If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.


Our reason for creating WWK originated as an outlet for our love of reading and writing mystery fiction. We hope you love it, too, and will enjoy our holiday gifts to our readers with original short stories to celebrate the season. Starting on 11/16 stories by Warren Bull, Margaret S. Hamilton, Paula Gail Benson, Linda Rodriguez, KM Rockwood, Gloria Alden, and E. B. Davis will appear every Thursday into the New Year.


Our November Author Interviews: 11/8--Ellen Byron, and 11/15--Sujata Massey. Please join us in welcoming these authors to WWK.


November Saturday Bloggers: 11/4 Margaret S. Hamilton and 11/11 Cheryl Hollon.


Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Shari Randall's "Pets" will be included in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies anthology, which will be published in 2018. In the same anthology "Rasputin," KM Rockwood's short story, will also be published. Her short story "Goldie" will be published in the Busted anthology, which will be released by Level Best Books on April 25th.


In addition, our prolific KM will have the following shorts published as well: "Making Tracks" in Passport to Murder, Bouchercon anthology, October 2017 and "Turkey Underfoot," just published, will appear in the anthology The Killer Wore Cranberry: a Fifth Course of Chaos.


James M. Jackson's 4th book in the Seamus McCree series, Doubtful Relations, is now available. His novella "Low Tide at Tybee" appears February 7 as part of Lowcountry Crimes: Four Novellas, which is available for order.

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Friday, August 12, 2016

The Case of the Gilded Fly by Edmund Crispin: A Review by Warren Bull







The Case of the Gilded Fly by Edmund Crispin:  A Review by Warren Bull

The Case of the Gilded Fly was published in 1944. Crispin is generally considered a literary mystery author. The novel makes many references to classic literature and music, most of which I did not know. I’m sure much of the wittiness and humor went over my head. Maybe that is why I did not like the book. The Case of the Gilded Fly is the first Gervase Fen mystery.
So much of reading is a matter of taste. Someone else, especially someone well versed in the classics, might enjoy the book. For me, by not introducing the main character in the prologue or the first chapter, the author had me following a secondary character for most of the novel. It was sort of like trying to understand a Sherlock Holmes mystery by paying close attention to Dr. Watson. 
I found it disturbing that the murder victim’s death was nearly celebrated by the majority of the characters who compared it to drowning unwanted kittens or exterminating vermin. Even the protagonist had mixed feelings about telling the police who committed the crime and how it was done. Personally, I don’t find drowning kittens to be morally equivalent with exterminating termites or ants. Although the woman killed was a truly awful person, I think discovering and punishing murder is part of a civilized society.
The novel was written and set when World War II was part of everyone’s life. In that war millions of people were slaughtered. The perception of a single death might well have been different back then.
I can report that the writing is well done. The manner of presenting the crime was fair. The method of death was ingenious.

One of my quirks is that I rarely like books in which I do not find any character compelling. That does not mean the character has to be likeable, but I prefer having someone to root for. In this book I thought all the main characters in the novel were obnoxious. Characters treated each other with condescension, which I did not find amusing. The Case of the Gilded Fly was not my cup of tea. I cannot recommend it, but if someone else read it and liked it, I really like to hear that person’s opinion.

9 comments:

Kait said...

YUCK. Sounds like not my cup of tea either. More like sitting around in a room where everyone is trying to impress each other with his/her intelligence by making negative comments. I'd never heard the term literary mystery, yet thinking about it--so many were.

KB Inglee said...

I've read two Crispin books, The Moving Toy Shop and I forget. I read two because the person who gave me the first mistook my ambivalent reaction for rapt joy and sent me another one. I did rather like the lofty tone, the characters are, after all, a college professor and an award winning poet. I didn't like the fact that it was from the POV of a secondary character (the poet) who just happened to be there. All I remember about the second book is that the woman had a dalmatian dog who was killed early on, and she didn't seem to care. In fact no one seemed to care about much of anything. Even as a puzzle story it didn't work well. The only reason to read it is for the high tone.

KM Rockwood said...

Ah, well. I find myself befuddled by much literary work. I still can't get my mind around Alice Munro's short stories, which I read carefully. I see the excellent writing and the depth, but they just don't make sense to me (an active horseback riding academy that serves "busloads" of campers with five horses???)

I have a feeling this book would be in the same category. And it sound like it may have not survived the period well. Some "timeless" books are actually quite dated.

Grace Topping said...

I find that some of the older works don't stand up to the test of time. I might find the literary references to be interesting in that I like learning new things, or being led to new things, but I find it hard reading about a lot of unlikeable characters.

Margaret Turkevich said...

It's interesting which books from the 1930's still resonate (Gaudy Night) and which ones fall flat. And it's not just a lack of cell phones and computer databases.

I'm almost afraid to re-read a Mary Stewart book for fear that the magic will no longer be there for my now discerning eye and cynical self.

I enjoy your reviews.

Shari Randall said...

I read The Moving Toy Shop ages ago so I don't remember much besides what you described - an annoying main character and people who didn't seem to care much about anything. So I didn't either.
Having said that, I like your reviews of the classics. Sorry this one was a let down.

Gloria Alden said...

I don't remember reading anything by this author, but after your review, I won't add it to my to be read list. I loved all of Dorothy Sayers books, and even though they're not mysteries, books by P.G. Wodehouse, and, of course, Agatha Christie. As Margaret mentioned, although they don't date that far back, I loved the Mary Stewart books and still have them, but I have too many newer authors I enjoy to read them, although sometimes I think I'd like to pick one up and see if I still enjoy them.

Kait said...

Daphne du Maruier has held up well. At least I think so. I recently re-read Jamaica Inn. Wonderful. I wonder about Mary Stewart as well. But as Gloria said, so many books, so little time for re-reads.

Carole Shmurak said...

A dissenting view: I don't remember The Gilded Fly specifically, but I have liked several of Crispin's books, especially Buried for Pkeasure and The Long Divorce. See my comments on these at
https://deathbycommittee.wordpress.com/2016/05/13/golden-age-mysteries-my-favorites/