History Creator / JohnDicksonCarr

20th Nov '16 5:45:58 PM PaulA
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Added DiffLines:

* GlassWeapon: In one story, a killer hides a glass knife by dropping it into a jug of water.
16th Sep '16 1:19:23 AM PaulA
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His best-known work is probably ''The Hollow Man'' (US title: ''The Three Coffins''), part of his on-going ''Dr. Gideon Fell'' series. (Fell himself was loosely modeled on writer Creator/GKChesterton). He also had a popular series starring the detective Sir Henry Merrivale, written as Carter Dickson. These two series make up a large portion of his work, but he also had a couple of other, smaller, series, and a number of standalone novels and stories.

to:

His best-known work is probably ''The Hollow Man'' (US title: ''The Three Coffins''), part of his on-going ''Dr. Gideon Fell'' series. (Fell himself was loosely modeled on writer Creator/GKChesterton). He also had a popular series starring the detective Sir Henry Merrivale, written as Carter Dickson. These two series make up a large portion of his work, but he also had a couple of other, smaller, series, and a number of standalone novels and stories.



!! Tropes in his works:

* AbnormalAmmo: ''The Plague Court Murders'' involved a murder where the victim was [[spoiler:shot by a bullet carved from rock salt that dissolved in his body, leaving no trace]].
* AmateurSleuth: His portly master detective Dr. Gideon Fell, and Sir Henry Merrivale, the masters of the locked room murder.

to:

!! Tropes in his works:

* AbnormalAmmo: ''The Plague Court Murders'' involved a murder where the victim was [[spoiler:shot
!!Works by a bullet carved from rock salt that dissolved in his body, leaving no trace]].
John Dickson Carr with their own pages:

* AmateurSleuth: His portly master detective Dr. Gideon Fell, and Sir Henry Merrivale, the masters of the locked room murder.Literature/DrGideonFell series
* Literature/SirHenryMerrivale series

!!Other works by John Dickson Carr contain examples of:



* AndYouThoughtItWasAGame: In ''The Arabian Nights Murder'', a set of friends putting on an act to trick one of their buddies hires an actor to play a professor in an Arabian museum. They are surprised when a ''real'' professor, a friend of the museum's owner, arrives for a meeting and is treated as an actor who looks just like the real thing. In the meantime, the professor thinks that the actors are real, and attacks one of them in an act of misguided heroics.



* BatterUp: The killer in [[spoiler: ''The Skeleton in the Clock'']] used a cricket bat.
* BeneathSuspicion:
** The killer in ''Below Suspicion'' was [[spoiler:in a prison cell when the murder was committed]].
** Remarked on in an essay on the FairPlayWhodunnit: "never remind the reader that a suspect has an airtight alibi, or he'll immediately be suspected. Treat it as such a given that it never occurs to the detective (or the writer!) to suspect Joe because Joe is so ''obviously'' innocent."

to:

* BatterUp: The killer in [[spoiler: ''The Skeleton in the Clock'']] used a cricket bat.
* BeneathSuspicion:
** The killer in ''Below Suspicion'' was [[spoiler:in a prison cell when the murder was committed]].
**
BeneathSuspicion: Remarked on in an essay on the FairPlayWhodunnit: "never remind the reader that a suspect has an airtight alibi, or he'll immediately be suspected. Treat it as such a given that it never occurs to the detective (or the writer!) to suspect Joe because Joe is so ''obviously'' innocent."



* BodybagTrick: In the backstory of ''The Hollow Man'', this is part of the story that leads to the killer's vengeful motivation. Three brothers escaped from a prison by feigning death and allowing themselves to be BuriedAlive, but the one who managed to escape from his coffin first ran away and left the other two to die.



* BreakingTheFourthWall: In the classic LockedRoomMystery ''The Hollow Man'', one chapter consists of Dr Gideon Fell giving a lecture on Locked Room Mysteries in fiction. When asked what relevance this has to the situation, he replies "Because we're in a detective story, and we don't fool the reader by pretending we're not."



* BuriedAlive: Part of the backstory of ''The Hollow Man''/''The Three Coffins'' was a jailbreak by live burial. There was a plague epidemic going on in that prison, and the escaper counted on the burial detail being in too big a hurry for little details like nailing the coffin lid tightly or shoveling very much dirt on top.



* TheCaseOf: Carr uses this template for ''The Case of the Constant Suicides'', one of the Gideon Fell mysteries.
* ClockDiscrepancy: A vital part of the solution to ''The Hollow Man''. The reported time of the second murder is so far off that [[spoiler:it took place ''before'' the first murder, and the victim of the first murder was the killer]].



* DeadPersonImpersonation: A major plot twist in his book [[spoiler: ''The Three Coffins/The Hollow Man'']] involves this.



* DeceasedFallGuyGambit: A variant occurs in ''[[spoiler:The Mad Hatter Mystery]]''; the killer tries to frame [[spoiler:the mad hatter]], knowing that [[spoiler:the dead man is the mad hatter]].
* DidYouDie: Invoked by Pierre Fley in ''The Hollow Man'':
-->"Three of us were once buried alive. Only one escaped!"\\
"And how did you escape?"\\
"[[spoiler:I didn't, you see. I was one of the two who did not escape.]]"



