There are far too many detectabulous fictional detectives to begin to name even my favorites here (just scroll through the Cocktail Talk posts and you’ll see many of them). But one that I haven’t been too closely acquainted with is literary mystery-unraveler Gervase Fen, created by English writer Edmund Crispin. It’s not surprising in a way, because Crispin was a cat person, and I’m a dog person. But I overlooked that when reading The Case of the Gilded Fly lately – which was the first of I believe nine Gervase Fen books. And I think I’ll read more, even if the dogs look at me sidewise when I’m reading them. Mr. Fen is an Oxford don, and I tend to like Oxford, and pretty witty besides, and the murder was nicely raveled and then unraveled. Not to mention that the book contained the below quote, ideal for Cocktail Talking.
There followed the ceremony of mumblings, apologies, and recognitions which always occurs when a group of people only partially acquainted are brought together, and a great and complicated maneuvering of chairs. Nigel, about to go off once again to the bar, was forestalled by Nicolas, who as he ordered pink gins contemplated with unconcealed glee the extremely uncomfortable relationships which were likely to be established within the next few minutes.
—The Case of the Gilded Fly, Edmund Crispin