Does In GAD We Trust have a hype train? If so, stoke the conductor, point the rails, wake up the boiler, and do other train things, because episode 27 is here and Nick Cardillo wants to talk about the impossible crime on screen.Continue reading
The Plague Court Murders (1934), the debut of John Dickson Carr’s sleuth Sir Henry ‘H.M.’ Merrivale and published under his Carter Dickson nom de plume, struck me when I first read it as among the ne plus ultra of locked room mysteries. A decade on, having read much more of Carr’s output, I now see it differently. Carr published five books in 1934, each one now feeling lilke an attempt to work some new wrinkle into his writing. For all the cleverness — and it is very clever — this is really an apprentice work from a man who would go on to do much, much better.
A couple of weeks ago, a clue turned up in my cryptic crossword — Fictional detective satisfied about a vandalised rig  — and, once I’d solved it, got me thinking. Again.Continue reading
The detective fiction genre is built around the essential structure of a crime, an investigation of that crime, and the revelation of the guilty party who committed the crime, and good heavens didn’t the Golden Age map out a lot of different ways to walk that path. And there are few people better placed to discuss this than President of the Detection Club and recent recipient of the CWA Diamond Dagger Martin Edwards, who celebrates three decades as a published author this year.Continue reading
If it bothers you that you were not among the lucky souls able to attend last weekend’s online Bodies from the Library conference — and bother you it should, Bodies is always a great day out — some good news!Continue reading
After a year — a year, people — of mind-numbing repetition and drudgery against a background of tragedy, Below Suspicion (1949), John Dickson Carr’s forty-sixth book in twenty years and the 18th to feature Dr. Gideon Fell, was exactly what I needed…for the simple reason that it is so very, very different. Ten years from now I could reread this and be appalled that I ever thought it so great, but right now it is manna from heaven: eerie, baffling, infuriating in many ways, and fascinating given the direction we know Carr’s career took from this point in how it blends the classic detection he had excelled in with the historical mysteries he was about to launch himself into.
You may find yourself helplessly mired in the post-Christmas, pre-New Year hinterland of nothingness; I am here to help. Firstly, if it’s not Tuesday where you are, it will be soon. We shall get through this together. Here are some quick thoughts on Encyclopedia Brown Keeps the Peace (1969) to get you functional again.Continue reading