The Moving Toyshop

The Moving Toyshop, by Edmund Crispin

I don't know what blogger first mentioned Edmund Crispin, but I've been hoping to read something by him ever since.  Luckily for me, my mom found The Moving Toyshop.

The story belongs to Richard Cadogan, a respected but poverty-stricken poet who heads off to Oxford on a holiday.  He blunders into a murder scene in a toyshop, but when he leads police back to the shop, it's a grocery store and there's no body.  Enter Cadogan's old friend, Professor Gervase Fen, who solves mysteries in his spare time!

The mystery was quite good, in the cozy British tradition.  But it's the fun that really makes the story.  The characters are eccentric or engaging, and the detectives are forever coming up with oddball quotations, solving clues with Lear limericks, or--best of all--playing literary games like "Awful Lines from Shakespeare" or "Detestable Characters from Fiction."  For example:

“Let’s play ‘Unreadable Books.’”
 “All right. ‘Ulysses.’”
 “Yes. ‘Rabelais.’”
 “Yes. ‘Tristram Shandy.’”
“Yes. ‘The Golden Bowl.’” 

“Yes. ‘Rasselas.’”
 “No, I like that.”
 “Good God. ‘Clarissa,’ then.”

"Yes.  'Titus--"
"Shut up a minute.  I think I can hear someone coming."
Plenty of improbable and literary fun; I want to read more!


  1. And I've got more! But not all of them. I'm working on that.

  2. Sounds intriguing. Thanks for bringing this author to my attention.


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