Edmund Crispin

Franklin Library Edmund Crispin books

The Long Divorce - Library of Mystery Masterpieces - 1989


Who is Edmund Crispin?

Edmund Crispin was the pseudonym of Robert Bruce Montgomery, an English author, composer, and critic known for his contributions to the mystery and detective fiction genre. He was born on October 2, 1921, in Chesham Bois, Buckinghamshire, England, and passed away on September 15, 1978. Crispin achieved acclaim for his Gervase Fen series, featuring the eccentric, Oxford professor and amateur detective Gervase Fen. The first novel in the series, The Case of the Gilded Fly, was published in 1944 when Crispin was just 23 years old. This debut novel established his reputation as a promising writer of classic detective stories.

In addition to his career as a novelist, Crispin was a distinguished composer and a renowned music critic. He studied at Oxford, where his love for literature and music flourished. His knowledge of classical music and his witty, erudite writing style became notable features of his mystery novels. Crispin's Gervase Fen series consists of a total of nine novels, including works like Holy Disorders, Swan Song, and The Long Divorce. His writing is characterized by a clever blend of traditional mystery elements, humor, and intricate plots. The character of Gervase Fen, with his enthusiasm for solving crimes and his idiosyncratic personality, contributed to the series' popularity.

Outside of his fiction writing, Crispin served as the crime fiction reviewer for The Sunday Times for many years, further establishing his presence in the literary world. His critical acumen and humor were evident in his reviews. Despite his early success, Crispin wrote fewer novels as his career progressed, focusing more on his roles as a composer and critic. He also contributed short stories, essays, and reviews to various publications. Edmund Crispin's impact on the mystery genre endures, and his Gervase Fen novels remain appreciated by fans of classic detective fiction. His legacy extends beyond his literary contributions, as he brought a unique blend of intellect, humor, and musicality to the world of crime fiction. Edmund Crispin's death in 1978 marked the end of a period during which he played a significant role in shaping the landscape of British mystery literature.


The Long Divorce - Gervase Fen Series Book 8

Gervase Fen investigates a murder that was preceded by the same kind of anonymous and malicious letter others in the village of Cotten Abbas have received.

As inventive as Agatha Christie, as hilarious as P.G. Wodehouse discover the delightful detective stories of Edmund Crispin. Crime fiction at its quirky best.

The little village of Cotton Abbas is home to both an irritating influx of England's newly rich and a deliciously weird clutch of long-time locals. Chief among the latter: Colonel Babbington, whose cat, Lavender, is remarkably clumsy and also convinced that he is responsible for saving the world from a Martian invasion. Lavender may be a little odd, to say the least, but his unusual psychic gifts prove unexpectedly helpful to Fen (visiting incognito) as he attempts to discover who is responsible for the village's epidemic of ugly anonymous letters.


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