Illustrated by A. Richard Allen
A witty crime caper from the author of The Moving Toyshop, with evocative illustrations by A. Richard Allen.
When the scheduled speaker is unavailable, the headmaster of Castrevenford School invites English professor and amateur sleuth Gervase Fen to present the prizes on Speech Day. However, when a series of strange events culminates in the murder of two members of staff, Fen finds himself picking his way through a web of lies and misdirection, with what appears to be a long-lost Shakespeare play at its heart. Featuring a cast of fantastical characters, including highly strung teachers, plucky schoolgirls and a homicidal bloodhound called Mr Merrythought, this Gervase Fen mystery is golden age crime at its wittiest.
‘A master of the whodunit … he combines a flawless plot, witty dialogue and a touch of hilarity’
Published in series with The Moving Toyshop, this edition features illustrations by A. Richard Allen. His lively images capture all the facets of Crispin’s writing, from its playful humour to its moments of thrilling drama.
Edmund Crispin (1921–78) was the pseudonym of Bruce Montgomery. He wrote the first of nine detective novels, The Case of the Gilded Fly (1944), during his Easter vacation while still at university, introducing detective Gervase Fen, who appears in all his novels and many of his short stories. Montgomery was also a composer, of both concert and film music, scoring the early Carry On and Doctor in the House films and composing An Oxford Requiem (1951). In his later years he turned away from writing fiction and instead reviewed crime fiction for the Sunday Times; however, his final novel, The Glimpses of the Moon, appeared in 1976, two years before his death.
A. Richard Allen studied Fine Art (Painting) at Central St Martins College in London, receiving a BA and a Masters Degree. He has worked for numerous UK and US clients in editorial, design and advertising, and has won gold medals from the Association of Illustrators in their annual juried awards. He has also won gold and silver awards from 3x3 and the Society of Illustrators in Los Angeles and New York, and has been recognised by Communication Arts. For The Folio Society Allen has previously illustrated Brat Farrar (2010), Lucky Jim (2012) and, also by Edmund Crispin, The Moving Toyshop (2014). He lives and works in Bournemouth.
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