When I started the Reading Challenge this year I decided that I wouldn't let it interfere with my other planned reading, so I aimed to alternate between a Reading Challenge book and a non-challenge book. It's not really worked out quite that way in the end because some books take me longer to read so there's no time for a non-challenge read, and sometimes the challenge book is so short that I've got room for several non-challenge ones after it. I suppose it averages out.
The Case of the Gilded Fly by Edmund Crispin was my first
non-challenge read of the year. It's a detective fiction book, from a set that I
bought for Mr Click. In this one we see Gervase Fen trying to solve a murder
which has rocked a theatrical company after an actress is found dead not far from Fen's office.
I found this a fairly quick read which slotted in nicely between my Week 1
and Week 2 Challenge books. Back when I read this I was still trying to average
two books a week, so I started off getting through it very quickly, slowed down
so I wouldn't finish it too soon and then had to pick up the pace in order to
finish it before the start of Week 2.
One of the things I regularly complain about with the Inspector Morse books
is that you aren't given enough evidence in order to solve the crime yourself. I
like to be able to solve the crime right alongside the detective. The Case
of the Gilded Fly was not one of those books. It bugged me a little but I
was still able to enjoy the story, despite not being able to prove my detective
skills as I read.
It was a little frustrating though, especially as Fen has a habit of telling
people things that shock them, but not letting the reader know just what it is
that he's said. So you know there's been something big coming to light, but it's
another couple of chapters before you actually get to find out what or how it
In a way it reminded me of the Sherlock Holmes stories, particularly when you
compare the relationship between Holmes and Watson with Fen and Nigel. It was
that aspect of the story that appealed to me and I suspect that at some point
I'll go back and read some of the others to see if they give me the same sort of
vibe. Mr Click wasn't as impressed though and found it a more difficult read
than I did.
Oh, and there's one other thing I kept meaning to look up the whole way
through the book. There's a character called 'Yseut' and I kept on forgetting to
look up how to pronounce it until after I'd read it. It annoys me when I read a
book and I can't say a character's name, I did eventually look it up, but it
wasn't until after I'd finished it.