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John Dickson Carr: Radio Plays & More


j-d-carrJohn Dickson Carr (1906 – 1977) was an American author of detective stories, often referred to as ‘The King of The Locked Room Mystery’. Carr published under his own name, most notably producing the Dr. Gideon Fell series, and also under the pen name of Carter Dickson, famous for the Sir Henry Merrivale series.

Carr was one of the greatest writers of the  so-called “Golden Age” of mystery fiction, writing complex, plot-driven stories in which the puzzle is paramount. He was clearly influenced by the works of Gaston Leroux, the Father Brown stories of G. K. Chesterton, and Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes. He was a master of the locked room mystery, in which a detective solves apparently impossible crimes. The Dr. Fell mystery, ‘The Hollow Man’ (1935), is usually considered to be Carr’s masterpiece, and was selected in a 1981 survey of experts, organized by Edward D. Hoch, as the best locked-room mystery of all time. There can be little doubt that Carr was, and still remains, the single most important author in the Locked Room and Impossible Crime sub-genre!

A resident of England for a number of years, Carr is often grouped among the “British-style” mystery writers. Most (though not all) of his novels had English settings, especially country villages and estates, and English characters, and his two best-known fictional detectives were both English. Carr was also a pioneer of the historical mystery genre.

(Source: Edited from Wikipedia John Dickson Carr)

Carr wrote 46 novels under his own name, and another 26 under the pen name Carter Dickson – plus over 100 short stories, plays, radio plays, and non-fiction, under both names. Due to the number of works written by this prolific author, we have divided his works into five different pages. Other than this page ‘John Dickson Carr: Radio Plays & More’, there are four additional pages:

Go to John Dickson Carr: Novels
Go to John Dickson Carr: AKA Carter Dickson
Go to John Dickson Carr: Short Stories
Go to John Dickson Carr: Collections

More on John Dickson Carr Wikipedia / Gadetection
More on Dr. Gideon Fell   More on Sir Henry Merrivale

More on Carr Radio Plays: Tipping My Fedora


John Dickson Carr Radio Plays & Other Works


Note: There is no complete list of Carr radio plays. It is possible that over a hundred episodes were produced for the BBC and CBS. The best guide to Carr’s radio works is a six volume French series edited by Danièle Grivel and published by Atalante between 2006 and 2009.

Série Intégrale des pièces radiophoniques de J. D. Carr
Volume 1: En parlant du diable et autres pièces de guerre (tome 4, 2009)
Volume 2: Rendez-vous avec la peur (livre 1, 2006)
Volume 3: Suspense (livre 2, 2007)
Volume 4: Cabine B-13 (livre 3, 2008)

Very little information is available on some of these radio plays. We have some of the scripts printed in short story collections, and some audio files, mainly from the CBS show ‘Suspense’. Unfortunately, most of the BBC performances, and the B-13 CBS series are lost. Only in a few instances do we have both the original script and the audio file. It is also difficult to ascertain which stories have locked room or impossible crime elements. All known radio plays have therefore been included.


A John Dickson Carr Radio Library

‘Suspense’ episodes available at Internet Archive with file number:
Use this Internet Archive Link then scroll down to the desired file number to download or play!

The Burning Court (1942)  2
Lord of the Witch Doctors (1941)  9
The Devil in the Summer-House (1940)  10   fix
Will You Make a Bet with Death? (1942)  11
Menace in Wax (1942)  12
The Body Snatchers (1942)  13
The Bride Vanishes (1942)  14
Till Death Do Us Part (1942)  15
Two Sharp Knives (1942)  16
Nothing Up My Sleeve (1943)  17
The Pit And The Pendulum (1943)  18
The Devil’s Saint (1943)  19
The Hangman Won’t Wait (1943)  21  fix?
Will You Walk Into My Parlor? (1943)  23
The Customers Like Murder (1943)  24
The Dead Sleep Lightly (1943)  25
Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble (1943)  26
The Moment of Darkness (1943) 28
Death Flies Blind (1943) 30
Mister Markham, Antique Dealer (1943)  31
Five Canaries in a Room (1943)  35
The Man Without a Body (1943) 37
Cabin B-13 (1943)  55
The Dealings of Mr. Markham 1945  137
The Dealings of Mr. Markham 1958  739

Other Carr Radio Links:
The Speaking Clock (BBC) Radio Detective Story Hour 181
Cabin B-13 Episodes  (3 episodes)
Death in the Dressing Room (1942)    Murder Clinic
Murder by Experts (hosted by John Dickson Carr – 8 episodes)
The Clock Strikes Eight (1944)  Radio Detective Episode 157


John Dickson Carr Radio Plays


Fell FoulplayWho Killed Matthew Corbin? (1939)
Details: Aired on BBC: (3-part serial) 27-Dec-1939 to 14-Jan-1940. A Dr. Fell Radio Play. Audio now lost.

Script Collection: Fell & Foul Play (1991)

Available only in used paperback or hardcover editions.

 Book

Note: A Three part play!

Originally performed in three parts: ‘Consider your verdict’ (the murder); What say ye? (the trial), and ‘Whodunnit?’ (the solution)


Carr CDThe Devil in the Summer-House  (1940)
Details: Aired BBC 14-Oct-1940; Suspense (CBS 1941-61) 03-Nov-1942
Script Collections: Dr. Fell, Detective, and Other Stories (1947); The Door to Doom and Other Detections (1980)
Audio Collection from: ‘Suspense’

Best Review

****

Available only in used paperback and hardcover editions, or MP3 CD format

Book1  Book2  Mp3 CD  You Tube

Note: Two versions of this play

The basic story involves a shooting inside a guarded summerhouse. Two versions exist. ‘The Door to Doom’ version is set in New York state without Dr. Fell; the ‘Dr Fell, Detective and other stories’ version is the original, set in England with Dr. Fell. The duplication occurred when Carr re-wrote the story as a half-hour program for ‘Suspense’, but excluded the character of Dr. Gideon Fell. A short story based on the version that aired on ‘Suspense’ can also be found in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, September 1946.


Sleep LightlyThe Black Minute (1941)
Details: BBC 18-Oct-1941 Dr. Fell Radio Play. Audio lost.
Script Collection: The Dead Sleep Lightly (1983); Fell & Foul Play (1991)

Best Review

*****

Available only in used paperback and hardcover editions.

Book

Note: This deadly seance is one of Carr’s best!

