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The Problem of the Wire Cage Mass Market Paperback – May 1, 1986

11 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Zebra (May 1, 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0821733842
  • ISBN-13: 978-0821733844
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 4 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,492,403 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By E. A. Lovitt HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on March 25, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
"The Problem of the Wire Cage (1939)" is the opposite of a locked-room mystery. In this book, a man is strangled to death on a sand tennis court. Only one set of footprints leads across the court--and they belong to the corpse.
Okay, whodunit? As usual in a 'Golden Age' mystery, there are lots of suspects and motives. The corpse was a particularly venomous sort of ladies man who never did an honest day's work. Everyone disliked him except for his adopted father, and that included his two discarded mistresses, his fiancée and the guy who keeps proposing marriage to her, and an acrobat.
Some of my favorite theories as presented by the various characters involved ice skates, sneaking up behind the victim by walking on one's hands, and making one's way to the middle of the court by creeping across the wire netting.
Then a second victim is murdered (taking out my favorite suspect), and Carr's gigantic Dr. Gideon Fell must clear up all of the false theories and discover the real murderer.
Carr plays fair with his readers. All of the clues needed to solve this mystery are presented, including (in my Bantam edition, at least) a diagram of the tennis court. The author demolishes the false theories with ponderous ease, including a hilarious passage where two well-meaning clue-hunters wreck several tennis courts by trying to prove that the murderer could have crept along the overhead netting. The solution involves a fairly complex set-up, but revolves around the particular relationship that the victim had with his murderer, so I don't think Carr was blind-siding his readers.
Although this author was an American most of his mysteries (including this one) are set in England. If you're a fan of the technical, or "Impossible! No one could have committed this murder!" mystery, "The Problem of the Wire Cage" should hold your interest through that proverbial rainy afternoon.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Michael Allan Mallory on March 3, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Carr is my favorite mystery writer of all time. I read this book over twenty years ago and most of his others, too. The set up for this story is classic. And you have the added fun of watching the police going off in the wrong direction based on faulty evidence while the heroes of the story stay one step ahead of them in pursuit of the solution to the puzzle. Carr is a master story teller, with a sublime gift of language and a silly streak. While the solution to this book is, perhaps, a bit creaky nowadays, it still is well worth the read. Few too many mystery writers these days would even attempt to create a story with this sort of complexity and panache. I keep looking but have not found one who can hold a candle to Carr.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Hans Castorp VINE VOICE on April 24, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Carr is among the very top "Whodunnit" Authors of them all, and is always in top form. Here we have a classic love triangle, suspects arguing about how they'd like to "murder" someone after a rainy tennis match, and Carr's unmatched methods to do the dirty deed. Not to mention one of the more bizarre detectives , Dr Gideon Fell, social snobbery at its worst, a yahoo Texan at a circus full of acrobats. The killer is fairly easy to identify, and there's the usual red herrings thrown in, and the solution may be a bit unrealistic, but I've read many at least as zany! You just can't miss with the great John Dickson Carr!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 25, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
John Dickson Carr is a great mystery writer from the era of Ellery Queen and other masters. This book involves a murder that takes place on a tennis court-- the wire mesh fencing around the court is the "wire cage" of the title. This is one of those murders which "could not possibly have been committed" but was. The riddle type mystery involves interesting characters who have all sorts of dynamics going-- passionate love, old hatreds, rivalries, and so forth. If you like the sort of mystery that challenges you to identify the killer, this one's for you. It's great to see some of these classics in print.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By E. A. Lovitt HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on May 27, 2006
Format: Paperback
"The Problem of the Wire Cage (1939)" is the opposite of a locked-room mystery. In this book, a man is strangled to death on a sand tennis court. Only one set of footprints leads across the court--and they belong to the corpse.

Okay, whodunit? As usual in a 'Golden Age' mystery, there are lots of suspects and motives. The corpse was a particularly venomous sort of ladies man who never did an honest day's work. Everyone disliked him except for his adopted father, and that included his two discarded mistresses, his fiancée and the guy who keeps proposing marriage to her, and an acrobat.

Some of my favorite theories as presented by the various characters involved ice skates, sneaking up behind the victim by walking on one's hands, and making one's way to the middle of the court by creeping across the wire netting.

Then a second victim is murdered (taking out my favorite suspect), and Carr's gigantic Dr. Gideon Fell must clear up all of the false theories and discover the real murderer.

Carr plays fair with his readers. All of the clues needed to solve this mystery are presented, including (in my Bantam edition, at least) a diagram of the tennis court. The author demolishes the false theories with ponderous ease, including a hilarious passage where two well-meaning clue-hunters wreck several tennis courts by trying to prove that the murderer could have crept along the overhead netting. The solution involves a fairly complex set-up, but revolves around the particular relationship that the victim had with his murderer, so I don't think Carr was blind-siding his readers.

Although this author was an American most of his mysteries (including this one) are set in England. If you're a fan of the technical, or "Impossible! No one could have committed this murder!" mystery, "The Problem of the Wire Cage" should hold your interest through that proverbial rainy afternoon.
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