I was home schooled for twelve years in a joyously nerdy family. We studied latin and greek roots, cherry-picked the book-lined walls, hauled a laundry basket full of new reading home from the library each week, and slogged through many years of vocabulary workbooks. After that, I attended a university with a rigorous classics and writing-centric core curriculum, wrote military history articles for a newspaper, and spent years knocking out business and competitor reports. I thought I had a good vocabulary. Then I met the works of Edmund Crispin.
My mother-in-law recently introduced us to Crispin’s deliciously funny mysteries. In his stories, the mystery quite often plays second fiddle to the hilarious dialogue, commentary, and characters. The writing is intelligent and cheeky, as if P.G. Wodehouse married Dorothy Sayers and read the dictionary to their in-utero author son. Bonus points if you know these at first glance – I didn’t: Logomachy; Hierophantically; Objurgatory; Minatory (makes sense once you think of the myth…I didn’t); Proscenium; Tutelary (not what I guessed); Exiguous; Epicene (wrong there, too – I was thinking of Epicureans); Atavism.
At least I got Rhadamanthine. Maybe I should have taken Latin for longer? For now, I choose to blame the current level of reading in this house. It’s melting our brains: