First of the Flashback challenge

Having finished Purple hibiscus and waiting for a new book to arrive that I'd just ordered - I decided to re-visit an old friend The moving toyshop by Edmund Crispin. It's years since I last read it, and beyond the basic premise of the story I could remember nothing about it.

And...it's completely wonderful, a clever detective story, with wonderful surreal laugh-out-loud moments. Although it's a book it has a lot of the characteristics of screwball comedy films of the 1940s and '50s, a bit of a mix of Hellzapoppin and the Road films but with a good detective story thrown in, and one of my all-time favourite quotes.

While in pursuit of the villains Fen (the detective) and his sidekick arrive at a crossroads - which way should they turn? "Let's go left ... after all Gollancz are publishing this book"  Hilarious!

Edmund Crispin's real name was Bruce Montgomery, a musician and music critic, who composed several scores for British films, conducted film soundtracks, and even made the odd cameo appearance. His musical background shows : there are some great music jokes - which this musician, the second time around, thoroughly appreciated. Although bizarrely I have no recollection of them at all from my original reading.

The book is dedicated to Philip Larkin, who was a friend of Crispin's. As Fen's sidekick in this book is also a poet, one does wonder how much of Larkin may have been in Cadogan, it's an intriguing thought.

Comments

chasingbawa said…
Hello, I'm doing the Flashback Challenge too. It's funny to think that even though I have a ton of books I need to read, I still want to re-visit some old favourites! I'm planning to read The Moving Toyshop (Edmund Crispin is new to me) this year for another challenge, but it's good to know that you enjoyed it.

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