The murder occurs in the middle of a locked and darkened seance. A truly spine-chilling atmosphere, with a very well plotted impossible murder. Dr. Fell must solve the mystery of the murder of a fake medium, who was securely tied to an armchair, while the other occupants of the room formed an unbroken circle by linking hands. The door was locked and bolted, but someone still managed to stab him in the throat. One of Carr’s best solutions.

More on ‘The Black Minute’


Speak DevilSpeak of the Devil (1941)
Details: BBC (8-part serial) 10-Feb-1941 to 31-Mar-1941 
Script Collection: Speak of The Devil

 

Best Review

****

Available only in used paperback and hardcover editions.

Book

Note: Historical mystery set in London, 1816

Historical mystery that takes place around London in 1816.  Not strictly a locked room mystery, but may have some impossible crime elements. Audio apparently lost.


Carr CDLord of the Witch Doctors (as Robert Southwell)  (1941)
Details: BBC 13-Sep-1941; Suspense (CBS 1941-61) 27-Oct-1942
Audio Collection: ‘Suspense’

Available only in Mp3 CD format.

Mp3 CD   You Tube

Note: A lesson from history?

Historical mystery set in 19th century Zanzibar. Focuses on a squabble between British and German settlers. Of course, in the middle of WWII, the Germans lose. This is essentially propaganda attempting to show that German inflexibility ensures their ultimate defeat.


Carr CDThe Man in the Iron Mask (1942)
Details: BBC 5-Jan-1942  Audio lost

 

 

Note: Carr’s version of the famous Dumas tale.

Carr’s own version of the Voltaire story of Eustache Dauger, elaborated on by Alexandre Dumas. The original BBC play is lost and the only  known copy of the script is written in French, though the play was broadcast in English. 


Inspector Silence Takes the Underground (1942)
Details: (with Val Gielgud) BBC 25-Mar-1942  Audio lost.
Script: Limited edition chapbook by Crippen & Landru

Note: The New York Underground?

Little information available. Only 250 copies were produced with notes by Tony Medawar. Despite the title, this mystery takes place on the New York Subway.


13 GallowsInspector Silence Takes the Air (1942)
Details: (with Val Gielgud) Original Title: Murder Takes The Air. A stage play first performed in Wales in 1942.
Script Collection: 13 to the Gallows (2008)

Available only in used paperback and hardcover editions

Book

Note: Murder in a wartime radio studio

Inspector Silence Takes the Air is set during World War II at emergency BBC studios in a provincial town. There, a murder takes place – and the weapon disappears.


Merrivale MarchDeath in the Dressing Room (1942)
Script Collections: The Department of Queer Complaints (1940); Merrivale, March and Murder (1991)
Audio Collection: Murder Clinic Episode 4 

Best Review
****

Available only in used paperback and hardcover editions.

Book   Murder Clinic

Note: An impossible night at the theatre

A dancer is slain and all of the most obvious suspects have perfect alibis. 


Carr CDThe Burning Court (1942)
Details: Suspense (CBS 1941-61) 17-Jun-1942 
Audio Collection: ‘Suspense’
Script: Generic Scripts
Best Review

****

Available only in MP3 CD format.

Generic Script  Mp3 CD  Suspense Episode 2 

Note: Short version of Carr’s 1937 novel

“The Burning Court” was adapted from Carr’s 1937 novel of the same name.  This novel was considered controversial because it retained some elements of the supernatural, that were not completely explained by the solution. This particular story and author, was used by the producers to set the tone for future episodes in the series. In the introduction to this episode, the announcer, Berry Kroeger, gives an overview of what could be expected from Suspense in the coming weeks. Never guessing that the show would go on for twenty years.

The writer, Gaudan Cross, is in the home of Mr. Despas. He finishes a glass of sherry, then announces that he knows who murdered the uncle of his host!

How is this possible? Mr. Cross explains it all began after he finished his book about famous poisoners. The manuscript was given to Mr. Ted Stevens, who works for his publisher. Mr. Stevens began reading the manuscript only to discover that one of the poisoners, named Marie D’Aubray, looked identical to his wife!

Suspense presented this story a second time on June 14, 1945, but with a number of changes to the details and story. The two versions are quite different. 


Door DoomWill You Make a Bet with Death? (1942)
Details: Suspense (CBS, 1941-61) 10-Nov-1942 / Appointment with Fear / The Man in Black (BBC, 1943-49, 1955) 16-Oct-45
Script Collection: The Door to Doom and Other Detections (1980) 
Audio Collection: ‘Suspense’

Best Review
****

Available only in used paperback and hardcover editions, or MP3 CD.

Book  Mp3 CD  Online  Suspense 11  You Tube

Note: Murder on Coney Island

In “Will You Make a Bet with Death” a young man bets his life against the $25,000 his uncle promises him if he can escape being murdered! Set on New York’s famous Coney Island. Betty Andrews buys a ticket for the haunted mill ride, but doesn’t expect much of a thrill! But just as she gets into the boat, she is suddenly joined by Bob Pendrall, who informs her that he is being followed by a killer! Bob and Betty sneak out of the boat and into the dark insides of the haunted mill. There, Bob explains the bet with his uncle that could cost him his life or earn him $25,000 – and there is only five hours left to go!


Carr CDMenace in Wax (1942)
Details: Suspense (CBS, 1941-61) 17-Nov-1942
Audio Collection: ‘Suspense’

Available only in Mp3 audio format.

Mp3 CD  You Tube

Note: Murder at Madame Tussaud’s

This spooky crime is set inside London’s famous Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum. Journalist, Bert Rogers, discovers that the Germans are using the wax figures to pass messages that enable their planes to bomb a secret factory hidden in the woods.


Carr CDThe Body Snatchers (1942)
Details: Suspense (CBS, 1941-61) 24-Nov-42
Audio Collection: ‘Suspense’

 

Best Review
****

Available only in MP3 CD format.

Mp3 CD  You Tube

Note: Grave Robbers in Jolly Olde England

Carr’s version of the famous Robert Louis Stevenson story about body snatchers who robbed graves and sold the corpses for medical research in 19th century England. Those who dug up bodies after burial and sold them off for a profit were known as “Resurrectionists” or “Resurrection Men.” As a result, families who lost a loved one had to guard the graves – creating a whole new industry! Later, the Resurrectionists stopped waiting for victims to die – and started killing to order! The problem was finally solved by giving the bodies of the poor to the doctors!


