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The Moving Toyshop (Classic Crime) by Edmund…

The Moving Toyshop (Classic Crime) (original 1946; edition 1989)

by Edmund Crispin

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927389,428 (3.84)106
Title:The Moving Toyshop (Classic Crime)
Authors:Edmund Crispin
Info:Penguin Books (1989), Paperback, 208 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:read in 2013, mystery

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The Moving Toyshop by Edmund Crispin (1946)



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Showing 1-5 of 34 (next | show all)
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 |
If there is a word in the English language that means "the use of pompous or arcane words to comic effect", then Edmund Crispin would know it. This charming mystery that romps around the centre of Oxford (and several of its pubs) has added magniloquent, cachinnation and suilline to my vocabulary: there are plenty more but I was already familiar with them. I was so pleased when it took me through the alley past the Lamb and Flag and into Museum Road as I lived there for a while and walked countless times through that same alley. Well-written, quirky characters both gown and town, plenty of red herrings, a pleasure to read. ( )
  overthemoon | Nov 4, 2014 |
3+ Great classic old mystery. I really enjoyed it. I was glad for the map at the front as there was a lot of mad dashing about. Good escape. ( )
  njcur | Jul 30, 2014 |
The writing is so delightful and witty, the characters so charming, the setting so droll, the set-up so interesting, that one forgives The Moving Toyshop for ultimately being a thoroughly implausible, thoroughly artificial "puzzle" mystery whose solution is considerably less interesting than everything along the way.

Set in the 1940s (give or take), The Moving Toyshop follows a poet from London to Oxford where he finds a dead body above a toyshop, gets knocked over the head, and when he finally returns to the scene of the crime with the police both the body and the toyshop are gone. He engages the eccentric, almost schoolboyish Don Gervase Fen to chase around Oxford dodging the police while solving the crime. Along the way they meet a cast of equally eccentric characters, engage the help of a posse of students, and have several hilarious and scenic chases through Oxford.

Ultimately, much of the deeper mystery about the moving toyshop and the basic motives are settled about halfway through with a short suspect list that ultimately makes its way down to one, without a huge amount of interest in which of the short list actually did it (in part because they're all pretty repugnant). ( )
  nosajeel | Jun 21, 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
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Richard Cadogan raised his revolver, took careful aim and pulled the trigger.
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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.

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