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The Plague Court Murders: A Sir Henry Merrivale Mystery
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Penzler Publishers 2021
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Description

When a spiritual medium is murdered in a locked hut on a haunted estate, Sir Henry Merrivale seeks a logical solution to a ghostly crime.
Plague Court is old and crumbling, long neglected after its lord, hangman’s assistant Louis Playge, fell victim to the black death hundreds of years before. Famously haunted by Playge’s ghost, the property finally has a new owner and banishing the spirit is the first order of business. And when the medium employed with this task is found stabbed to death in a locked stone hut on the grounds, surrounded by an untouched circle of mud, the other guests at Plague Court have every reason to fear an act of supernatural violence—for who among them would be diabolical and calculating enough to orchestrate such an impossible execution?
Enter Sir Henry Merrivale, an amateur sleuth of many talents with deductive powers strong enough to unspool even the most baffling crimes. But in the creepy, atmospheric setting of Plague Court, where every indication suggests intervention from the afterlife, he encounters a seemingly-illogical murder scene unlike anything he’s ever encountered before . . .
Reissued for the first time in years, The Plague Court Murders is the first novel in the Sir Henry Merrivale series. Originally published under the name Carter Dickson, it is a masterful example of the “impossible crime” novel for which John Dickson Carr is known. 
“Very few detective stories baffle me nowadays, but Mr. Carr’s always do.” —Agatha Christie

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
02/02/2021
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781613161982
ASIN:
B0898X38XR
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

John Dickson Carr. (2021). The Plague Court Murders: A Sir Henry Merrivale Mystery. Penzler Publishers.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

John Dickson Carr. 2021. The Plague Court Murders: A Sir Henry Merrivale Mystery. Penzler Publishers.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

John Dickson Carr, The Plague Court Murders: A Sir Henry Merrivale Mystery. Penzler Publishers, 2021.

MLA Citation (style guide)

John Dickson Carr. The Plague Court Murders: A Sir Henry Merrivale Mystery. Penzler Publishers, 2021.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2022. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Added:
Jan 29, 2021 16:12:34
Date Updated:
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        John Dickson Carr (1906–1977) was one of the most popular authors of Golden Age British-style detective novels. Born in Pennsylvania and the son of a US congressman, Carr graduated from Haverford College in 1929. Soon thereafter, he moved to England where he married an Englishwoman and began his mystery-writing career. In 1948, he returned to the US as an internationally known author. Carr received the Mystery Writers of America’s highest honor, the Grand Master Award, and was one of the few Americans ever admitted into the prestigious, but almost exclusively British, Detection Club.
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American Mystery Classics
publishDate
2021-02-02T00:00:00-05:00
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title
The Plague Court Murders
fullDescription

When a spiritual medium is murdered in a locked hut on a haunted estate, Sir Henry Merrivale seeks a logical solution to a ghostly crime.
Plague Court is old and crumbling, long neglected after its lord, hangman’s assistant Louis Playge, fell victim to the black death hundreds of years before. Famously haunted by Playge’s ghost, the property finally has a new owner and banishing the spirit is the first order of business. And when the medium employed with this task is found stabbed to death in a locked stone hut on the grounds, surrounded by an untouched circle of mud, the other guests at Plague Court have every reason to fear an act of supernatural violence—for who among them would be diabolical and calculating enough to orchestrate such an impossible execution?
Enter Sir Henry Merrivale, an amateur sleuth of many talents with deductive powers strong enough to unspool even the most baffling crimes. But in the creepy, atmospheric setting of Plague Court, where every indication suggests intervention from the afterlife, he encounters a seemingly-illogical murder scene unlike anything he’s ever encountered before . . .
Reissued for the first time in years, The Plague Court Murders is the first novel in the Sir Henry Merrivale series. Originally published under the name Carter Dickson, it is a masterful example of the “impossible crime” novel for which John Dickson Carr is known. 
“Very few detective stories baffle me nowadays, but Mr. Carr’s always do.” —Agatha Christie

