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The Glimpses of the Moon by Edmund Crispin

The Glimpses of the Moon (1977)

by Edmund Crispin

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Popular detective, Gervase Fen, is staying at the cottage of a couple of friends traveling in Canada. He is attempting to write a book on the post WW II modern novel. About eight weeks before the beginning of the story, a murder had been perpetuated against a most deserving victim. However, it was the events that occurred after the murder that led to the arrest and incarceration in an insane asylum of Hagbert, a local eccentric with a mania for work.

Edmund Crispin uses a lot of archaic language. Having a dictionary at your fingertips will be really helpful. The book is also populated with a host of amusingly looney characters as well some jokes that don't quite come through in the narration. The characters include a tortoise with an underbite, an overly amorous tom cat, and a Calvery major that dislikes horses. The book has potential when you read the discription but it just lost me in the translation. Maybe American's really don't speak English. ( )
  Carol420 | May 31, 2016 |
I love Glimpses of the Moon - it's gloriously witty and chaotic and utterly implausible, even by Crispin's normal standards! ( )
  GeraniumCat | Jan 8, 2016 |
Published 1977, this is the final in the Gerase Fen series written by Bruce Montgomery, aka Edmund Crispin. Crispin has published eight Fen mysteries between 1955 and 1955, and then a short story collection in 1956, before his alcoholism, apparently, shut off the creative flow. In 1976 he married is secretary, Ann, and it was she who encouraged him to finish Glimpses of the Moon. He died in 1978 from alcohol-related problems.

I haven't, I admit, read anything else by him so I am unable to compare this work to his previous novels. Glimpses is charming, a country-cosy mystery, full of odd-ball eccentrics as only the British can write them, and lots of clever dialogue. There's a vicar, and a tortoise, a mildly-insane cat and a horse with narcolepsy and, of course, a retired army major longing for another war. And there's a dismembered body, the head of which floats downstream on a raft.

I found it clever, and amusing, but a little long-winded in parts and some of the comedy seemed brittle, a little forced. The murder plot played second fiddle to the goings-on in the village, which is fine, if you're in the mood for this sort of thing.

Not, I hope, his best book, but a solid read for cottage-mystery fans. ( )
  Laurenbdavis | Mar 25, 2014 |
This was a very fun book. It took me a little while to get into it, but it was worth the trouble. Great characters, good story, lots of laughs. I was very glad to have it on my Kindle. Edmund Crispin uses a lot of archaic language. Having a dictionary at my fingertips was really helpful. I really enjoyed this book and am ready to read it again. My enthusiasm convinced my husband to read it. I'll be glad to have someone to share it with. Thank you to NetGalley for introducing me to this delightful book. ( )
  njcur | Feb 13, 2014 |
This book was written after Crispen let Gervase Fen rest for about 25 years. It took me a while to appreciate the change of era as well as a change in the style of writing but once I settled in I was thoroughly engrossed in what was much more a comedy of manners in the flower power years than a mystery. It was witty, farsical and fun. ( )
  Condorena | Apr 2, 2013 |
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"That's another of them, don't you know," said the Major.
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Death and decapitation seem to go hand in hand in the Devon village of Aller. When the first victim's head is found floating down the river the villages rural calm is shattered.. soon the corpses are multiplying and the entire community is involved in the hunt! Gervase Fen is staying at the calm and quiet village, writing a book, which gets interrupted to uncover the truth! Police find then lose two heads. Wacky characters abound.
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Several inhabitants of an English village try to learn the identity of the killer responsible for a series of murders.

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