Door DoomThe Bride Vanishes (1942)
Details: Suspense (CBS, 1941-61) 01-Dec-42 / Cabin B-13 (CBS, 1948-49) 12-Dec-48
Script Collection: The Door to Doom and Other Detections (1980) 
Audio Collection: ‘Suspense’ & ‘B-13’

Best Review
****

Available only in used paperback and hardcover editions, and MP3 CD.

Book  Mp3 CD  You Tube  Amazon B-13  Otrcat B-13

Note: A mysterious disappearance on Capri

A young couple on their honeymoon are headed towards the Isle of Capri, but the ship’s crew are nervous! During a trip to the famed Blue Grotto, they tell the new bride that another young newlywed, who looked just like her, and was staying in the same villa –  suddenly disappeared!


Carr CDTill Death Do Us Part (1942)
Details: Suspense (CBS, 1941-61) 15-Dec-42 / Cabin B-13 (CBS, 1948-49) 19-Dec-48
Audio Collection: ‘Suspense’

 

Best Review
****

Available only in MP3 CD format.

Mp3 CD  You Tube

Note: AKA: The Man Who Died Twice.

A professor, jealous of his wife’s love for another man, comes up with a clever plan to eliminate both his problems. No obvious connection to the 1944 Dr. Fell novel of the same name. 


suspenseTwo Sharp Knives (1942)
Details: Suspense (CBS, 1941-61) 22-Dec-42
Script: Generic Scripts
Audio Collection: ‘Suspense’

Best Review

****

Generic Script  MP3 CD  Suspense Episode 16

Note: An innocent man commits suicide in police custody

 “Two Sharp Knives” was adapted by John Dickson Carr from a short story of the same name by Dashiell Hammett, first published in Colliers, January 13,1934. 

It is past two in the morning, when Scott Anderson, the chief of police and his assistant, Wally, arrive at Deerwood station just in time to meet the train.

The chief and Wally watch a man disembark, then take him into custody. The man’s name is Lester Furman, and according to a flyer from the TransAmerica Detective Agency, he is wanted in Philadelphia for murder!

Forman protests his innocence  but they take him to the station house to hold him for the Philadelphia police. Furman later kills himself in his cell, and the chief discovers that the flyer was a fake. The Transamerica Detective Agency only knows that Furman was once a client.

Suspense presented this story a second time on June 7, 1945.


Carr CDNothing Up My Sleeve (1943)
Details: Suspense (CBS, 1941-61) 05-Jan-43
Script Online
Audio Collection: ‘Suspense’

Available only in MP3 CD format.

Script  Mp3 CD  You Tube

Note: A classic Carr locked room tale

 A suspenseful tale of robbery and missing money in a locked room. 


Carr CDThe Pit And The Pendulum (1943)
Details: Suspense (CBS, 1941-61) 12-Jan-43 / Appointment with Fear / The Man in Black (BBC, 1943-49, 1955) 18-Sep-43
Audio Collection: ‘Suspense’; Classic BBC Radio Horror: Appointment with Fear (1943/ 1944)

Best Review
****

‘Appointment with Fear’ is available in MP3 CD, Audible and Audio CD formats.

MP3 CD 1  MP3 CD 2  Audible  You Tube  Audio CD

Note: Carr’s version of the famous Poe story.

Edgar Allan Poe’s classic story was adapted for ‘Suspense’ by John Dickson Carr, but it was too short for a half hour radio broadcast. Carr lengthened it by adding a court scene and a running dialogue that takes place in the mind of the prisoner.  Equal parts Poe and Carr. It was presented four times between 1943 and 1959. 

More on ‘The Pit and The Pendulum’


Carr CDThe Devil’s Saint (1943)
Details: Suspense (CBS, 1941-61) 19-Jan-43
Script Collection: The Dead Sleep Lightly (1983)
Audio Collection: ‘Suspense’

Best Review
****

Available only in used paperback and hardcover, or Mp3 CD format.

Book  Mp3 CD   Suspense Episode 19

Note: A night in ‘The Tapestry Room’

Paris 1927.  Lord Edward and Illona are enjoying themselves at a fancy dress ball – until the arrival of her uncle, Count Stefan Kohari.  Edward and Illona have only known each other four days, but want to marry. The Count objects, but agrees if Edward will spend a night in the “Tapestry Room” at his home the Chateau d’Azay.  The only problem is – everyone who sleeps in that room dies! A great locked room tale!

More on ‘The Devil’s Saint’


Door DoomThe Hangman Won’t Wait (1943)
Details: Suspense (CBS, 1941-61) 09-Feb-43
Script Collection: Dr. Fell, Detective, and Other Stories (1947); The Door to Doom and Other Detections (1980)
Audio Collection: ‘Suspense’

Available only in used paperback and hardcover editions, and online at Internet Archive

Book   Suspense Episode 21

Note: Death cheats the hangman!

This story takes place in Maidhurst prison. Gideon Fell saves a condemned woman by proving that the account by a supposed witness contains a falsehood. Later recycled and adapted for the BBC’s ‘Appointment With Fear’ as ‘The Clock Strikes Eight’.


Fell DetectiveWill You Walk Into My Parlor? (1943)
Details: Suspense (CBS, 1941-61) 43-02-23
Script Collection: Dr. Fell, Detective, and Other Stories (1947)
Audio Collection: ‘Suspense’

Available only in used paperback and hardcover editions.

Book   Suspense Episode 23

Note: An early version of  ‘Till Death Do We Part’

A mystery set in Layton Hall, Kent. Carr began with this short radio play, then later adapted it into Vampire Tower, which became the basis for his 1944 novel, ‘Till Death Do Us Part’. Who do you believe the woman you love or the evidence?


Door DoomThe Phantom Archer (1943)
Details: Suspense (CBS, 1941-61) 09-Mar-43 Audio file lost
Script Collection: The Door to Doom and Other Detections (1980)

 

Best Review
****

Available only in used paperback and hardcover editions.

Book

Note: An invisible archer?

This mystery takes place on St. Ives island off the coast of Cornwall. The impossible murder is by an arrow in the doorway of a gallery that has just been opened. Unfortunately, the audio file has been lost.


Door DoomCabin B-13 (1943)
Details: Suspense (CBS, 1941-61) 03-13-43 / 09-11-43 Episode 55 AKA: Honeymoon Terror / Appointment with Fear / The Man in Black (BBC, 1943-49, 1955) 11-09-1943 / 09-10-45 / 
Script Collection: The Door to Doom and Other Detections (1980) 
Audio Collection: ‘Suspense’

Best Review
****

Available only in used paperback and hardcover editions, and MP3 CD format.

