatha Christie, figura reconocible y prestigiosa de este tipo de novelas y miembro del famoso “Detection Club” del que ya he hablado alguna vez en otros posts, no haya sido aprovechado para publicar otros autores similares del club o fuera de él.
Simon Mcleish
Aug 10, 2012 Simon Mcleish rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
Originally published on my blog here& in August 2000.

We used to have Speech Days at the school which I attended, days on which prizes were given out and the boys and parents had to endure some of the most boring speeches imaginable. (The one in my final year, which I did not attend because of university entrance interviews, was easily the most lively: the headmaster unexpectedly declared that with government interference it was no longer possible for the school to offer a good education, and
Jul 11, 2014 Sub_zero rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reto-2014

En esta nueva entrega de la serie, la prestigiosa escuela Castrevenford (emplazada en las inmediaciones de un encantador pueblecito inglés) se convertirá en el centro de una rocambolesca e intrincada pesquisa justo el día antes de celebrar su fiesta de graduación. Allí se encuentra en calidad de invitado el excéntrico profesor de Literatura Gervase Fen, célebre por estar dotado de un irreverente humor británico y un envidiable olfato detectivesco que lo señalan como el individuo idóneo para r
Ah yes, the joy of memories of the school Shakespeare play. This wonderful book brings it all back. Except that in my own experience I don’t (thankfully) recall any murder; even though I’m sure that our teachers must have felt like it at times.

Fen does well and truly belong in the world of a Russell group university; so there’s definitely a frisson of excitement about his translation to a younger, more hormonal, educational year in the public (private) school sector. Crispin’s exquisite descrip
May 13, 2013 Leslie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
Very enjoyable entry in the Gervase Fen series. I like books in school settings, and this one doesn't disappoint! Fen (and Crispin) are in fine form, the humor is present and the solution, while clear once Fen expostulates, was a surprise to me.
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I always enjoy this classic series. Gervase Fen is a unique, if somewhat exasperating, character and the public school setting in this entry was quite interesting.
Oct 29, 2016 Nick rated it really liked it
Crispin seems to have kept his jaunty sense of humor -- or perhaps developed it -- despite (or because of) WWII. Bruce Montgomery graduated in the middle of the war and started publishing the Gervase Fen stories a year later. His 'tec novels today are at once a reminder of all that has been lost since that war -- and all that has been gained. The lightheartedness is enviable and all but gone from our modern crime fighters; the blatant sexism is unthinking and appalling and mostly unspoken. And ...more
Nov 17, 2016 Susan rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery-england
Gervase Fen visits a public school to give prizes, but finds himself in the midst of murder and kidnapping.
Sep 17, 2016 Swathi rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime-mystery
After reading The Hollow Man by Jon Dickson Carr, my love for good murder mysteries just upsurged.
I had to pick up a book which wont let me down. The title of this book intrigued me and the "dedication" page said "To the Carr Club". And that's my motivation for starting off with the brilliant Dr Gervase Fen. Somehow, this name sounded very close to Dr Gideon Fell (Carr's luminous detective).

The mystery occurs at a Castrevenford School, where two professors ( Okay! They are called masters in the
Jul 23, 2009 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gervase Fen, professor of English at Oxford University, is my favorite fictional detective. Hence, Edmund Crispin is my favorite writer of detective stories.
Apparently this view is not widely shared, because these books are difficult to find. I got this one from the Ramsey County Library via interlibrary loan. (Thank you, Tamara and Patrick, for cluing me in to interlibrary loan.)
I like Crispin's stories for their convoluted plots, their bizarre chase scenes, their characters who truly are chara
Burgundy Rose
May 13, 2013 Burgundy Rose rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I LOVED this. It starts a little slow - the setting (a school) is really interesting for it offers a lot of different locations and characters to work with. The plot is excellent and the motive is incredible - I hadn't read anything about the book prior to my reading and I would absolutely discourage anyone from reading the summary. The motive needs to be the revelation it is in the novel as I think it's very innovative. I also really appreciated the carefully laid out conclusion and recap of ...more
Mar 10, 2016 Tony rated it really liked it
LOVE LIES BLEEDING. (1948). Edmund Crispin. ****.
From the back cover:
Professor Gervase Fen is happy to step in when his old friend, the headmaster of the exclusive Castrevenford School, needs a guest speaker for the school’s annual Speech Day. (Though the headmaster, it must be said, has his doubts as to whether Fen is “capable of the sustained hypocrisy which the occasion demands.”) Fen’s happiness, however, turns to positive glee when it becomes clear that his sleuthing skills: Not only has a
Jan 02, 2010 Yngvild rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Love Lies Bleeding was a little bit of a disappointment for an Edmund Crispin book. It follows the same pattern as The Moving Toyshop and Holy Disorders, but Professor Fen is missing a hapless poet or composer to act as straight man. As a result, the humour falls a little flat.

