'A master magician . . .the King of the Art of Misdirection' Agatha Christie
It's 1927 and New Orleans-born novelist Jeff Caldwell is called back to that most colourful of American cities by a frantic letter from Dave Hobart, a boyhood friend.
Dave owns a fabulous and foreboding 16th-century English manor house moved from England to New Orleans at the whim of his eccentric grandfather. But Delys Hall has been nicknamed Deadly Hall. Some terrible things have happened there - including murder - and there are rumours of hidden treasure and a ghost.
'The plot's the thing . . . it is a sort of gleeful game' New York Times Book Review
John Dickson Carr (1906-1977), the master of the locked-room mystery, was born in Uniontown, Pennsylvania, the son of a US Congressman. He studied law in Paris before settling in England where he married an Englishwoman, and he spent most of his writing career living in Great Britain. Widely regarded as one of the greatest Golden Age mystery writers, his work featured apparently impossible crimes often with seemingly supernatural elements. He modelled his affable and eccentric series detective Gideon Fell on G. K. Chesterton, and wrote a number of novels and short stories, including his series featuring Henry Merrivale, under the pseudonym Carter Dickson. He was one of only two Americans admitted to the British Detection club, and was highly praised by other mystery writers. Dorothy L. Sayers said of him that 'he can create atmosphere with an adjective, alarm with allusion, or delight with a rollicking absurdity'. In 1950 he was awarded the first of two prestigious Edgar Awards by the Mystery Writers of America, and was presented with their Grand Master Award in 1963. He died in Greenville, South Carolina in 1977.