Book  Mp3 CD  You Tube 

Note: Adventures aboard the SS Maurevania!

Originally an episode on Suspense on March 16, 1943 (repeated 09-11-43), starring Ralph Bellamy, Cabin B-13 later became the foundation of a new radio mystery series. The mystery is set aboard the ocean liner ‘Maurevania” ( based on Cunard’s Mauretania) and follows a newlywed couple, Ann and Richard (Ricky) Brewster, who board the ship for a fun filled honeymoon. The couple has $10,000 for their travels, but when Ricky takes the money to be stored at the concierge, he disappears. When Ann searches for him, there is no record of the couple being onboard and cabin B-13 does not exist! 


Cabin-B-13-mp3Cabin B-13 Radio Series
Details: Cabin B-13 (CBS, 1948-49)
John Dickson Carr

Cabin B-13 MP3 CD  Cabin B-13 Episodes

Carr was later given the chance to create his own program under the title Cabin B-13. It starred Arnold Moss as Dr. Fabian, the luxury liner’s doctor, who leads the listener through different tales all onboard the S.S. Maurevania. Though 25 shows were created, there are only 3 now in existence. However, the show is widely considered to be one of the best mystery old time radio shows.

The Cabin B-13 Series originally included all 25 of these John Dickson Carr radio plays:

Cabin B-13 – “Bill and Brenda Leslie (July 5, 1948) (AKA: A Razor in Fleet Street)
Cabin B-13 – “The Man Who Couldn’t Be Photographed” (July 12, 1948) (October 31, 1948)
Cabin B-13 – “Death Has Four Faces” (July 19, 1948)
Cabin B-13 – “The Blindfolded Knife Thrower” (July 26, 1948)
Cabin B-13 – “No Useless Coffin” (August 2, 1948)
Cabin B-13 – “The Nine Black Reasons” (August 9, 1948)
Cabin B-13 – “The Count of Monte Carlo” (August 16, 1948)
Cabin B-13 – “Below Suspicion” (August 23, 1948)
Cabin B-13 – “The Power of Darkness” (August 31, 1948)
Cabin B-13 – “The Footprint in the Sky” (September 7, 1948)
Cabin B-13 – “The Man With the Iron Chest” (September 14, 1948)
Cabin B-13 – “The Street of Seven Daggers” (October 3, 1948)
Cabin B-13 – “The Danger from Stanboul” (October 10, 1948)
Cabin B-13 – “Death in the Desert” (October 17, 1948)
Cabin B-13 – “The Island of Coffins” (October 24, 1948)
Cabin B-13 – “The Most Respectable Murder” (November 7, 1948)
Cabin B-13 – “The Curse of the Bronze Lamp” (November 14, 1948)
Cabin B-13 – “The Lair of the Devil Fish” (November 21, 1948)
Cabin B-13 – “The Dead Man’s Knock” (November 28, 1948)
Cabin B-13 – “The Man With Two Heads” (December 5, 1948)
Cabin B-13 – “The Bride Vanishes” (December 12, 1948)
Cabin B-13 – “Till Death Do Us Part” (December 19, 1948)
Cabin B-13 – “The Sleep of Death” (December 26, 1948)
Cabin B-13 – “The Dancer From Stambul” (January 2, 1949)


Carr CDThe Customers Like Murder (1943)
Details: Suspense (CBS, 1941-61) 23-Mar-43
Script Collection: EQMM April 1952
Audio Collection: ‘Suspense’

Available only in MP3 CD format.

Mp3 CD  You Tube 

Note: Two different versions?

Robert Adey in ‘Locked Room Murders’: “All about the amateur sleuth (Gerald Hawkstone) and his long suffering secretary, who are kidnapped by two American gangsters who want them to settle the hash of  the Lord Chief Justice of England. But guess whose hash gets settled. Great fun! “

BookishWhimsy.com review of radio play on Suspense: tells a slightly different story: “Murder mystery writer, Mr. Hopstone (Hawkstone?), is getting into a heated debate with his secretary who is taking dictation. She affirms a certain poison has no odor, but Mr. Hopstone is “noted for the correctness of his medical knowledge” according to him and superciliously asks her if they should go next door and check with Dr. Robert. Mr. Hopstone does go next door and finds some criminals in need of a doctor to look after a man they just kidnapped. Although Mr. Hopstone tries to convince them he’s not the Doctor, the secretary walks in and jokingly calls him Dr. Hopstone before she notices the other men. It looks like Mr. Hopstone’s only way out of this dangerous situation is to use a scheme from one of his mystery stories.”

The basic storyline is clear enough, but I suspect there is a British and an American version of this story! Will add it to my long list of review topics!


Sleep LightlyThe Dead Sleep Lightly (1943)
Details: Suspense (CBS, 1941-61) 1943.03.30 Episode 25
Script Collection: The Dead Sleep Lightly (1983); (Fell and Foul Play (1991)
Audio Collection: ‘Suspense’

Best Review
*****

Available only in used paperback and hardcover editions, and MP3 CD format.

Book  Mp3 CD  You Tube

Note: Guess who’s calling?

A man is haunted by the ghost of his ex-wife. The initial version is a good read, but the extended adaptation which add Dr. Gideon Fell and Superintendent Hadley to the cast of characters, is far better. A truly eerie atmosphere and a spooky impossible crime with a spectral voice from beyond the grave, via a disconnected telephone, make this one of Carr’s very best!

More on ‘The Dead Sleep Lightly’ & More from Gadetection


Carr CDFire Burn and Cauldron Bubble (1943)
Details: Suspense (CBS, 1941-61) 06-Apr-43 / Appointment with Fear / The Man in Black (BBC, 1943-49, 1955) 18-Sep-45 
Audio Collection: ‘Suspense’

Best Review
****

Available only in MP3 CD format.

Mp3 CD   You Tube

Note: Tragedy at a Shakespeare opening night

“Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble” recounts the first night of a Shakespearean production that is interrupted by a murder in the box seats. 

Three actresses provide the back story as the opening night audience enters the theatre, including Marcia Blair, a once-famous actress, who had been their director’s leading lady, before she retired from the stage. Her life had been tarnished by a bad first marriage, but after he died, she had married Howard White, and tonight was their first anniversary.

