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  • The Murder Room

The Emperor's Snuff-Box

John Dickson Carr

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Fiction, Crime & mystery, Historical mysteries

'A master magician . . . King of the Art of Misdirection' Agatha Christie

The scene is a fashionable French seaside resort; the witness, Eve Neill, is looking out of her window in the early hours of the morning when she sees the battered body of her prospective father-in-law in the room opposite.

By Eve's side is her ex-husband, who has attempted to force his unwelcome attentions on her. How can Eve tell the police what she saw when disclosing whom she was with might jeopardise her own impending marriage

Suspicion falls on casual thieves, on the family and on various acquaintances, but the complicated 'locked-room' case is eventually solved by Dr Dermot Kinross, a detective who becomes emotionally involved . . .

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John Dickson Carr

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.

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