cover image Till Death Do Us Part

Till Death Do Us Part

John Dickson Carr. Poisoned Pen, $14.99 trade paper (272p) ISBN 978-1-7282-6112-6

This nail-biting locked-room puzzle from Carr (1906–1977), set in pre-WWII England and first published in 1944, initially unfolds from the perspective of crime author Dick Markham, who’s besotted with his new fiancée, Lesley Grant. Markham is stunned when a fortune-teller visiting the village of Six Ashes has a session with Grant in which he says something that frightens her, which she refuses to disclose to Markham. Then the seer is shot, apparently by a gun Grant claimed discharged accidentally, and the writer learns that the wounded man is a famed criminologist, Sir Harvey Gilman. Gilman, who survives the shooting, rocks Markham with the revelation that Grant’s believed to have gotten away with murdering three lovers in two countries with prussic acid in rooms from which no person could have escaped—and which have stumped the police. When a fourth such killing occurs in Six Ashes, series sleuth Gideon Fell is called in to explain the inexplicable. Carr’s gift for creating a creepy atmosphere again meshes with a brilliantly constructed and eminently fair whodunit. This epitomizes the goal of the British Library Crime Classics—to reissue outstanding mysteries for a new audience. (Aug.)