Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Alphabet in Crime FIction: Letter D

Kerrie over at Mysteries in Paradise is sponsoring The Alphabet in Crime Fiction community meme. Your post MUST be related to either the first letter of a book's title, the first letter of an author's first name, or the first letter of the author's surname. So you see you have lots of choice. You could write a review, or a bio of an author, so long as it fits the rules somehow. (It is ok too to skip a week.) Link your post for the week back to Kerrie's site.

This week we are featuring the letter D.

And for me the letter D is for Carter Dickson. Carter Dickson is the alter-ego of John Dickson Carr. I love Carr under either name. He is one of the kings of the locked room/impossible crime mysteries. In fact, The Dr. Fell mystery The Hollow Man (1935), usually considered Carr's masterpiece, was selected in 1981 as the best locked-room mystery of all time by a panel of 17 mystery authors and reviewers. I have read numerous books under both names and he has never repeated a trick.

Currently, I am reading A Graveyard to Let written as Carter Dickson. This one brings Sir Henry Merrivale to the US. On his way to Washington to visit friends, Sir Henry receives a message from another friend to come to his home in New York to witness a miracle. The miracle has just happened....Mr. Frederick Manning (Sir Henry's friend) has just dived into his swimming pool and completely disappeared. The best of this bit so far is the sly reference by one of the policemen to The Dragon Murder Case by S. S. Van Dine. A very similar thing happened in Van Dine's the policeman says:

"But, look! This was about a guy who disappeared from a swimming pool too!...Yes, sir. Only it wasn't daylight, it was night; and they couldn't see one end of the pool."

The entire story has been delightful so far (as Carter Dickson/Carr's always are). I look forward to seeing what twist Dickson puts on the man disappearing from the pool. I'm quite sure it won't be Van Dine's trick.


Anonymous said...

Bev - Oh, an excellent choice!! He really was the master of the "impossible crime" mystery, wasn't he? And yes, The Hollow Man is, I think, his best.

Tea said...

I luv the quote. This is my first time taking part in this meme. I would love to read The Hollow Man.

FleurFisher said...

Another author I've been meaning to try - thank you for reminding me!

Kerrie said...

Thanks for the reminder about Carter Dickson and for contributing to this week's CFA

Yvette said...

I was such a big fan of John Dickson Carr/Carter Dickson, once upon a time. I think it's time for me to re-read these books. Most especially since I don't remember any of them. Ha! Recently re-read CASTLE SKULL and loved it again. I think I have some Carter Dicksons around the house somewhere. I think a lot of readers are wanting to read or re-read him now.