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Holy Disorders (A Gervase Fen Mystery)

Narrated by: Paul Panting
Length: 8 hrs and 54 mins
4 out of 5 stars (32 ratings)

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Summary

As inventive as Agatha Christie, as hilarious as P. G. Wodehouse - discover the delightful detective stories of Edmund Crispin. Crime fiction at its quirkiest and best.

Holy Disorders takes Oxford don and part-time detective Gervase Fen to the town of Tolnbridge, where he is happily bounding around with a butterfly net until the cathedral organist is murdered, giving Fen the chance to play sleuth. The man didn't have an enemy in the world, and even his music was inoffensive: could he have fallen foul of a nest of German spies or of the local coven of witches, ominously rumored to have been practicing since the 17th century?

©2015 Edmund Crispin (P)2015 HarperCollins Publishers Ltd

Critic reviews

"I very much enjoy Edmund Crispin, who's extremely frivolous, with a marvellous comic sense." (P. D. James)
"Fen at his very best." (New York Times Book Review)
"Holy Disorders, uncannily recreates the mood of an antiquarian ghost story." (Washington Post)
"A master of the whodunnit…he combines a flawless plot, witty dialogue, and a touch of hilarity." (New York Times)
"Beneath a formidable exterior he had unsuspected depths of frivolity." (Philip Larkin)
What members say
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So so

This is another Gervase Fen that could have been so much better. The main story was fine and there are some amusing moments, but there are also some long and tedious pieces about local witchcraft, and the reading of a diary which had nothing to do with the story. I found the main character to be irritating and rude, whereas in some of the other books he’s very amusing. Not one of the best.

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Excellent boys own adventure

A good performance and easy going detective story with engaging characters. Spies and murder bring a war time Britain to life.

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Great Fun

Classic Crispin with some laugh out loud moments and another of his homage to M R James ghost stories. I guessed the killer early on but this didn't spoil my enjoyment.

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Good reader, fairly naff story

Not one of Crispin's best. Nothing acutely wrong with it, it's just kind of dull. Shame as Buried For Please and Glimpses of the Moon are wonderful

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  • peter
  • 07-02-20

Crispin never disappoints

I guess the major difference these days between modern authors and golden age authors is that the golden age authors could really write and the authors today can only duplicate and construct. After an hour of Crispin you are in his universe and engrossed by his characters. I often don’t care how the mystery unfolds just as usually no one cares how a Shakespeare play ends. Not that I am comparing Crispin to the Bard except in their capacity to charm the listener and skillfully weave a web that entertains as it intrigues.