At 12 years old, Dash Gibson is so famous that in a hundred years people will still be learning about him in school — no mere flash in the pan fame for him and his family, their names that will go down in human history. Because they are among the first human beings ever to live on the moon.
First, some context: when I began investigating the works of John Dickson Carr/Carter Dickson, I read a review of And So to Murder (1940) — his tenth novel to feature Sir Henry ‘H.M.’ Merrivale — which lambasted it so roundly that I decided there and then never to read it. Obviously this was in my pre-The Case of the Constant Suicides (1940) and Death Watch (1934) days, two books which convinced me I’d read the transcript of an old shipping forecast had JDC been the one to deliver it, but I still came to this with a certain…apprehension. Merrivale is on a pretty blistering run up to now, so would this be the point where it all starts going wrong?
Just as movie studios have become increasingly ridiculous in laying claim to release dates far enough in advance for you to plan your retirement party around them, so am I now going to lay out two upcoming events that seem waaaaaaay too far off to be talking about just yet. But, well, I’ve started now…
We’re back in Boston again this week, in another large house with murder insinuating its way among the denizens. Everyone is snowed in when the death occurs, and so good-ol’-boy Asey Mayo must counter the cunning devilry of an ingenious and unscrupulous killer with his own brand of misleadingly languid style, plenty of homespun wisdom, and lot and lots of phonetic dialogue — in fact, this is the first time I’ve actively wondered whether an author was on some sort of pro rata arrangement for the number of times an apostrophe could be used where a letter would be equally good. So that’s another benchmark reached, I guess.
After a month of possibly pie-in-the-sky hoping (hey, a full reprint of someone may be right around the corner, you never know…), let’s finish on a more positive note. This week, stuff that’s actually happening in the future and about which I have many reasons to be hopeful.