The Crispin Chronicles
This case took place during the latter stages of the Battle of Britain. Gervase Fen had added a butterfly net to his extraordinary hat and gone to the Tolnbridge in the countryside. Crime followed him, however, though it was not ordinary crime, but rather his introduction to the deadly world of spying.
Here Fen's friend, the organist Geoffrey Vintner, accompanied by Henry Fielding (not the author of Tom Jones!) involve him in investigating the sudden outbreak of death among the cathedral organists.
He is as robust as ever, slurring even his biographer's integrity, but though he unmasks the villains in the end, this time it is with the aid of a plague of, not students, but locusts (or at least insects). He encountered as strange a set of characters as even he could ever hope for: the fantasist Fielding, the psychoanalyst Peace, the innkeeper Henry James, and of course the Alice-addicted Regious Professor of Mathematics. Sadly, his hopes of meeting John Appleby were dashed when the Yard sent two churls instead. One wonders if the two ever did meet? Certainly, neither Crispin, nor Appleby's biographer, Michael Innes, ever recorded any meetings.
This was the first of Mr Crispin's chronicles to be published, though he later did document the Moving Toyshop affair, which pre-dated it by some two years.