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The Moving Toyshop: Gervase Fen #3 by Edmund…

The Moving Toyshop: Gervase Fen #3 (original 1946; edition 2011)

by Edmund Crispin

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1,007408,479 (3.84)115
Title:The Moving Toyshop: Gervase Fen #3
Authors:Edmund Crispin
Info:Felony & Mayhem (2011), Paperback, 256 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:classic, mystery

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The Moving Toyshop by Edmund Crispin (1946)



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Showing 1-5 of 36 (next | show all)
A poet decides to look for some inspiration and adventure in Oxford. He finds it in spades, spending the next two days romping around the town and colleges with his friend, Gervase Fen, a Professor with a bent towards detection, trying to solve a very puzzling murder.

The actual puzzle/mystery was quite good! I had not solved it, and I believe I was given a fair chance by the author. The story was fun to read. It would make a great comical chase movie. There were some surprises as far as the writing goes as well.

It was published in 1946. The characters break the Fourth Wall several times within, the sleuth muttering to himself whilst tied up in a closet, thinking up names for [[Crispin]] for his next books, all involving said sleuth, or mentioning that since Gollancz is the publisher, you can expect certain things of the story. What startled me the most though, was a character yelling "F- You!" That was the way it was spelled in the book, but even so, I don't recall ever reading a book from that era which even referred to the word.

All in all, a fun read, if a bit precious at times. ( )
  MrsLee | Jan 2, 2017 |
I'd like to read this again. ( )
  laurenbufferd | Nov 14, 2016 |
Thank goodness the modern British mystery novel has progressed from this early example! Beside a few bon mots ("Being middle-aged means that you know what matters to you," and, as a comment on--of course--an ugly building, "Horrid erection") the writing is rather tedious. The plot is confusing, with multiple characters flitting in and out, and the solution to the mystery is implausible. Recommended mainly as a period piece to note how far the genre has come. ( )
  librarianarpita | Nov 8, 2016 |
A amusing, fun mystery that won't take to much time to read. Gervase Fen delights as an eccentric sleuth called upon a seemingly impossible crime. ( )
  charlie68 | Jun 22, 2015 |
"With varying vanities, from every part, they shift the moving toyshop of their heart..."

To sum up a book in a sentence is great art, but Crispin does.

Crispin´s book however, is anything but a moving toyshop of his hearth, to understand the opportunist heart and even more, to show the effect of the shifty personality you need structure. Structure that gives the same pleasure to reading as symmetry to beauty, that is, if it is not interfering, making itself known on behalf of the story. It does not.

The book is enjoyable, a mystery story evolving bordering on a farce, a form that makes the numerous literary allusions unpretentious. Using the mix farce/funny/crime/mystery addressing a very serious theme (which goes almost unnoticed....) tugs in the end (surprisingly!) at the same strings Poe does. ( )
  Mikalina | Dec 17, 2014 |
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Not all the gay pageants that breathe
Can with a dead body compare.
Charles Wesley, On the Sight of a Corpse
Philip Larkin
in friendship and esteem
First words
Richard Cadogan raised his revolver, took careful aim and pulled the trigger.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140088172, Paperback)

It is late at night when poet Cadogan stumbles on the dead body of an old lady in an Oxford toyshop. The following morning, the toyshop has vanished and in its place is a grocery store. Nobody, not even the police, seem surprised.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:57 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

'The Moving Toyshop' is a quirky and appealing locked room mystery for all fans of classic crime. Originally published: London: Gollancz, 1946.

(summary from another edition)

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