* ElectrifiedBathtub: This is the cause of death/murder method in the Merrivale mystery [[spoiler:''The Reader is Warned'']].
* {{Expy}}: "The Empty Flat" is a short story which opens with academic rivals Douglas Chase and Kathleen Mills meeting for the first time, not realising who the other is. A couple of years later, "The Case of the Constant Suicides" gives Alan Campbell and Kathryn Campbell similar personalities and the same MeetCute, and (being a full-length book) allows their relationship to be developed in more detail.
* FairPlayWhodunnit: His stories always showed you all the clues. The only problem was usually that the murder was ''impossible'' to begin with, so you couldn't figure out ''how'', much less who. Carr even [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded the tar out of this]] in ''The Three Coffins'' when Dr. Fell stops in the middle of the novel to explain all the ways you can do a locked room mystery, [[BreakingTheFourthWall because there was no point in pretending they weren't in such a novel]]. At the end of the chapter (yes, it's a full chapter of all the ways to pull one off) the other characters tell him that the two murders don't fit into ''any'' of his categories. [[spoiler:They're really wrong.]] Carr's essay "The Greatest Game in the World" makes a key point about what makes a Fair-Play Whodunnit really fair, and good when done right: the key to the case isn't just one clue -- a random word hidden in chapter six -- but a system of interlocking clues that allow the reader to open a tapestry of interpretation that gives a larger picture: that of the truth.

to:

* ElectrifiedBathtub: This is the cause of death/murder method in the Merrivale mystery [[spoiler:''The Reader is Warned'']].
* {{Expy}}: "The Empty Flat" is a short story which opens with academic rivals Douglas Chase and Kathleen Mills meeting for the first time, not realising who the other is. A couple of years later, "The Case of the Constant Suicides" gives Alan Campbell and Kathryn Campbell similar personalities and the same MeetCute, and (being a full-length book) allows their relationship to be developed in more detail.
* FairPlayWhodunnit: His stories always showed you all the clues. The only problem was usually that the murder was ''impossible'' to begin with, so you couldn't figure out ''how'', much less who. Carr even [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded the tar out of this]] in ''The Three Coffins'' when Dr. Fell stops in the middle of the novel to explain all the ways you can do a locked room mystery, [[BreakingTheFourthWall because there was no point in pretending they weren't in such a novel]]. At the end of the chapter (yes, it's a full chapter of all the ways to pull one off) the other characters tell him that the two murders don't fit into ''any'' of his categories. [[spoiler:They're really wrong.]] Carr's essay "The Greatest Game in the World" makes a key point about what makes a Fair-Play Whodunnit really fair, and good when done right: the key to the case isn't just one clue -- a random word hidden in chapter six -- but a system of interlocking clues that allow the reader to open a tapestry of interpretation that gives a larger picture: that of the truth.



* FrightDeathtrap: His [[LockedRoomMystery locked room mysteries]], which might be called "howdunnits", included a couple like this, where the mystery was largely just how the victims had been scared to their deaths.
** In ''The Case of the Constant Suicides'', everyone who stayed in a certain room in a castle for a night would wind up falling down to their deaths from the dangerous balcony, as if something scared them into attempting to escape. There was nothing special in the room aside from a box with a cage door such as might be used to carry a small animal that had been brought in recently and left under the bed -- but which people had looked into and found it to be empty. [[spoiler: Actually it wasn't empty, but contained something nearly invisible -- carbon dioxide ice, which would start to vaporize as the temperature got lower at night, leaving the occupant of the room unable to breath and cause them to panic for some air.]]
** In ''He Who Whispers'', just after it has been suggested that one of the characters is a vampire and was able to commit a previous impossible murder by flying, a shot is heard, and one character is found in her bed scared so badly she has nearly died (and is incapable of explaining what has happened, of course). She's holding a gun and appears to have shot at something ouside the window, which is, of course, so far above the ground and inaccessible that only something flying could have been behind it. [[spoiler: The would-be-murderer -- who would have succeeded if he had had the right, much more sensitive target instead of the wrong person in the dark -- had in fact been in the room with the victim, pressed a gun to her head in the dark, and whispered to her a long time about how he was going to shoot her -- then fired the other gun he had towards the window, expecting her to die of shock when she thought she was being shot, but with it looking like she fired the gun herself.]]
* GenreSavvy:
** Dr. Gideon Fell is well aware that he's in a detective novel. The locked room mystery ''The Hollow Man'' famously has an entire chapter that consists of Dr Fell giving a lecture on locked room mysteries in fiction.
** The standalone ''The Nine Wrong Answers'' periodically stops to warn the reader that if s/he thinks such-and-such is the case, s/he's wrong.
* HangingJudge: Justice Ireton in ''Seat of the Scornful'' / ''Death Turns the Tables'' is a HangingJudge who becomes the prime suspect.

to:

