The White Priory Murders by Carter DicksonThe White Priory Murders by Carter Dickson
Narrator: John Telfer
Series: Sir Henry Merrivale #2
Published by Soundings on December 1, 2022 (first pubished 1934)
Source: Purchased
Genres: Vintage Mystery
Length: 8 hrs 37 mins
Pages: 267
Format: Audiobook
Purchase at or Audible
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James Bennett has been invited to stay at White Priory for Christmas among the retinue of the glamorous Hollywood actress Marcia Tait. Her producer, her lover, the playwright for her next hit and her agent are all here, soon to become so many suspects when Tait is found murdered on a cold December morning in the lakeside pavilion. Only the footprints of her discoverer disturb the snow which fell overnight – and which stopped just shortly after Marcia was last seen alive. How did the murderer get in and out of the pavilion without leaving a trace?

When Bennett's uncle, the cantankerous amateur sleuth Sir Henry Merrivale arrives from London to make sense of this impossible crime, the reader is treated to a feast of the author's trademark twists, beguiling false answers and one of the most ingenious solutions in the history of the mystery genre.

James Bennett, nephew of our semi-amateur sleuth Sir Henry Merrivale, has been invited to a house party in the White Priory, home to the brothers, John and Maurice Bohun. The star guest is Marcia Tait, a glamorous actress who has just walked out of a Hollywood contract so she can act in a play written by Maurice. Of course, Marcia ends up dead and everyone in the house is a suspect.

It’s almost a locked room mystery. With the building surrounded by snow, the killer’s footprints should have been clear, but the only prints are those left by John Bohun, who discovered the body. I do love a good house party in the snow murder but the characters in this one are just not quite as interesting as the blurb promises. And we only see Sir Henry at the beginning and near the end. He does solve the puzzle but I didn’t get much of a feel for him.

It was maybe a bit convoluted but stll clever enough. I can’t say I was surprised by the whodunnit, since they all had motives, and I didn’t really like any of them.

About Carter Dickson

Carter Dickson is a pen name of writer John Dickson Carr.

John Dickson Carr (November 30, 1906 – February 27, 1977) was an American author of detective stories, who also published using the pseudonyms Carter Dickson, Carr Dickson, and Roger Fairbairn.

He lived in England for a number of years, and is often grouped among “British-style” mystery writers. Most of his novels had English settings, especially country villages and estates, and English characters. His two best-known fictional detectives (Dr. Gideon Fell and Sir Henry Merrivale) were both English.

Carr is generally regarded as one of the greatest writers of so-called “Golden Age” mysteries; complex, plot-driven stories in which the puzzle is paramount. He was a master of the so-called locked room mystery, in which a detective solves apparently impossible crimes. The Dr. Fell mystery The Hollow Man (1935), usually considered Carr’s masterpiece, was selected in 1981 as the best locked-room mystery of all time by a panel of 17 mystery authors and reviewers.

In 1950, his biography of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle earned Carr the first of his two Special Edgar Awards from the Mystery Writers of America; the second was awarded in 1970, in recognition of his 40-year career as a mystery writer. He was also presented the MWA’s Grand Master award in 1963. Carr was one of only two Americans ever admitted to the British Detection Club.


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