Edmund Crispin, pseudonym of Robert Bruce Montgomery Biography
(1921–78), pseudonym of Robert Bruce Montgomery, The Case of the Gilded Fly, The Moving Toyshop
British composer of choral and orchestral works, songs, and film music, who under this name wrote nine detective novels and a number of short stories, beginning with The Case of the Gilded Fly (1944), written when he was an undergraduate at St John's College, Oxford. In all of the novels and most of the stories the detective is Gervase Fen, Professor of English at Oxford, a character reputedly modelled on a tutor at Crispin's own college. Crispin is one of the most amusing and witty English detective novelists, and at his best—in The Moving Toyshop (1946), which makes admirable use of an Oxford setting, Love Lies Bleeding (1948), or The Long Divorce (1951; alternative US title A Noose for Her)—combines these qualities with a solid plot and genuine detection. His last novel, Glimpses of the Moon (1977), is, however, a disappointment.