Robert Bruce Montgomery was born in Buckinghamshire in 1921, and was a golden age crime writer as well as a successful concert pianist and composer. Under the pseudonym Edmund Crispin, he wrote nine detective novels and 42 short stories, combining farcical situations with literary references and sharply observed characterisation. His professional film scores included the well-known scores for the Carry On series. Montgomery graduated from St. John's College, Oxford in 1943 and was part of a famous literary circle including Kingsley Amis and Philip Larkin. In addition to his reputation as a leader in the field of mystery genre, he was the regular crime-fiction reviewer for the Sunday Times from 1967 and contributed to many periodicals and newspapers and edited science-fiction anthologies. After the golden years of the 1950s he retired from the limelight to live out a hermetic existence in Totnes in Devonshire until his death in 1978.
"A clever, funny and rightly famous story set in Oxford 30 years before Morse started pounding the beat" (The Times, 100 Best Crime Novels of the Twentieth Century) "The characters were so engaging and the writing so mischievous, that I thoroughly enjoyed it" (Miles Kington Independent) "Hilarious adventures" (Washington Post) "One of the undiscovered treasures of British crime fiction: Crispin's storytelling is intelligent, humane, surprising and rattling good fun" (A.L. Kennedy) "A classic crime novel with a surreal streak... It's a clever, energetic romp, written with wit" (Val McDermid The Week)