The Moving Toyshop

Sorry it’s been a hundred years since I wrote.  Very little reading has happened in the past few weeks.  A while back I finished The Moving Toyshop by Edmund Crispin, the third Gervase Fen mystery. Quite fun, though not a great mystery.  There’s a lot to enjoy here.  A poet named Richard Cadogan decides he needs a vacation.   He hounds his publisher into giving him an advance and heads off to Oxford.  After a rather unorthodox trip he finds himself walking into town in the middle of the night and coming upon a toyshop which for insufficient reasons he enters and discovers a body.  He’s then knocked out by a mystery person and when he wakes hours later and returns to the shop with the police, it has transformed into a grocery.  Cadogan is friends with Fen who is a professor at Oxford.  Together they investigate a ridiculously convoluted murder, but have some very entertaining scenes along the way.   They play literary games while tied up in a closet, there’s a lunatic chase by drunken undergrads following a very amusing tea, a plucky heroine, an eccentric rich lady, and, of course, a moving toyshop.   None of it should be taken seriously.

Crispin sounds like an interesting guy.  In addition to the Gervase Fen novels he was a composer.

From Wikipedia: Gareth Roberts has stated that the tone of his Doctor Who novel The Well-Mannered War was modelled upon Crispin’s style. He also remarks (of The Moving Toyshop) that “It’s more like Doctor Who than Doctor Who.”

And yes, I’d have to agree.   Perhaps I’d insert ‘almost.’   I was quite proud of myself for the bit that I did figure out.   Unfortunately, it was only incidental and not the solution.


I’m hoping to finish up some things before the end of the year.   Unfortunately they are long classic things and so this month will probably end up with very little in the way of reviews.    Wish me luck!

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