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reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: New York Times
      • content: A genuine baffler, placed in an eerie, ghostly setting.
      • premium: False
      • source: Publishers Weekly
      • content: The macabre setup is bolstered by the author's superior gift at creating atmosphere. This entry in the American Mystery Classic series begs rereading to note how artfully Carr misdirects readers even while planting all the vital clues in plain sight.
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        Starred review from December 7, 2020
        Impossible crime master Carr (1906–1977) has rarely been better than in this mind-boggling mystery, first published in 1934. After James Halliday commits suicide, his elderly aunt becomes convinced that he was driven to it by the spirit of Louis Playge, a 17th-century hangman who died in the London house Halliday inhabited in Plague Court, and agrees to let psychic researcher Roger Darworth try to exorcise Playge’s spirit. Darworth arranges to be sealed inside a small building in the rear yard, with the sole door locked from the outside and double-barred from the inside. Despite those precautions and the absence of evidence that anyone approached the building, which was surrounded by pristine mud, he’s stabbed to death by a knife used by Playge that was recently stolen from a museum. Sir Henry Merrivale, making his series debut, helps the police investigate. The macabre setup is bolstered by the author’s superior gift at creating atmosphere. This entry in the American Mystery Classic series begs rereading to note how artfully Carr misdirects readers even while planting all the vital clues in plain sight.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        January 1, 2021
        Sir Henry Merrivale, everyone's favorite blustering detective, returns in this reprint of his first appearance, originally published under the gossamer-thin pseudonym Carter Dickson in 1934. After his introduction on the first page, H.M. has to wait for over half the story before he's allowed onstage. In the meantime, all manner of alarums and excursions have broken out around Plague Court, the home of hangman's assistant Louis Playge, who's been reputed to haunt the place for more than 200 years. The estate's latest owner, Lady Anne Benning, determined to exorcise the malign spirit, brings in psychic Roger Darworth and his half-wit medium, assistant, and frontman, Joseph Dennis, to push Louis Playge out for good. As Lady Benning; her nephew, Dean Halliday; his fiancee, Marion Latimer; and her brother, Ted Latimer, form a circle with Joseph, DI Humphrey Masters, and narrator and Dean's old friend Ken Blake, Darworth locks himself in a stone building that's padlocked in turn from outside and is promptly stabbed to death by Playge's dagger in one of the earliest impossible crimes favored by Carr. The logistics of this one strain credulity, and the revelation of an accomplice who literally helps the killer get away with murder is a shade too convenient. But the post-17th-century atmosphere in the first half of the tale is thick enough to cut with a dagger, and fans with long memories will cheer the arrival of the aggressively no-nonsense H.M., who pauses just long enough between complaints and imprecations to unlock the mystery. Like its own creepy backstory, the hero's 86-year-old debut has now become a treasured chapter in criminal history.

        COPYRIGHT(2021) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        January 29, 2021
        Reissued as part of Otto Penzler's American Mystery Classics series, this was the first of Carr's Sir Henry Merrivale mysteries, which ran a course of 22 titles from 1934 to 1953. This book is so quintessentially British that it is difficult to believe the author is American, although he did live in England for several years with his English wife. Curmudgeonly Merrivale was something of a literary Houdini whose specialty was solving locked-door mysteries, considered the ""impossible crime."" In his debut, he seeks a logical solution to the murder of a spiritual medium, who is found at Plague Court, an allegedly haunted estate, in a locked stone hut "bolted, and barred; and not one of those bolts you could do tricks with, either"; furthermore, there isn't a footprint anywhere within the 20 feet of mud around the hut. Recommended for Golden Age mystery fans, this is one of those books that requires the reader's total immersion and is best approached in an easy chair with a good, strong cuppa at hand.

        COPYRIGHT(2021) Booklist, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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shortDescription

When a spiritual medium is murdered in a locked hut on a haunted estate, Sir Henry Merrivale seeks a logical solution to a ghostly crime.
Plague Court is old and crumbling, long neglected after its lord, hangman’s assistant Louis Playge, fell victim to the black death hundreds of years before. Famously haunted by Playge’s ghost, the property finally has a new owner and banishing the spirit is the first order of business. And when the medium employed with this task is found stabbed to death in a locked stone hut on the grounds, surrounded by an untouched circle of mud, the other guests at Plague Court have every reason to fear an act of supernatural violence—for who among them would be diabolical and calculating enough to orchestrate such an impossible execution?
Enter Sir Henry Merrivale, an amateur sleuth of many talents with deductive powers strong enough to unspool even the most baffling crimes. But in the creepy, atmospheric setting of...

sortTitle
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crossRefId
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series
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subtitle
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publisher
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