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Swan Song [Paperback]

Edmund Crispin
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.99
Price: 7.35 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

1 Oct 2009

TRY A VINTAGE MURDER MYSTERY

As inventive as Agatha Christie, as hilarious as P.G. Wodehouse - discover the delightful detective stories of Edmund Crispin. Crime fiction at its quirkiest and best.

When an opera company gathers in Oxford for the first post-war production of Wagner's Die Meistersinger its happiness is soon soured by the discovery that the unpleasant Edwin Shorthouse will be singing a leading role. Nearly everyone involved has reason to loathe Shorthouse but who amongst them has the fiendish ingenuity to kill him in his own locked dressing room?

In the course of this entertaining adventure, eccentric Oxford don and amateur sleuth Gervase Fen has to unravel two murders, cope with the unpredictability of the artistic temperament, and attempt to encourage the course of true love.

Erudite, eccentric and entirely delightful - Before Morse, Oxford's murders were solved by Gervase Fen, the most unpredictable detective in classic crime fiction.


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Swan Song + Buried for Pleasure + Love Lies Bleeding
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Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage (1 Oct 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099542145
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099542148
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 47,826 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"A splendid reminder of the intricate craft involved in creating a superior locked room mystery... Crispin provides neatly observed characters, clues honestly presented, a denouement which is both outrageous and satisfying and a splendidly offhand opening" (The Times)

"The books are fast, fun and smart, their hero charming, frivolous, brilliant and badly behaved" (New Review)

"One of the most literate mystery writers of the twentieth century" (Boston Globe)

Book Description

TRY A VINTAGE MURDER MYSTERY

As inventive as Agatha Christie, as hilarious as P.G. Wodehouse - discover the delightful detective stories of Edmund Crispin. Crime fiction at its quirkiest and best.


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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Swan Song 11 July 2014
By Damaskcat HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Kindle Edition
This book deserves five stars for the totally ingenious locked room murder alone. Edwin Shorthouse - opera singer - is a totally dislikeable corpse.. The whole cast of the Wagner opera in which he has a part have motives for disposing of him though to many - including the police - it appears to be suicide because no one could have committed the crime.

Of course Gervase Fen discovers a solution to the mystery of how anyone could have done with a little help from a skeleton and the police. I don't always think that Crispin's full length novels work as well as his short stories but this one is excellent with some marvellously amusing scenes and of course the ingenious crime itself. The writing is stylish and assumes a reasonable level of education in the reader. Crispin is a writer whose books bear re-reading as I always find things I missed or failed to appreciate in previous readings.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Saved by the denouement! 15 Jun 2010
By M. Joyce TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is the third of Edmund Crispin's Gervase Fen whodunnits I have read and it is on balance the one I have enjoyed the least, despite it being set in one of my favourite cities, Oxford, and revolving around the world of opera, a major interest of mine. Pleasant enough reading, of course, but it somehow failed to grip me as much as the previous Crispin works I had read until, that is, the explanation of how the locked-room crime had been executed, which is as outrageous as it is ingenious.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Worth reading but.... 1 Oct 2009
Format:Paperback
I adore Edmund Crispin's books but this was not one of his very best - and it grieves me to admit it. So saying, it was enjoyable but when compared to The Moving Toyshop or his masterpiece, Buried for Pleasure, I found it a bit lacking in the pure humour I have come to expect from Mr. Crispin. I would still recommend purchasing it, however, because it's worth reading and completing your collection of Crispins.
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