Geoffrey Chaucer

Edmund Crispin (1921--1978)

A mystery writer of the playful variety with an exuberance for words. I've an affection for the genre and Crispin's books stand up to repeated rereading. When you are tired and low, you can pick them up and again be back in his adventures.

Edmund Crispin was really Bruce Montgomery and a choir director principally---unless I'm completely garbling everything.

His adventures with Fen and the Fen gang. Professor Gervase Fen---also known as Lord Fenchrist---the Napoleon of crime and his has-been henchmen: the seductress Lily Christine III; the animalistic Mr. Merrythought; Wizzen, nonagenerian cracksman; and Richard Cadogan, effete poet by day---resembling Philip Larkin---cat burglar by night---yes he steals cats. Who can forget them in Monte Carlo Baby: although never written, it was much admired---Audrey Hepburn foils the Fen gang in Monaco. Then there was the Moving Toyshop in which Fen provokes a riot in Oxford leading to complete cat-astrophe---as Catwoman would have said.


  1. Crispin, E. 1948 Love Lies Bleeding (Harmondsworth, UK: Penguin Books)