However, Marcia and Howard are terrified. She has been receiving letters from her first husband since the day of their wedding, with a prophesy that their marriage would not last a year! Howard tells her someone is just playing a joke, then leaves her at the theatre while he returns to business. After all – she should be safe in the middle of a crowded theatre?

Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble was also  the working title of Carr’s novel ‘Fire burn! (1957), but there is no obvious connection between the plots. 


Carr CDThe Moment of Darkness (1943)
Details: Suspense (CBS, 1941-61) 20-April-43 
Audio Collection: ‘Suspense’

 

Best Review

****

Available only in MP3 CD format.

Mp3 CD  Suspense Episode 28

Note: A fake medium?

A niece tries to protect her wealthy aunt from a medium, who she believes is a fake. A train from Paris to the French Riviera is about to leave, when Marjorie Gray boards and heads for the compartment of her family’s solicitor, Mr. Stephens. Ken Blake, an American, is the only one in the compartment, and he seems to know far too much about Aunt Hester and Ravel, the suspicious medium in Monte Carlo. Finally, Mr. Stephens arrives and assures Marjorie that he will prove the medium is a fraud. Ravel seems to have special powers, but Mr. Stephens doesn’t believe a word of it. What will happen?


Carr CDMister Markham, Antique Dealer (1943)
Details: Suspense (CBS, 1941-61) 11-May-43
Script: Generic Radio
Audio Collection: ‘Suspense’

 

Available only in MP3 CD format.

Generic Script  Mp3 CD  You Tube

Note: Mr. Markham’s a nasty villain!

Mr. Markham is not your average antiques dealer – he has another business on the side – blackmail! Markham is a classic rogue! A blackmailer, a murderer, and he owns a room full of clocks – one of which talks! This time he commits murder and gets away with it!  Scotland Yard even believes he is the victim. Three versions of “Mr. Markham, Antique Dealer” were done for Suspense; the two later versions of the script were aired as “The Dealings of Mr. Markham.” Another episode ‘The Speaking Clock’ was created by Carr for BBC’s Appointment with Fear’.

Suspense: 137 “The Dealings of Mr. Markham”  45-06-28
Suspense: 739 “The Dealings of Mr Markham” 58-11-02 
Radio Detective Story Hour 181: The Speaking Clock
Appointment with Fear M3P CD
Speaking Clock Review


Carr CDDeath Flies Blind (1943)
Details: Suspense (CBS, 1941-61) 04-May-43 / Appointment with Fear / The Man in Black (BBC, 1943-49, 1955) 20-Apr-44
Audio Collection: ‘Suspense’

Available only in MP3 CD format.

Mp3 CD   You Tube

Note: Time for flight training?

A terror filled drama as a Navy Commander and his fiancee discover that their flight from New York to Philadelphia is out over the ocean – and that there is no pilot in the cabin.  Nazi spies and submarine freighters are also involved in this wartime adventure.


Carr CDFive Canaries in a Room (1943)
Details: Suspense (CBS, 1941-61)  08-Jun-43 / Appointment with Fear / The Man in Black (BBC, 1943-49, 1955) 13-Nov-45
Audio Collection: ‘Suspense’

Available only in MP3 CD format. 

Mp3 CD  You Tube

Note: The Morning After?

After his bachelor party, Ron Denim stumbles into an apartment, complete with five canaries and a dead body. When he sobers up comes the big surprise – he can’t find the body or the apartment!  A rewrite of  Carr’s short story ‘The Crime in Nobody’s Room’ which was never one of Carr’s best efforts.


Carr CDThe Man Without a Body (1943)
Details: Suspense (CBS, 1941-61) 22-Jun-43
Audio Collection: ‘Suspense’

 

Best Review

***

Available only in MP3 CD format.

Mp3 CD  You Tube

Note: Invisible Nazis?

An English village is terrorized by an invisible man! They blame it on the American scientist who has just moved in – but in the end it is more Nazi spies! Not bad for propaganda!


Appt FearThe Clock Strikes Eight (1944)
Details: Appointment with Fear / The Man in Black (BBC, 1943-49, 1955) 18-May-44 
Audio Collection: Appointment with Fear (1943/ 1944)

 

Best Review

*****

Available only in Audio CD, Audible and MP3 CD formats.

Audible  MP3 CD  Radio Detective Episode 157 Audio CD

Note: Waking up to a nightmare!

Waking up in a strange cell to find herself with no memory, Helen Barton is informed that she now awaits the fulfilment of her sentence – hanging. Dr. Fell takes on the poor woman’s case, but she is scheduled to hang that same day when the clock strikes eight, for shooting her lover Philip Gale through the heart. Time is quickly running out for Dr Fell! One of Carr’s best radio plays!


Sleep LightlyThe Vampire Tower (1944)
Details: Appointment with Fear / The Man in Black (BBC, 1943-49, 1955) 11-May-44  Audio file lost.
Script Collection: The Dead Sleep Lightly (1983)

Best Review
****

Available only in used paperback and hardcover editions.

Book

Note: A tough decision?

Dr. George Grimaud, the Home Office pathologist, is playing the part of a palm reader and crystal gazer, at a small country fair. But when he meets Harvey Drake’s new fiancee, it is not the occult which tells him that she is a dangerous poisoner. Her previous husbands had apparently committed suicide, all in the same odd manner, but such coincidence was far too incredible to credit – and Grimaud is convinced that Drake is her next target! 

Who should Drake trust? The woman he loves or the scientist? His life might depend on finding the right answer!

More on ‘Vampire Tower’


Sleep LightlyThe Devil’s Manuscript (1944)
Details: Appointment with Fear / The Man in Black (BBC, 1943-49, 1955) 12-Oct-44 Audio file lost.
Script Collection: The Dead Sleep Lightly (1983)

Best Review
****

Available only in used paperback and hardcover editions.

Book

Note: Scared to death?

Carr reworks an old ghost story into a suspense tale with a logical ending, but still leaves us to wonder whether a written story, a radio play, or even better, a movie, might actually be capable of producing enough fear to kill the audience!

More on ‘The Devil’s Manuscript’


Sleep LightlyDeath Has Four Faces (1944)
Details: Appointment with Fear / The Man in Black (BBC, 1943-49, 1955) 19-Oct-44  Audio file lost.
Script Collection: The Dead Sleep Lightly (1983)

Best Review
****

Available only in used paperback and hardcover editions.

Book

Note: An invisible killer?

