The Crispin Chronicles
The Case of the Gilded Fly
Taking place in early October 1940, just after Holy Disorders, Oxford plays hosts to the first run of Robert Warner's new play, Metromania.
Sir Richard Freeman, Wilkes and Mrs Dolly Fen all play their parts in this adventure. It centres around the death of a disagreeable actress, Yseult Haskell, and later that of Donald Fellowes, organist and Yseult's admirer.
Yseult is a most unpleasant girl and her death is little mourned. The biggest puzzle is just that: a puzzle - for she was shot in a sealed room. But Fen had no need to call on either Gideon Fell or Henry Merrivale. His own ingenuity was more than adequate for the task.
He has clearly abandoned his insect hunting since Holy Disorders, and his only obsession now seems to be with finding out how Robert Warner creates his masterpieces.
If lacking in the more outre and farcical elements of some of his other cases, this is still a triumph of classical detection.