A late Golden Age murder – Love Lies Bleeding

Love Lies Bleeding – Edmund Crispin

If you have read this book blog before, you’ll know that I’m rather fond of murder mystery novels. I admit to struggling with the more modern crime books, Ann Cleeves excepted, but I really like murder mystery books set in early to mid 20th Century Britain, as well as medieval evil doings…

I am pounding through Laurie R King’s Mary Russell books. For fans of Sherlock Holmes they are an intriguing feminist twist. I must admit still being baffled at their running order, and I am still a bit miffed at the end of The Language of Bees which dovetailed into God of the Hive. At least the latter goes paperback next week, I believe, so it will be cheaper to buy. My wonderful local library got a much read hardback copy for me, so I did not have too long to wait.

Anyway, today’s book was written in 1948, and is an enjoyable whodunnit set in a large private school. Gervase Fen, the Professor of English from Oxford, is once more called on to solve murders, and cracks the case quickly, much to the mystification of everyone, including the reader. The hunt for evidence is still enjoyable, even if a hard slog for the hero.Crispin is one of the few writers of this period (any period?) who can describe a car chase in words and still make it exciting, funny and comprehensible. I will reveal that the much abused, desirable sports car Lily Christine survives, but apart from her there are lamentably few opportunities for females to take the detecting lead. I feel that Mr Crispin enjoys describing the younger women in the novel, though…

Altogether this is an good murder mystery, with comedy, pathos and a reasonable quota of victims and suspects. The setting is not quite as interesting as The Moving Toyshop and the characters not as funny, but this is an enjoyable run around with suitable ‘how is he going to get out of that?’ moments. More complex than Christie, less wordy than Sayers, and funnier than many similar  mysteries, this is a good book.  A tv series, anyone?

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2 thoughts on “A late Golden Age murder – Love Lies Bleeding

  1. Don’t forget Mr. Merrythought, he’s the best character in the novel 😉 I’m glad that you remembered that you had Crispin books in amongst the piles!

    1. My only problem with Mr. M. was that at a particularly crucial point I forgot that he wasn’t a teacher! I was absorbed in the plot…it was late at night…and, yes, I am glad I found Mr. Crispin amongst the piles of books!

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