The Case of the Gilded Fly (The First Gervase Fen Mystery)

by edmund crispin | Mystery & Thrillers |
ISBN: 1933397004 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingjlautnerwing of Henderson, Nevada USA on 11/1/2015
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1 journaler for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingjlautnerwing from Henderson, Nevada USA on Sunday, November 01, 2015
I don't remember where I picked this up. It was several months ago.

Journal Entry 2 by wingjlautnerwing at San Luis Obispo, California USA on Monday, November 02, 2015
I don't snub mystery books because they are older, but I admit that I am a little wary of them. I don't expect to like them quite as much, unless they are by some of my longtime favorite authors. For some reason I had not heard of Crispin. Except for the notorious Crispin who killed all those elderly people. Not the same one here! It's not even his real name.

This is a curious case of an investigation by a person who seems to be in the background most of the time. We don't follow Gervase Fen, hear his thoughts, get into his skin. Instead, we follow the story through a newspaper reporter, Nigel Blake, who used to be a student of Fen's. I see him as becoming something of a sidekick without actually being at Fen's side most of the time.

The story features a theater in Oxford where a new play is about to be performed. Two sisters are acting in it, and one of them is murdered. There are many suspects because Yseut was not loved. Beautiful, predatory, ambitious, but not loved. Her murder takes place in an area where it appears nobody could have killed her. So it might look like suicide. But we know right away that it isn't.

Gervase Fen is a professor of English literature, and literate he most certainly is. The book is riddled with literary allusions, not all of them coming from Fen. I am sure that those with a real classical education would revel in knowing all of the quotations. I certainly did not. And that does not detract from enjoying the book, at least in my case. In addition to dropping bits of literary history here and there, Fen prides himself on his ability to solve crimes. The rather strange, sometimes rude, sometimes loud, and usually interesting Fen gets to solve this one.


Released 4 yrs ago (3/4/2017 UTC) at Little Free Library at 1739 San Luis Drive in San Luis Obispo, California USA

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