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The White Priory Murders (1934)

by Carter Dickson

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Sir Henry Merrivale (2)

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210392,348 (3.58)3



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Showing 3 of 3
Excellent locked-roomer of the "no footprints in the snow" variety (see Blake's [b:Thou Shell of Death|1909418|Thou Shell of Death (Nigel Strangeways, #2)|Nicholas Blake|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1300574909s/1909418.jpg|1801658]). Suspects are amusing showbiz caricatures, solution is both surprising and satisfying. ( )
  middlemarchhare | Nov 25, 2015 |
The second of the Henry Merrivale stories, which, like the first (the Plague Court Murders) is grimmer than some of the later ones which are more cheerfully preposterous. In this a sexy actress who failed on the London stage but became a movie star in America is planning a triumphant return to London playing Charles II's mistress, but while staying in the mistress's room at White Priory --a room in a little building set on a lake, with only one entrance by a sort of causeway -- --she is brutally beaten to death at the time of a snow-storm which (in classic locked-room fashion) apparently shows no-one could have come to kill her. Sir Henry Merrivale (who American nephew is visiting at this time) and his Scotland Yard ally Humphrey Masters investigate. ( )
  antiquary | Aug 16, 2015 |
Second in the series featuring Sir Henry Merrivale, HM to his friends, The White Priory Murders begins with the death of an actress. She is found in a building close to an English country house, but here's the thing: the murderer left his or her footprints in the snow, but none ever came out. This fact, plus a few other simple clues, lead to a mystery where everyone has a motive, but everyone also has an alibi. Once the local police have a go, it will be up to HM to solve the case.

I love these old books, but they're so incredibly verbose as to at times become distracting. The murder mystery itself, however, is good and solid. There are plenty of suspects, plenty of motives, and thus a lot of red herrings for the reader to sort through. HM's unraveling of the whole thing at the end was very well done.

If you like golden-age mysteries, you should put this one on your reading list, or if you're a fan of John Dickson Carr and haven't yet read this one, you will want to do so. Modern mystery readers might become a bit impatient due to the overdone verbiage, but on the other hand, that's kind of a signature trademark with Carr in most of his books.

Overall, not bad, not one of my favorites of Carr's books, but still a pretty good read. ( )
  bcquinnsmom | Feb 2, 2010 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Carter Dicksonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Ahmavaara, EeroTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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'Humph,' said H. M., 'so you're my nephew, hey?'
I owe him quite a lot and that's a fact. But the messes he becomes involved in are a bit too strenuous for me. I don't like these things that couldn't have happened but did happen. - Inspector Masters speaking of Sir Henry Merrivale.
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Marcia Tait is a Hollywood star who has come to England to make a historical film. She's found beaten to death in the Queen's Mirror pavilion, the 17th-century trysting place of King Charles II and Lady Castlemaine. The problem is particularly puzzling because the pavilion is surrounded by newfallen snow, with only one set of footprints leading to it and none leading away. The suspects include a man who thought he was marrying her — and her husband, whose marriage was unknown to all.

Sir Henry Merrivale lends a hand to Inspector Masters in the investigation, but is too late to stop the second murder before Merrivale solves the case.
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