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A.Richard Allen
The Moving Toyshop
posted:
A Folio Society assignment is something I delight in doing and I received another one from AD Sheri Gee last year.
This one is a 40s caper by Edmund Crispin called The Moving Toyshop. The book gleefully throws together elements from various genres; whodunnit, thriller, farce and locked-room mystery. The key puzzle (or maybe it's more of a McGuffin, given the plot's willful convolutedness) is how the titular toyshop murder location vanishes overnight. The story finds time for the occasional, knowing literary aside and the odd bit of fourth wall puncturing.
The carrousel setting of the climactic confrontation between sleuth and culprit will be familiar to fans of Hitchcock: the director lifted it for the final scene of Strangers on a Train.
The cover plus seven interior plates

Wraparound cover
A suspect pulls a pistol on our two heroes
A moment of high farce as an elderly conspirator in the central crime flees on a stolen bicycle, pursued by drunken students
The haywire fairground ride culmination.
A sheet of thumbnails. A challenge with the Folio Society assignments is pacing the illustrations and not giving too much of the story away.

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