A young man who has been cleaned out by a French casino, is tempted to do a bit of very profitable smuggling for a shady crook –  until he witnesses the man being murdered by an invisible attacker! One of Carr’s best, but most familiar solutions! 

More on ‘Death Has Four Faces’


BBC-Man-In-BlackHe Who Whispers (1944)
Details: Appointment with Fear / The Man in Black (BBC, 1943-49, 1955) 02-Nov-44 Original audio file and script are both now apparently lost. See ‘He Who Whispers’ (2000) for the new BBC version.

The radio play is an early version of the 1946 novel of the same name.


BBC-Man-In-BlackThe Curse of the Bronze Lamp (1944)
Details: Appointment with Fear / The Man in Black (BBC, 1943-49, 1955) 09-Nov-44 / Cabin B-13 (CBS, 1948-49) 14-Nov-48  Original audio file and script are both now apparently lost.

The radio play is an early version of the 1945 novel of the same name.


Merrivale MarchLair of the Devil Fish (1944)
Details: Appointment with Fear / The Man in Black (BBC, 1943-49, 1955)  21-Dec-44 / Cabin B-13 (CBS, 1948-49) 21-Dec-44
Script Collection: Merrivale, March and Murder (1991)

Available only in used paperback and hardcover editions.

Book 

Takes place in a bay in Cuba. No other information available on this title. Must have read it long ago – but it is now back on my ‘to read’ list. Another Locked Room Review is pending.


Sleep LightlyDragon in The Pool (1944)
Details: Appointment with Fear / The Man in Black (BBC, 1943-49, 1955)  3-February-44 
Script Collection: The Dead Sleep Lightly (1983); Merrivale, March and Murder (1991)

Best Review
****

Available only in used paperback and hardcover editions.

Book

Note: A detective after revenge!

A young woman decides to play sleuth and assembles all the suspects involved in the unresolved death of her father – but what she is really after is not justice – it’s revenge! She intends to give the guilty party a dose of his own medicine. The solution is one of Carr’s best.

More on ‘The Dragon in The Pool’


13 GallowsThirteen to The Gallows (1944)
Details: Three Act Theatre Play
Script Collection: Thirteen To The Gallows

 

Best Review

****

Available only in used paperback and hardcover editions. 

Book

Note: Who pushed the lady from the tower?

Thirteen to the Gallows is set in a BBC studio.  A woman falls to her death from a tower – it is murder, but no one is near her, and the only clue is a scattering of Arum Lilies. Carr takes this unsolved crime from the past and reopens the investigation years later, forcing the survivors of that crime to re-tell the story.


13 GallowsIntruding Shadow (1945)
Details: One act stage play
Script Collection: Thirteen to The Gallows

 

Best Review

****

Available only in used paperback and hardcover editions.

Book

Note: A good old style whodunnit!

‘Intruding Shadow’ is an engaging mystery, with a bit of a Christie touch, that expertly shifts the audience’s expectations from one suspect to another.


13 GallowsShe Slept Lightly (1945?)
Details: One act stage play
Script Collection: Thirteen to The Gallows

 

Best Review
****

Available only in used paperback and hardcover editions.

Book

Note: Ghosts and Waterloo!

A grand historical melodrama set during the Napoleonic finale of  Waterloo. Features the ghostly appearances of a young woman, but no real impossible crime element.


Cabin-B-13-mp3Razor in Fleet Street (1948)
Details: AKA: Bill & Brenda Leslie; AKA: Flight From Fleet Street / Cabin B-13 (CBS, 1948-49) 05-Jul-1948 
Audio Collection: Cabin B-13

Available only in MP3 CD format

MP3 CD   Cabin B-13 Episodes

Note: The first instalment of the B-13 radio program

A razor wielding “Slasher” is the exact double of a visiting diplomat, but who’s who?


Cabin-B-13-mp3The Man Who Couldn’t Be Photographed (1948)
Details: Cabin B-13 (CBS, 1948-49) 12-Jul-48 / Appointment with Fear / The Man in Black (BBC, 1943-49, 1955) 26-Jul-55,  31-Oct-48  

Script and audio file now both apparently lost.


Cabin-B-13-mp3The Blindfolded Knife Thrower (1948)
Details: Cabin B-13 (CBS, 1948-49) 26-Jul-48

Script and audio file now both apparently lost.

 


Cabin-B-13-mp3No Useless Coffin (1948)
Details: Cabin B-13 (CBS, 1948-49) 02-Aug-48

Script and audio file now both apparently lost.

 


Cabin-B-13-mp3The Nine Black Reasons (1948)
Details: Cabin B-13 (CBS, 1948-49) 09-Aug-48

Script and audio file now both apparently lost.

 


Cabin-B-13-mp3The Count of Monte Carlo (1948)
Details: Cabin B-13 (CBS, 1948-49) 16-Aug-48

Script and audio file now both apparently lost.

 


Cabin-B-13-mp3Below Suspicion (1948)
Details: Cabin B-13 (CBS, 1948-49) 23-Aug-48

See ‘Below Suspicion (2001)’ for the recent episode of the BBC series ‘Dr. Fell Mysteries’.  Script and audio file of the 1948 version are now both apparently lost.


Cabin-B-13-mp3The Power of Darkness (1948)
Details: Cabin B-13 (CBS, 1948-49) Aug-48

Script and audio file now both apparently lost.

 


Merrivale MarchThe Footprint in the Sky (1948)
Details: Cabin B-13 (CBS, 1948-49) 07-Sep-48
Script Collection: The Department of Queer Complaints (1940); Merrivale, March and Murder (1991)

Best Review

****

Available only in used paperback and hardcover editions.

Book

Note: A snow job?

The only snowy footprints going to and coming from the cottage of a woman who has been attacked for her valuables, were obviously made by a young woman who couldn’t really have done the deed. Then there is that one other print on the hedge. Critical opinion is divided between one of Carr’s best and a tired locked room cliche.


Cabin-B-13-mp3The Man With the Iron Chest (1948)
Details: Cabin B-13 (CBS, 1948-49) 14-Sep-48

Script and audio file now both apparently lost.

 


Cabin-B-13-mp3The Street of Seven Daggers (1948)
Details: Cabin B-13 (CBS, 1948-49) 03-Oct-48

Script and audio file now both apparently lost.


Cabin-B-13-mp3The Dancer From Stambul (1948)
Details: Cabin B-13 10-Oct-48, 02-Jan-49 

 Script and audio file now both apparently lost. 


