Sunday, November 17, 2013

"From There It Moves on into Keystone Cops Territory"

By Edmund Crispin.
1946. $2.00
On the READING IN REYKJAVIK weblog (27 March 2009), "Bibliophile" offers her review of a perennial GAD favorite:
The book is written with a light touch. It begins as a typical Golden Era type puzzle mystery, briefly becomes a thriller with noir undertones (including a car chase, black-clad henchmen and a pretty damsel in distress) and from there it moves on into Keystone Cops territory, ending with two funny chase scenes with characters in various stages of inebriation chasing the villains on foot and bicycles.
Other reactions: 
Crispin's third book is a curious mixture of farce and detection. But it is a strikingly successful melange a deux . . . as always in Crispin, the murderer's identity is disappointing—the pleasure of these books comes from the humour, not from the plots themselves . . . — Nick Fuller, GAD Wiki
He [Crispin] was a member of the Carr/Christie/Chesterton school of improbable and complicated plots rather than "detection" in the police sense, and more like Carr than Christie in the intermingling of slapstick comedy with a puzzling mystery - a touch of Michael Innes, too, in his literary-ness and the interpolation of obscure quotations that everybody seems to take in stride (who, in real life, do you know that can spout off quotations from Shakespeare's 'Pericles' by memory?). — Wyatt James, GAD Wiki
From THE SATURDAY REVIEW (December 21, 1946), archived here:
. . . intellectual, sophisticated, very English, and very good: another story about Gervase Fen, the Oxford don who figured in 'Holy Disorders.'
The UNZ index lists 44 items for Edmund Crispin.

Category: Detective fiction

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