Edmund Crispin is of course, a nom de plume. Philip Larkin has written an early poem to the fellow. His books are excellent, relaxing reads but occasionally spoilt by a touch of xenophobia.
Buried for Pleasure is a pastoral murder mystery, with elements of literary criticism, political satire and a good old-fashioned love story to boot. This book must have been part of the inspiration for the TV genre of murders in the village. The ending ties up neatly and predictably for a pastoral story, and if you are not overly worried about the characterisation of consciousness it is wonderful.
The solution is obvious about a third of the way in, but you cannot be sure exactly and there is the vexing question of how it was done. And the murder is committed (and hence the real mystery only kicks in) after it’s obvious who the murderer is.
Crispin gives us the best of both: a plotting ability that squares up to the Golden Age of mystery novels and a prose style derived from Waugh, Wodehouse, Forster. He is most similar to Michael…
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