Sunday morning I took it easy. Walked into Alley Cat Books on 24th and went through the entire fiction section from A to Z. When “self-reading” yielded no result, I turned to the mystery section and, lo and behold—a brand new copy of The Moving Toyshop by Edmund Crispin. I heard about him when I was researching for similar mystery/detective works like those of Agatha Christie.
This book can be found on three mystery novel “best lists”: the Independent Mystery Bookseller Association’s 100 Favorite Mysteries of the 20th Century, the Mystery Writers of America’s Top 100 Mystery Novels of All Time, and the Crime Writers Association of Great Britain’s Top 100 Crime Novels of All Time. This 1946 novel is still in print today and is generally considered Crispin’s best novel.
What instantly hooked me was the eccentric premise: The book focuses on the murder of an elderly heiress. Poet Richard Cadogan stumbles across her corpse in an Oxford toyshop. When he returns to the shop the next day, he finds a grocery store in its place.
It’s funny and suspenseful—meant for a lazy afternoon by the pool. Oh and the setting is Oxford—irresistibly British. Readers: What are some of you favorite detective novels and mysteries? What is the most twisty mystery book you’ve read?