The Moving Toyshop Edmund Crispin Folio Society 2014


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The Moving Toyshop by Edmund Crispin

Edmund Crispin was the pseudonym of Bruce Montgomery, a composer and choirmaster who also wrote the scores for numerous films. He had a genius for comedy and the surreal, which finds its finest expression in his stories featuring Gervase Fen. P. D. James named The Moving Toyshop in her top five detective novels, and in this new edition she explores just what makes it so enjoyable a book.

Bored by his comfortable existence in St John’s Wood, the poet Richard Cadogan decides to take a short holiday in Oxford. Arriving late at night, he notices a toyshop with an unlocked door, and upstairs he finds an elderly lady who is very clearly dead. He returns with the police – but the toyshop and the body have both vanished. He turns to the brilliant, if erratic, Gervase Fen, Oxford Professor of English Literature, proud possessor of a dangerous car named Lily Christine III and happy to abandon his undergraduates for an investigation – especially if this can be done in the city’s pubs. Crispin introduces us to a parade of English eccentrics; from the lorry driver who reads D. H. Lawrence and worries that he has lost touch with the grand primeval energy of sex, to the elderly don who steals a bicycle to pursue a suspect into a nude bathing area. Drunken chases and riotous encounters are interspersed with glittering dialogue and a liberal sprinkling of puzzles and literary jokes, making The Moving Toyshop the wittiest detective story from the golden age of mystery writing.

Published in series with Love Lies Bleeding.


  • Folio Society First Impression
  • Publisher Folio Society, London; 2014
  • Quarter Yellow Cloth Hardback, 186 pp
  • Illustrations by A. Richard Allen.
  • Size 230 x 150mm, 900g

Condition: Fine – Superb Unmarked Copy

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Additional information

Weight 0.900 kg


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