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John Dickson Carr: The Man Who Explained Miracles Hardcover – March, 1995
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From Library Journal
Readers of Golden Age mysteries will recognize John Dickson Carr as the preeminent writer of "locked room" mysteries and other ingenious puzzle mysteries. Carr's writing career began with suspense stories published in his high school newspaper and continued for more than 50 years, until just prior to his death in 1977. In addition to mystery novels-written under the pseudonym Carter Dickson and featuring series detectives Henri Barcolin, Dr. Gideon Fell, and Sir Henry Merrivale-Carr wrote radio plays, stage plays, short fiction, reviews, articles, and historical novels. Carr preferred the fantastic and the romantic to the realistic, and his preferences are reflected in his works. Greene has clearly spent many years immersed in Carr's works and here provides the reader with an insightful, critical guide to Carr's writings. Appendixes include a checklist of Carr's works. Recommended where crime fiction or biographies are collected.
Denise Johnson, Bradley Univ. Lib., Peoria, Ill.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
John Dickson Carr was one of the most prolific and popular mystery authors from the 1930s through the 1960s, writing more than 80 novels and collections of short stories, at least 200 book-review columns for Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, and numerous radio scripts for the BBC and CBS. Carr's specialty was the locked-room mystery, in which a crime, usually a murder, is committed under circumstances that seem utterly impossible. He believed in treating the reader fairly, within the terms of the genre: the reader is supposed to be given all the clues needed for the solution, and no supernatural or other devices are to be used. He despised the hard-boiled urban mystery, but in outlook and temperament, he greatly resembles an author whose work he hated, Raymond Chandler. Greene spends much more time in describing Carr's stories than in describing his life; Carr's alcoholism is dismissed in a few pages, and the supposition that he worked for British intelligence before and during World War II is relegated to an appendix. Despite this focus, Greene has created a solid introduction to a key figure in the history of the genre. George Needham
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