Theater companies are notorious hotbeds of intrigue, and few are more intriguing than the company currently in residence at Oxford University. Center-stage is the beautiful, malicious Yseut, a mediocre actress with a stellar talent for destroying men. Rounding out the cast are more than a few of her past and present conquests, and the women who love them. And watching from the wings is Professor Gervase Fen?scholar, wit, and fop extraordinaire?who would rather solve crimes than expound on English literature. When Yseut is murdered, Fen finally gets his wish. Gilded Fly, originally published in 1944, was both Fen's first outing and the debut of the pseudonymous Crispin (in reality, composer Bruce Montgomery).