The action takes place at a boys’ boarding school, which provides some in-jokes about parent-teacher-student relationships. Still, the underlying plot is a little weak, there are more bodies than in a Shakespeare tragedy,
Matthew Fray
Jul 12, 2015 Matthew Fray rated it did not like it
I really liked the sound of this, particularly when a quote about it mentioned the marx brothers but I found it completely uninvolving. The detective himself, Gervase Fenn, seemed distant, supercilious and generally a bit annoying. Crispin could definitely write attractive prose, but he seems to save it up for descriptive passages that fail to move the story forward. No tension and after about 90 pages I decided I had much better things to do and far more interesting books to read. Shame really, ...more
Oct 19, 2015 Lucynell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was fun, funny and very literary. It's a murder mystery set in and around a school close to Stratford in the late 1940s, involving, perhaps inevitably, some Shakespeare manuscripts. The mystery confused me a bit. "The case was unusually plain and straightforward," our amateur detective Professor Fen says conclusively "though it involved a lot of detail." Yea it was quite a bit. The solution outlined in the final couple chapters as well as a narrative of the case goes for, well, a couple of ...more
Sheila Beaumont
This is a literate British cozy that takes place in a school setting. The mystery begins with a missing schoolgirl, the murders of two faculty members, and a theft from the chemistry lab.

Eccentric characters include the amateur detective, Oxford English professor Gervase Fen; a rustic innkeeper; a ponderously Johnsonian carpenter/lay preacher and his obsequious assistant; and an elderly bloodhound mix, Mr. Merrythought, an unlikely hero who saves the day.

Well-written, with a light touch, Love Li
Feb 12, 2013 Emily rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm being generous with three stars. Two and a half is closer to the mark.

Gervase Fen is less annoying than in previous books, but he still solves the mystery before he could possibly have had enough data to do so.

Crispin, like Conan Doyle, likes to hide his evidence from the reader. With Holmes, however, when the reader is finally made privy to his facts and evidence, the solution seems plausible. The "solution" to Fen's mystery hangs on a ludicrously far-fetched clue, and the more he explains
Apr 20, 2008 Dfordoom rated it it was amazing
Shelves: crime-mystery
Edmund Crispin’s 1948 novel Love Lies Bleeding sees Gervase Fen, Oxford don and amateur sleuth, investigating a series of murders at a school. The fantastically intricate plot involves, among other things, Shakespeare’s lost play Love’s Labour’s Won. This is very much a classic English detective story, with a complicated puzzle to solve. I love Crispin’s style, which is both ornate and urbane. Gervase Fen himself is fun. All very entertaining.
Sep 30, 2014 Estibaliz79 rated it liked it
Un misterio años cincuenta con tintes victorianos, estrambótico y divertido en su multiplicidad mortal, e incluso capaz de provocar la carcajada hacia el final. La cosa sería perfecta si la trama no fuese un poquito más enrevesada de la cuenta, pero ciertamente el aire a los Hermanos Marx y la comedia clásica es indiscutible y revitalizante... en su justa medida.

Tres estrellas y media. Podría leer más aventuras de Fen, pero no me urge.
Dec 12, 2012 Sally rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobooks
This book was only my second foray into the mystery writings of Edmund Crispin. Although not quite as good a mystery as was The Moving Toy Shop, I enjoyed the unfolding of the story and the interesting characters that the author presents. There are a few chuckles to be had at the subliminal literary references. I'd recommend this to readers who like British cozy mysteries.
Mar 16, 2011 Gerry rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gervase Fen is called in to investigate a mishap at a school. But it all leads to kidnapping and murder so the local constabulary are also required.

However, it is Fen who works it all out and solves the mysteries, in his usual literary and artistic way. The constabulary are, of course, eternally grateful!
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English Mysteries...: May 2013 - Love Lies Bleeding 45 124 Jun 02, 2013 09:43AM  
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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)
  • Buried for Pleasure (Gervase Fen, #6)
  • Frequent Hearses (Gervase Fen, #7)
  • The Long Divorce (Gervase Fen, #8)
  • Beware of the Trains (Gervase Fen, #9)
  • The Glimpses of the Moon (Gervase Fen, #10)
  • Fen Country:  Twenty-Six Stories Featuring Gervase Fen (Gervase Fen, #11)

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