Friday, February 14, 2014

"The Great Man Tried Just a Little Too Hard to Be Clever"

By Carter Dickson.
Morrow [U.S.] and Heinemann [U.K.].
1937. 280 pages. $2.00
John Dickson Carr's style sometimes grated, but his cleverness seldom flagged:
If you were planning to murder someone . . . would you invite the police to come witness the crime? No, it's not a silly question. It happens - twice - in The Peacock Feather Murders, by John Dickson Carr (writing as Carter Dickson). This 1937 doubly-impossible but fairly clued mystery is the subject of this week's audio review on the Classic Mysteries podcast . . . — Les Blatt, CLASSIC MYSTERIES (May 21, 2012) 
All good intriguing stuff one might think but, much as I admire JDC for his ingenuity, there are aspects of his writing (conspicuous in this volume) which I find somewhat wearisome. I can, for example, do without his laboured humour. He never wrote with a light touch and he would have been wise (IMHO of course) to have left the comedy to those with a flair for it. The sequence with Masters being (almost) seduced by the solicitor's wife in the back of a chauffeur driven car is more cringe-making than funny.
I felt also that this was one of those occasions when the Great Man tried just a little too hard to be clever. — Alan P., GAD Wiki
Two different murders in practically sealed rooms with fantastic trappings, and police politely invited, arouse Sir H. Merivale [sic] from lethargy. - First-rate puzzler, with oh-so-simple (once you know it) solution—carefully annotated, with lively talk and interesting people. - Verdict: Dickson de luxe. — THE SATURDAY REVIEW (July 31, 1937)
Category: Detective fiction

No comments:

Post a Comment