Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Holy Disorders by Edmund Crispin

I heard that Edmund Crispin was one of the Golden Age mystery writers and knew that I had to try at least one of his books. The only one the NLB has (that wasn’t an audiobook) was Holy Disorders. After reading it, I have to say it was fun, but a little confusing.

Holy Disorders starts when Geoffry Vinter (a composer) is summoned by his friend and amateur detective Gervase Fen to bring a butterfly net to Tolnbridge. On the way, he gets attacked three times and rescued by Henry Fielding (not the author) and the two make their way to Tolnbridge. What starts out as a case of bodily injury turns into one murder, then two, and Geoffry finds himself the reluctant assistant to an enthusiast Gervase.

This was definitely a fun book - all the characters are delightfully zany and the plot is over the top in a good way. There’s plenty to chuckle at, with the author even breaking the fourth wall in one joke.

The main two characters (Geoffrey and Gervase) are also endearing and I thought they made a good detective-assistant duo. Gervase is far too eccentric to stand on his own as a character, and Geoffrey provided a good counterbalance to him.

However, the book was also confusing. I suppose the jokes and many characters and plot twists all happened too quickly, and I lost track of what was going on a few times. To be more accurate, I forgot who a few of the minor characters were. This proved to be a problem because a couple of them were suspects in the case. But, I found that going back and rereading helped a lot and I did eventually get the plot.

Overall, I thought this was an entertaining book. Once I got all the characters in order, I really enjoyed the plot with all its twists and turns. Hopefully I can find another book of his to read (or perhaps I should give the audiobook a shot)


  1. Despite the confusing spots, this sounds like a fun read! I am glad you ended up liking it.

    1. Yup! I hope I can read another and hopefully it will be less confusing but equally fun.


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