Cabin-B-13-mp3Death in the Desert (1948)
Details: Cabin B-13 (CBS, 1948-49) 17-Oct-48

Script and audio file now both apparently lost.

 


Cabin-B-13-mp3The Island of Coffins (1948)
Details: Cabin B-13 (CBS, 1948-49)  24-Oct-48

Script and audio file now both apparently lost.


Cabin-B-13-mp3The Most Respectable Murder (1948)
Details: Cabin B-13 (CBS, 1948-49) 07-Nov-48

Script and audio file now both apparently lost.


Cabin-B-13-mp3The Dead Man’s Knock (1948)
Details: Cabin B-13 (CBS, 1948-49) 28-Nov-48

Script and audio file now both apparently lost.


Cabin-B-13-mp3The Man With Two Heads (1948)
Details: Cabin B-13 (CBS, 1948-49) 05-Dec-48

Script and audio file now both apparently lost.


Cabin-B-13-mp3The Sleep of Death (1948)
Details: Cabin B-13 (CBS, 1948-49) 26-Dec-48
Audio Collection: B-13 

 

Available only in M3P audio format.

Amazon B-13  Otrcat B-13  You Tube 

Note: Another episode with no reviews or references!

Locked Room Review pending.


Sleep LightlyWhite Tiger Passage(1955)
Details: Appointment with Fear / The Man in Black (BBC, 1943-49, 1955) 2-Aug-55
Script Collection: The Dead Sleep Lightly (1983)

 

Best Review
****

Available only in used paperback and hardcover editions.

Book 

Note: A great comedy and a great mystery – all in one!

Very similar to some of the farcical Sir Henry Merrivale stories. A journalist and his companion are hot on the trail of a  serial killer that is haunting Paris.  Really funny, yet still a great mystery with all the clues and a great solution. One of Carr’s very best!

More on “The White Tiger Passage’


BBC-Man-In-BlackThe Dead Man’s Knock (1955)
Details: Appointment with Fear / The Man in Black (BBC, 1943-49, 1955) 9-Aug-55

Script and audio file now both apparently lost.

Note: An early draft of Carr’s 1958 novel of the same name.


BBC-Man-In-BlackThe Sleuth of Seven Dials (1955)
Details: Appointment with Fear / The Man in Black (BBC, 1943-49, 1955) 16-Aug-55

Script and audio file now both apparently lost.

 

Note: August 16, 1955 BBC schedule synopsis

“A visit to a lawyer by a strange Eastern gentleman … a seemingly impossible murder, and an innocent man on the run from the police.”


Sleep LightlyThe Villa of the Damned (1955)
Details: Appointment with Fear / The Man in Black (BBC, 1943-49, 1955) 23-Aug-55
Script Collection: The Dead Sleep Lightly (1983)

 

Best Review
****

Available only in used paperback and hardcover editions.

Book

Note: A very audacious plot!

Carr had already made rooms disappear – but this time he took it to the  limit! To quote the review at “Beneath The Stains of Time”: “The impossible premise of this story, in which not only an entire suburb disappears but also, for a brief moment, an entire century, is probably one of his most daring ones – and in combination with a solid plot makes for a pretty memorable story all around. However, like miracle problems involving houses and trains being spirited-away, the range of possible solutions are very limited and you don’t have to be Dr. Gideon Fell or Sir Henry Merrivale to immediately stumble to the mechanics of the trick.”

More on ‘The Villa of The Damned’


BBC-Man-In-BlackTill the Great Armados Come (1955)
Details: Appointment with Fear / The Man in Black (BBC, 1943-49, 1955) 30-Aug-55

Script and audio file now both apparently lost. Where are all these files? Recording was very dependable by this time! Carr’s last known radio play!


Fell MysteriesThe Hollow Man (1997)
Details: First broadcast by BBC in 2 parts on the 26 March & 2 April 1997.

 

 

Best Review
****

Available only in a used audio cassette format and on BBC Radio 4.

Audio Cassette

Note: Carr’s greatest locked room classic!

In 1997, the BBC began to broadcast a one-hour Gideon Fell series starring the late Donald Sinden, produced and directed by Enyd Williams, and dramatised by Peter Ling. Ling made various changes to the stories – but generally followed the core of the original plot. Unfortunately, though the first two of these series were released in audio cassette format, the others have never been offered for sale. They are occasional rebroadcast on BBC Radio 4 Extra and many ‘grey’ copies are available for private sale, but cannot be purchased from major distributors.

This edition of ‘The Hollow Man’ has been generally well received by critics. 


Fell MysteriesThe House in Gallows Lane (1997)
Details: First broadcast by BBC in 2 parts on First broadcast by BBC in 2 parts on the 8-15 October 1997

 

Best Review

****

Available only in a used audio cassette format and on BBC Radio 4.

Audio Cassette

Note: A a re-titled adaptation of ‘Till Death Do Us Part’

In 1997, the BBC began to broadcast a one-hour Gideon Fell series starring the late Donald Sinden, produced and directed by Enyd Williams, and dramatised by Peter Ling. Ling made various changes to the stories – but generally followed the core of the original plot. Unfortunately, though the first two of these series were released in audio cassette format, the others have never been offered for sale. They are occasional rebroadcast on BBC Radio 4 Extra and many ‘grey’ copies are available for private sale, but cannot be purchased from major distributors.

This new version of ‘Till Death Do Us Part’ has been generally well received by critics.


Fell MysteriesTo Wake The Dead (1997)
Details: First broadcast by BBC in 2 parts on 22-29 October 1997

 

 

Best Review

****

Available only in ‘grey market’ audio products and on BBC Radio 4.

Note: Another Carr classic!

In 1997, the BBC began to broadcast a one-hour Gideon Fell series starring the late Donald Sinden, produced and directed by Enyd Williams, and dramatised by Peter Ling. Ling made various changes to the stories – but generally followed the core of the original plot. Unfortunately, though the first two of these series were released in audio cassette format, the others have never been offered for sale. They are occasional rebroadcast on BBC Radio 4 Extra and many ‘grey’ copies are available for private sale, but cannot be purchased from major distributors.

Like all of this series, this edition has been generally well received by critics.


Fell MysteriesThe Blind Barber (1997)
Details: First broadcast by BBC on 5 November 1997

 

 

Best Review

****

Available only in ‘grey market’ audio products and on BBC Radio 4.

Note: One of Carr’s best Dr. Fell novels!

