#142: John Dickson Carr is Going to be 110 – Call for Submissions!


Wednesday 30th November 2016 will mark the 110th birthday of a certain Mr. John Dickson Carr, a detective novelist of some note of whom I am quite the fan.  Thus, in the grand tradition of Paul Halter Day earlier this year, I am putting out a two-month notice of intent: you are cordially invited to join me in posting something Carr-related on that day in celebration of him and his contribution to the genre.  It’s no secret that I think he’s the finest practitioner of detective fiction who ever lived, and it’s a bloody scandal that so much of his work is unavailable, so here’s a chance to co-ordinate some love for the man and his efforts.  It is no less than he is due.

Reminders will go up again in a month and possibly a week or so before The Day, but I’m floating this now so that you have time to digest it and mull over the possibility of getting involved.  Your participation will be, as ever, greatly appreciated, and work and volume of postings depending I may attempt another round-up at the end of the day to bring everything together.

Thank-you in advance for your consideration!

59 thoughts on “#142: John Dickson Carr is Going to be 110 – Call for Submissions!

  1. Exciting news, and if my book orders come through on time I could try to put together a brief review… Either ‘Mad Hatter’s Mystery’, or ‘My Late Wives’, or ‘Arabian Nights Mystery’, or ‘Death in Five Boxes’. 😀 Any thoughts? Probably not ‘Five Boxes’ since you’ve already reviewed that title.


    • People are allowed to review books I’ve already reviewed, it’s quite okay. You’re even allowed to disagree with me, though I would of course then have to cut you out of my will; but at least you’d be free of suspcion following my mysterious murder a few days later.

      Wow, there is the slim chance that I read too much of thus stuff…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I purchased The Problem of the Green Capsule a few months ago because some two-bit blogger whose name escapes me raved about it. I also found Till Death Do Us Part at the local library. I read both of them as a teenager by the light of the gas lantern, meaning it was so long ago that I have forgotten them completely. Perhaps a double review is in order for such an auspicious occasion.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I haven’t read Carr so looking at Amazon, I see that some reviewers say that late Carr isn’t as good (as is fairly common with many authors). The historical titles don’t have a lot of appeal (and I mean set before the 30s). Any comments/suggestions? I’ve seen a few titles that have more appeal than others.


    • Wow, well for your very first Carr…hmmm. From his earlier work I’d say The Bowstring Murders or The Red Widow Murders, both of which I’m sure can be found secondhand fairly cheaply. Slightly later in his career there’s The Peacock Feather Murders (aka, The Ten Teacups) or The Man Who Could Not Shudder (which was among my ealiest Carrs, possibly the second or third I read). There’s always the classic standby The Case of the Constant Suicides, too, which has to be one of the funniest books he ever wrote…really, take your pick from this lost. Or opt for anything he wrote in he 1940s…you almost can’t go wrong. Almost…


    • I know I’m weighing in late, but I would go with The Judas Window. Carr is the king of the locked room, and I see this as the canonical locked room mystery. He has plenty of excellent impossible crimes that border on locked rooms, but The Judas Window is an absolutely air-tight locked room.

      Other candidates for true locked rooms would be The Ten Teacups or The Red Widow Murders. I would go with The Judas Window or The Red Widow Murders because they have the best pacing.


  4. BTW found this under the description of Carr’s Till Death do us Part on Amazon:
    ABOUT THE AUTHORJessie Carr was born in Poland and came to Canada in 1973. She made Kelowna B.C. her home for twenty-five years. Since 2001 she has been working as a medic in northern parts of B.C. and Alberta and calling Smoky Lake her home away from home. She started writing novels in the fall of 2005.


  5. Hi JJ,
    Ahhh, I’d love to join in with The Corpse in the Waxworks. I found it at a second hand bookstore last Spring, but haven’t read it yet.
    For that reason, I will ignore your review for a bit, so I’m not unduly influenced by your scholarly interpretation!😇


  6. I’ll dig something out but most of my unread ones are unread for a reason. Probably The Devil In Velvet is the one with the best reputation but there is a temptation to follow Santosh’s lead and go for one of the stinkers. Seems a bit unfair on the old chap’s birthday though.

    Oh, if anyone wants suggestions, there are three Top Five posts – Fell, Merrivale and the rest – over on my blog. Just search “Top Five” or take a look at the bibliography of reviews.

    Liked by 1 person

    • OK, just acquired via Ebay a cheap copy of The Demoniacs. Never read it, don’t know the first thing about it – okay, technically the third thing, as I know its an historical and Carr wrote it. Think it might even be a first edition and that always raises the quality of even the crappest book.


  7. I also want to try, I read some books of JDC, although no one has finished yet. for starters, maybe “The Case of the Constant Suicides” would be a pretty decent selection. i think.


    • The more the merrier, welcome! And, yeah, TCotCS is an excellent place to start, especially if you’re slightly unconvinced about Carr. Really look forward to seeing what you make of it…!


  8. Pingback: #156: A Reminder — #Carr110 — One Month to Go! | The Invisible Event

  9. Just spotted Santosh’s worst five list. I take your point about Mocking Widow but also – Seeing Is Believing is seriously flawed in the how, and it’s got an annoying cheat (for some) but worst five? Definitely not.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I included Seeing Is Believing in the worst 5 because of the massive cheat. I can’t tolerate such a cheat.
      In Mocking Widow, the locked room stuff is utter rubbish and the comical interludes are just too much—-it would more suit a P.G. Wodehouse novel.


  10. Pingback: HISTORY CROSSES PATHS: The Picture From the Past | ahsweetmysteryblog


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