It is October 1940 and at Oxford, the Full Term has just begun. Robert Warner, up and coming playwright known for his experimental approach, has chosen an Oxford repertory theater for the premiere of his latest play, Metromania. Together with his cast he comes to Oxford to rehearse a week before the opening, but Warner's troupe is a motley group of actors among whom is the beautiful but promiscuously dangerous Yseut Haskell. She causes quite a stir with her plots, intrigues and love triangles. When she is found shot dead in the college room of a young man who is infatuated with her, everyone is puzzled and worried; most of the actors have had a reason to get rid of the femme fatale and few have alibis.
The police are at loss for answers and are ready to proclaim the incident as suicide, but Gervase Fen, an Oxford don and professor of literature, who thrives off solving mysteries, is ready to help.
The Case of the Gilded Fly, first published in 1944, is Edmund Crispin's debut novel and the first Gervase Fen Mystery.
About the Author
Edmund Crispin (1921-1978) was the pseudonym of Robert Bruce Montgomery (usually credited as Bruce Montgomery), an English crime writer and composer. Montgomery wrote nine detective novels and two collections of short stories under the pseudonym Edmund Crispin (taken from a character in Michael Innes's Hamlet, Revenge!). The stories feature Oxford don Gervase Fen, who is a Professor of English at the university and a fellow of St Christopher's College, a fictional institution that Crispin locates next to St John's College. Fen is an eccentric, sometimes absent-minded, character reportedly based on the Oxford professor W. E. Moore.
"A classic detective story and a ludicrous literary farce." - Guardian
"One of the last exponents of the classical English detective story ... elegant, literate, and funny." - The Times
"The Case of the Gilded Fly couldn't be more British if it came packaged with fish and chips." - New York Sun
"I very much enjoy Edmund Crispin." - P.D. James