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

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  427 Ratings  ·  63 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 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 fa ...more
Published January 1st 1999 by Amereon Limited (first published 1977)
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Mar 19, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
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
Aug 14, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
August 2017 reread: While not Crispin's best mystery, the humor and eccentric characters make this a fun book to read. I think that I enjoyed Fen's literary references much more in this reread as I am more familiar with the authors mentioned than I was 25 years ago when I first read this.
May 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Goodreads led me to select this book from the library shelf because one reviewer applauding works of Michael Gilbert said he was a fan of all Edmund Crispin books. I came away from the library with a couple Gilberts and one Crispin and found myself in hysterics within minutes of turning the pages of this book. I laughed out loud quite a bit during the reading of this wild tale, but admit that my stamina waned at times as the jokes went a bit far. The Rector in this Devon village never misses an ...more
Lisa Kucharski
Dec 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Jan 31, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
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
Apr 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
THE GLIMPSES OF THE MOON. (1977). Edmund Crispin. ***1/2.
This was Mr. Crispin’s last novel featuring his series hero, Gervaise Fen. It was the ninth novel, and came quite a while after he had written the eighth in the series. It was longer than his typical novel, and very different in content. Fen does his stuff, but the circumstances surrounding his crimes moved more towards what we now call ‘Hard Boiled.’ I suspect that if Crispin had lived longer and continued to write, he would have been at
Chase Kimball
Apr 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
Maia B.
Feb 11, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
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
Kay Tennant
Why did I persevere?!

This was Avery difficult book to read, let alone understand. The entire story is written in dialect and uses words I have never seen nor heard. It also made references to literary works I was not familiar with. I would decide to quit reading it every few pages but then I would decide it was getting better. It never did. Perhaps a British person would find it more enjoyable.
Oct 15, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle, 2017
Note to self: if you are reviewing your ratings of Crispin books in order to decide whether or not to attempt a third, just don’t. Though you made it through this one and found it mildly amusing, it was at times tiresome and wholly forgettable. The dictionary on the Kindle was the only thing that made it readable at all.
Jun 15, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Fast Read

This book is a very quick read, but it gets silly. Some of the scenes play out as if borrowed from the Keystone Kops. It tends to get wordy and repetitive. There are better choices out there.
Carol Berkman
Oct 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good fun

Complex plots - too complex - and lots of words to look up even though I have a grand vocabulary together wit some skillful comedy: what more can one ask of a mystery? I reserve five stars for great lit, but Crispin's books are grand fun and I highly recommend them.
Mark Wilson
Classic British mystery: convoluted, unlikely - and entertaining

Odd characters, baroque murders, body parts that disappear and reappear apparently willy-nilly - this book has them all. Cheerfully preposterous but always fun.
Jun 26, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Couldn't finish.
Jennifer E Senseman
Story with substance

A story with creative verbiage and delightful nuance. Many interesting and personable characters. The dry British wit shall live forever!
Gabi Coatsworth
I don't think I'd read anything by this author before, but the name of the sleuth, Gervase Fen, was familiar, so when this popped up on BookBub I bought it. Really, it strained credibility from the first, and to add to my confusion, Gervase Fen is almost a side character. Maybe the earlier books are more entertaining, but based on this one, it will take a lot to make me read another
Pam Mcbride
Jan 03, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: cozy-mystery
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
Whistlers Mom
Sep 14, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Edmund Crispin certainly had an unusual career as a writer. At the age of 23, he published his first mystery featuring eccentric Oxford dean (and amateur detective) Gervase Fen. That was in 1944 and between then and 1953 he published seven more full-length books and one book of short stories, all with Professor Fen as the prominent character. The he stopped writing mysteries and devoted himself to his career as a film composer.

We don't see Fen again until he reappears in GLIMPSES OF THE MOON in
Mar 05, 2013 rated it liked it
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
Jan 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Rishiyur Nikhil
Aug 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
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
Elaine Tomasso
I would like to thank Netgalley and Bloomsbury Reader for a review copy of The Glimpses Of The Moon.

Gervaise Fen, an Oxford professor, is on sabbatical in Devon to write a book. There has been much discussion in the village about a murder 8 weeks before where Halberd is supposed to have killed Routh and dismembered the body but Fen has not been paying attention. His attention is caught, however, when another dismembered body turns up at the village fête and Halberd is still in Rampton. This thro
Susan Ferguson
Nov 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, 2012, nook-owned
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.
Jul 21, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
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
Dawn Marie
It's rare that I abandon a book but I came mighty close with this one. Honestly, I only read the first two thirds and skimmed the rest. I read the last chapter because, after all, it is Gervase Fen and the last at that.
I suppose I started bristling at the first with the juxtaposition of Gervase Fen in the 70's. Ugh, that clashed so badly in my brain that it was tough to get past its unpleasant polyester taste. Also, in this book the whole cheeky thing of the characters acknowledging the author,
Dec 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.

This is the 10th boo
Aug 01, 2015 rated it it was ok
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
Mar 28, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: christmas-books
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
Dec 24, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Helen Walton
Oct 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
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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)
“At this rate, he felt, he might even live to see the day when novelists described their characters by some other device than that of manoeuvring them into examining themselves in mirrors.” 1 likes
“Well, my dear fellow, if you say so. But who is the Botticelli murderer?’ ‘I don’t know.’ ‘But you must know by now, my dear fellow,’ said the Major plaintively. ‘We’re practically at the end of the book.’ All” 1 likes
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