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Holy Disorders (The Gervase Fen Mysteries)…

Holy Disorders (The Gervase Fen Mysteries) (original 1946; edition 2023)

by Edmund Crispin (Author)

Series: Gervase Fen (2)

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6031637,585 (3.75)65
'Holy Disorders' takes Oxford don and part-time detective Gervase Fen to the town of Tolnbridge, where he is happily bounding around with a butterfly net until the cathedral organist is murdered, giving Fen a chance to play sleuth.
Title:Holy Disorders (The Gervase Fen Mysteries)
Authors:Edmund Crispin (Author)
Info:Open Road Media Mystery & Thriller (2023), 281 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:novel, mystery

Work Information

Holy Disorders by Edmund Crispin (1946)


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» See also 65 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
fun perspective on Anglican clergy - historical view of marijuana - wild ( )
  Overgaard | Jun 20, 2023 |
A mystery from 1940, the classic British gold age type with a map of the murder scene and the amateur detective draws up a timetable of everybody's movements and explains the crime to the police. The detective is a quirky Oxford don and this is the first in a series of at least ten.

It's wartime and characters say things like "Mustn't forget to fix the blackout curtains" and mention shortages. Most of the characters are strange or unpleasant or both but the plot is nicely twisted and the writing is top notch. I felt chuffed at recognizing quotations and certainly missed a lot more, and love his habit of saying "Oh my ears and whiskers!" I immediately ordered more Gervase Fen mysteries from Powell's. ( )
  piemouth | Sep 14, 2021 |
Gervase Fen and his friend, Geoffrey Vintner, are in the town of Tolnbridge where shenanigans are afoot and church organists are dropping left and right. In fact, Vintner nearly becomes a fatality on the way to join Fen. An amusing mystery, with many literary allusions, the mystery itself is pretty good, although solvable, I missed some of the clues which told me why I was correct. Probably because I was skimming the parts which annoyed me. The characters didn't seem consistent, and their moods and temperaments were difficult to justify. Also, similar weird names left me befuddled because the ones which bore them had no special characteristics to set them apart. In spite of all that, it was an enjoyable read, but I won't be seeking out more Crispin novels to read. ( )
  MrsLee | Jul 30, 2019 |
There have been some rather untoward goings-on in the organ loft of a West Country cathedral, and church-music composer Geoffrey Vintner finds himself playing Watson to the tetchy Professor Gervase Fen's Holmes as they try to disentangle an increasingly complex plot. There's a great deal of silliness, most of it fun but quite irrelevant to the crime, as well as bucketloads of allusions to both serious and light literature. However, it's a bit disconcerting to find that Crispin can't quite make up his mind whether he's writing a lurid thriller or the kind of English detective story that relies on the reader keeping track of the movements of a whole chapter of clergy to the nearest minute and understanding the significance of a 32' organ stop: there's nothing really wrong with mixing the two subgenres, you just don't quite expect it... ( )
  thorold | Sep 14, 2017 |
Although I seem to recall having enjoyed the earlier work by Crispin, this novel forcefully reminds me why the Golden Age penchant for eccentric private detectives and incredible plots went out of style. Not quite a murder with a rare dagger at the precise time the soprano hits high C, but close in execution and explanation. (Yes, I mangled the Chandler reference.) ( )
  ritaer | Oct 3, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
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Ther saugh I first the derke ymaginyng
Of felonye, and al the compassyng;
The crueel ire, reed as any gleede;
The pykepurs, and eke the pale drede;
The smylere, with the knyfe under the cloke;
The shepne, brennynge with the blake smoke;
The tresoun of the mordrynge in the bedde;
The open werre, with woundes al bibledde...
The nayl y-driven in the shode a-nyght;
The colde deeth, with mouth gapyng upright...
To my parents
First words
As his taxi burrowed its way through the traffic outside Waterloo Station, like an over-zealous bee barging to the front of a dilatory swarm, Geoffrey Vintner re-read the letter and telegram which he had found on his breakfast table that morning.
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'Holy Disorders' takes Oxford don and part-time detective Gervase Fen to the town of Tolnbridge, where he is happily bounding around with a butterfly net until the cathedral organist is murdered, giving Fen a chance to play sleuth.

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God didn't strike the church against the dead, of that much the ingenious Gervase Fen was certain. the Oxford don-turned-detective was on holiday in the English cathedral town of Tolinbridge when the organist was suddenly driven to madness - then death. The man had not an enemy in the world, and his music hadn't been remarkably bad either.

Then the choir-master was found crushed to death by a tombstone. 

It was all devlishly odd. But then, Fen always did have a flair for the unusual.
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Average: (3.75)
2 4
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3 36
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4 47
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