- Paperback: 192 pages
- Publisher: Rue Morgue Press; Reprint edition (April 1, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1601870213
- ISBN-13: 978-1601870216
- Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,008,415 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Judas Window: A Sir Henry Merrivale Locked Room Mystery (A Rue Morgue Vintage Mystery) Paperback – April 1, 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
This is John Dickson Carr (aka Carter Dickson), the acknowledged master of the locked room mystery, in top form. The quality of the puzzle in The Judas Window is superior to that in The Three Coffins (popularly regarded as Carr's best book and the most famous locked room murder mystery). The case unfolds through the medium of a riveting courtroom drama that simply ought to have been filmed. The comic touches provided by H.M. as defence counsel are terrific. And the modus operandi of the crime is stunning in its simplicity and the conviction it carries. Less convincing however (and this is what makes the book stop just short of perfection) is the murderer's motive. But this flaw makes only a ripple in the overall masterly construction of the mystery.
Don't miss it!
This novel features an unsurpassably brilliant and baffling crime, and a fantastic assortment of 'red herrings' in the form of untrustworthy potential murderers. Carr/ Dickson really did virtually perfect the form of the mystery novel, and in an era when mystery novels are so popular it is a shame that his contributions to the genre are not more widely recognized, if not worshipped!
Every strand of the plot is in place; every clue is carefully laid right in front of the reader. But the central mystery is still completely baffling: how did the victim end up dead in a locked room? What exactly is a Judas window? To spoil the secret would be cruelly unfair, suffice it to say that the solution is so ingenious, and yet so simple, that you will hate yourself for not realizing it sooner. This book is excellent--not even THE THREE COFFINS can compare with this.
As most people perusing this page must know, Carr's specialty was the locked room murder/impossible crime. I confess that this has never been my favorite type of mystery, as the emphasis is on the howdunnit rather than the who, or even the why. The mechanics of the crime don't interest me as much as the interactions between the victim, the suspects and the detective. That said, nobody does impossible crimes like Carr. He also brings a sense of humor to his books, (which sometimes threatens to veer toward utter lunacy!) If you accept this going in, you should have a grand old time.
I think The Judas Window deserves its reputation as one of Carr's best. The initial premise is straightforward: a wealthy young man goes to meet his beloved's father to confirm that they will get married. The father-in-law is oddly cold to him but approves the wedding and offers him a cocktail. He drinks it and realizes almost immediately that he has been drugged. He passes out, and when he awakens, the older man is lying dead on the ground, and the door and windows are bolted and sealed with no possible access from the outside. If the young man is innocent, who killed the victim, and how could it have been done?
The great joy for me of this novel is that it is told primarily through the transcript of the young man's trial for murder, where sleuth Sir Henry Merrivale acts as a most unconventional defense attorney.Read more ›
Young James Answell makes a trip to London to meet his future father-in-law, who greets him well enough, if not exactly enthusiastically. They meet in a room with locked windows; a collection of arrows on the wall; and a sideboard with a decanter of whiskey. Answell has a drink, passes out from an unknown mickey in his drink; and when he comes to his host has been murdered. Enter H.M. Merrivale, barrister extraordinaire. Even as the prosecution smugly presents an apparently unassailable case, Merrivale is working to discover actual events from the night of the murder:
"'Me lord; members of the jury. You're probably wonderin' what sort of defense we're here to offer. Well, I'll tell you,' said H.M. magnanimously.
'First of all, we'll try to show that not one single one of the statements made by the prosecution could possibly be true.'
Sir Walter Storm rose with a dry cough.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Other than Sherlock Holmes, I'm not a reader of mysteries, but I was looking for something light to read. I found this to be a fascinating puzzle and thoroughly enjoyed it. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Dr. Peter Millheiser
A locked room murder mystery, with an innocent man on trial for his life. Lots of repetitive talking... But int3eresting none the less.Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
Every time I read a Carter Dickson or John Dickson Carter book I'm impressed by the development of the mystery. Read morePublished 7 months ago by OCProf
Ranks with the most ingenious works of Sir Conan Doyle - an intricate and bizarre "locked-room" mystery, the subsequent intriguing courtroom drama and the closing chapters... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Dirk Reed
A classic locked room mystery. Kept me guessing. On my list to buy a hardcopy for my collection. A very enjoyable read indeed.Published 16 months ago by Gracie
Excellent locked-room mystery. The best of his I have read. Sir Henry Merrivale is a loveable and brilliant old cuss!Published 20 months ago by Charles Vaughan
This is a dazzling performance. In the end, and on consideration, you may find it far fetched and overly byzantine, but its possibility stands. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Khirul