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Posted March 30, 2013
unbelievably well-constructed mystery!
This is one of the finest mystery novels ever written, and I am more than a bit disappointed not to see more rave reviews of it on this page. It is arguably the high point of the brilliant career of John Dickson Carr (alias Carter Dickson), the greatest writer of "locked room" mysteries and in many people's opinion the greatest writer of the "Golden Age" of mystery novels (the 1930s and 40s). It features the detective H.M. (Sir Henry Merrivale), my personal favorite fictional detective of them all. His brilliance and irascibility is only exceeded by his basic good-heartedness and desire to see the innocent protected. Oh, he is wildly funny, as well.
This novel features an unsurpassably brilliant and baffling crime, and a fantastic assortment of 'red herrings' in the form of untrustworthy potential murderers. Carr/ Dickson really did virtually perfect the form of the mystery novel, and in an era when mystery novels are so popular it is a shame that his contributions to the genre are not more widely recognized, if not worshipped!
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Posted April 23, 2014
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