In 1997, the BBC began to broadcast a one-hour Gideon Fell series starring the late Donald Sinden, produced and directed by Enyd Williams, and dramatised by Peter Ling. Ling made various changes to the stories – but generally followed the core of the original plot. Unfortunately, though the first two of these series were released in audio cassette format, the others have never been offered for sale. They are occasional rebroadcast on BBC Radio 4 Extra and many ‘grey’ copies are available for private sale, but cannot be purchased from major distributors.

Like all of this series, this edition has been generally well received by critics.


Fell MysteriesThe Black Spectacles(1998)
Details: First broadcast by BBC on 9 May 1998

 

 

Best Review
****

Available only in ‘grey market’ audio products and on BBC Radio 4.

Note: AKA: The Green Capsule for Americans

In 1997, the BBC began to broadcast a one-hour Gideon Fell series starring the late Donald Sinden, produced and directed by Enyd Williams, and dramatised by Peter Ling. Ling made various changes to the stories – but generally followed the core of the original plot. Unfortunately, though the first two of these series were released in audio cassette format, the others have never been offered for sale. They are occasional rebroadcast on BBC Radio 4 Extra and many ‘grey’ copies are available for private sale, but cannot be purchased from major distributors.

Like all of this series, this edition has been generally well received by critics.


Fell MysteriesThe Mad Hatter (1999)
Details: First broadcast by BBC on 3 July 1999

 

 

Best Review
****

Available only in ‘grey market’ audio products and on BBC Radio 4.

Note: One of my all time favourites!

In 1997, the BBC began to broadcast a one-hour Gideon Fell series starring the late Donald Sinden, produced and directed by Enyd Williams, and dramatised by Peter Ling. Ling made various changes to the stories – but generally followed the core of the original plot. Unfortunately, though the first two of these series were released in audio cassette format, the others have never been offered for sale. They are occasional rebroadcast on BBC Radio 4 Extra and many ‘grey’ copies are available for private sale, but cannot be purchased from major distributors.

Like all of this series, this edition has been generally well received by critics.


Fell MysteriesHe Who Whispers (2000)
Details: First broadcast by BBC on 25 March 2000

 

 

Best Review

****

Available only in ‘grey market’ audio products and on BBC Radio 4.

Note: A replacement for the lost 1944 version?

In 1997, the BBC began to broadcast a one-hour Gideon Fell series starring the late Donald Sinden, produced and directed by Enyd Williams, and dramatised by Peter Ling. Ling made various changes to the stories – but generally followed the core of the original plot. Unfortunately, though the first two of these series were released in audio cassette format, the others have never been offered for sale. They are occasional rebroadcast on BBC Radio 4 Extra and many ‘grey’ copies are available for private sale, but cannot be purchased from major distributors.

Like all of this series, this edition has been generally well received by critics.


Fell MysteriesBelow Suspicion (2001)
Details: First broadcast by BBC on 20 January 2001

 

 

Best Review
****

Available only in ‘grey market’ audio products and on BBC Radio 4.

Note: The last one of the series?

In 1997, the BBC began to broadcast a one-hour Gideon Fell series starring the late Donald Sinden, produced and directed by Enyd Williams, and dramatised by Peter Ling. Ling made various changes to the stories – but generally followed the core of the original plot. Unfortunately, though the first two of these series were released in audio cassette format, the others have never been offered for sale. They are occasional rebroadcast on BBC Radio 4 Extra and many ‘grey’ copies are available for private sale, but cannot be purchased from major distributors.

Like all of this series, this edition has been generally well received by critics.


John Dickson Carr:  Non-Fiction


Edmund GodfreyThe Murder of Sir Edmund Godfrey (1936)
John Dickson Carr

 

 

Best Review

****

Book only

This story deals with the murder of a noted justice of the peace in the latter part of the 17th century in England. The murder is later used by the political enemies of Charles II as petext for a witch hunt against Catholics in general and to usurp Charles’s power by forcing the nomination of Charles’s illegitimate Protestant son as official heir, instead of his Catholic brother James. 


Carr DoyleThe Life of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1949)
John Dickson Carr
Authorized Biography

 

Best Review

****

Book only  

This biography had full access to the archives of the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, including his notebooks, diaries, press clippings, and voluminous correspondence. Like his creation, Sherlock Holmes, Doyle had “a horror of destroying documents,” and until his death in 1930, they accumulated to a vast amount throughout his house at Windlesham. They provide many of the words incorporated by Carr in this portrayal of Doyle’s forays into politics, his infatuation with spiritualism, his literary ambitions, and dinner-table conversations with friends like H. G. Wells and King Edward VII. Carr, in a sense, collaborates with his subject to unfold a colorful narrative that takes Doyle from his school days at Stonyhurst to Edinburgh University and a medical practice at Southsea, where he conceived the idea of wedding scientific study to criminal investigation in the person of Sherlock Holmes. It also explores the private tragedy of Doyle’s first marriage, and long-delayed second, as it follows him into the arena of public activity, propaganda, and literary output that would win him not only celebrity but also a knighthood. Includes 8 pages of black-and-white photographs.


John Dickson Carr Lectures


Door DoomStand and Deliver
Collection: Door to Doom and Other Detections

 

 

Available only in used paperback and hardcover editions.

Book 

Note: A last hurrah!

Not Carr at his best! “Stand and Deliver” attempts to rouse a cheer for the rogues gallery, but it never quite gets off the ground. Carr’s health was rapidly deteriorating when he wrote this piece – and it definitely shows. 


Door DoomThe Grandest Game in The World (1946)
Collections: Dr. Fell, Detective, and Other Stories (1947); The Door to Doom and Other Detections (1980); 

 

Best Review
****

Available only in used paperback and hardcover editions.

Book

Note: The Great Game!

Carr always focused on the fair-play solution, not on the pure art of fictional detection. In this essay, ‘The Grandest Game in the World’, he clearly defines the detective story –  not as the account of an investigation, but as a game played between the criminal and the detective-reader. The criminal must always be perceived as innocent and unsuspected until the detective discovers his identity through the revealing of evidence which has also been passed along  to the reader. This is the grand game of mystery fiction – and the reason why ‘reverse mysteries’ can never truly be part of the mystery game. The reader must be able to match his wits against the detective and the crook – and the best mysteries will always be those that when you finally close the book, you mutter a soft curse, because you have just been fairly outwitted!


John Dickson Carr Bibliography


Locked Room 101: The Masters


The Locked Room Mystery home



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