The complete collection of published short stories of Edmund Crispin, together in one volume for the first time.
‘Detective stories are anti-social. It’s quite impossible to suppose that criminals don’t collect useful information from them, fantastic and far-fetched though they usually are.’
Gervase Fen disagrees with such a pompous assessment. If criminals studied detective stories properly, they would get away with . . . well . . . murder.
Forty-six detective stories by the great Edmund Crispin – a splendid hoard! Most of them feature his Oxford don, Gervase Fen, and Inspector Humbleby of Scotland Yard, and the cases turn upon a fine assortment of clues – dandelions and hearing aids, a bloodstained cat and a Leonardo drawing, a corpse with an alibi and a truly poisonous letter . . . there seems no limit to the intricacy of Edmund Crispin’s invention or the sparkle of his wit.
Compiled from Beware of the Trains, Fen Country and other disparate sources, and concluding with the recently discovered Christmas novella The Hours of Darkness, this is a long-overdue treasury of original, often startling and invariably entertaining tales by one of the acknowledged masters of the detective story. Erudite and complex, succinct yet leisurely, it is classic crime at its finest.