* FrightDeathtrap: His [[LockedRoomMystery locked room mysteries]], which might be called "howdunnits", included a couple like this, where the mystery was largely just how the victims had been scared to their deaths.
** In ''The Case of the Constant Suicides'', everyone who stayed in a certain room in a castle for a night would wind up falling down to their deaths from the dangerous balcony, as if something scared them into attempting to escape. There was nothing special in the room aside from a box with a cage door such as might be used to carry a small animal that had been brought in recently and left under the bed -- but which people had looked into and found it to be empty. [[spoiler: Actually it wasn't empty, but contained something nearly invisible -- carbon dioxide ice, which would start to vaporize as the temperature got lower at night, leaving the occupant of the room unable to breath and cause them to panic for some air.]]
** In ''He Who Whispers'', just after it has been suggested that one of the characters is a vampire and was able to commit a previous impossible murder by flying, a shot is heard, and one character is found in her bed scared so badly she has nearly died (and is incapable of explaining what has happened, of course). She's holding a gun and appears to have shot at something ouside the window, which is, of course, so far above the ground and inaccessible that only something flying could have been behind it. [[spoiler: The would-be-murderer -- who would have succeeded if he had had the right, much more sensitive target instead of the wrong person in the dark -- had in fact been in the room with the victim, pressed a gun to her head in the dark, and whispered to her a long time about how he was going to shoot her -- then fired the other gun he had towards the window, expecting her to die of shock when she thought she was being shot, but with it looking like she fired the gun herself.]]
* GenreSavvy:
** Dr. Gideon Fell is well aware that he's in a detective novel. The locked room mystery ''The Hollow Man'' famously has an entire chapter that consists of Dr Fell giving a lecture on locked room mysteries in fiction.
**
GenreSavvy: The standalone ''The Nine Wrong Answers'' periodically stops to warn the reader that if s/he thinks such-and-such is the case, s/he's wrong.
* HangingJudge: Justice Ireton in ''Seat of the Scornful'' / ''Death Turns the Tables'' is a HangingJudge who becomes the prime suspect.
wrong.



* HisNameIs: ''Dark of the Moon'' has one suspect go through this. Subverted in that she survives (though obviously she doesn't recover enough to say anything until after the killer's already caught) and [[spoiler:the fact that she was about to accuse someone of multiple crimes - including incest - that the accused ''didn't do''.]]
* HomePornMovie: ''The Judas Window'' had a plot point in which a female character was blackmailed using sexual photos of her taken with her consent by an ex-boyfriend.
* IJustShotMarvinInTheFace: Used in ''The Ten Teacups'', [[spoiler:in which the victim is wrongly assumed to have been shot at close range because he had a powder burn from when the killer "accidentally" shot him with a blank cartridge the previous day]].



* TheKillerWasLeftHanded: ''Death Watch'': An early clue establishes the killer was left handed. [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] / [[SubvertedTrope Subverted]]: [[spoiler: It was part of a frame up by the real killer, and the detective has a brief rant about left-handed / right-handed clues.]]
* LeaveBehindAPistol: At the end of ''Hag's Nook'', Dr Gideon Fell cuts a deal with the murderer: a full confession in exchange for a handgun with one bullet in it. The last chapter of the book is the murderer's written statement. The trope gets twisted in the final two sentences, when the murderer is too afraid of death to raise the gun to his temple, so will still have to face the hangman.
* LockedRoomMystery: Carr, the acknowledged master of this back in the golden age of crime fiction, provided all sorts of different ways to accomplish this. In his book ''The Hollow Man''/''The Three Coffins'', series lead Dr. Gideon Fell actually gives a lecture on the different ways a locked room mystery can be created. If the detective is Fell, Henry Merrivale, or Henri Benicolin, there is an excellent chance you've got a locked room or impossible crime on your hands.

to:

* TheKillerWasLeftHanded: ''Death Watch'': An early clue establishes the killer was left handed. [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] / [[SubvertedTrope Subverted]]: [[spoiler: It was part of a frame up by the real killer, and the detective has a brief rant about left-handed / right-handed clues.]]
* LeaveBehindAPistol: At the end of ''Hag's Nook'', Dr Gideon Fell cuts a deal with the murderer: a full confession in exchange for a handgun with one bullet in it. The last chapter of the book is the murderer's written statement. The trope gets twisted in the final two sentences, when the murderer is too afraid of death to raise the gun to his temple, so will still have to face the hangman.
* LockedRoomMystery: Carr, the acknowledged master of this back in the golden age of crime fiction, provided all sorts of different ways to accomplish this. In his book ''The Hollow Man''/''The Three Coffins'', series lead Dr. Gideon Fell actually gives a lecture on the different ways a locked room mystery can be created. If the detective is Fell, Henry Merrivale, or Henri Benicolin, there is an excellent chance you've got a locked room or impossible crime on your hands.



* MysteryWriterDetective: William Cartwright in ''And So To Murder'' is a detective novelist who performs the bulk of the investigation, though Sir Henry Merrivale is the one who finally resolves the case.
* NeedleInAStackOfNeedles: ''The Punch and Judy Murders'' has a [[spoiler: counterfeiter who hid the real money with the fake money]].
* NeverGetsDrunk: Dr Gideon Fell can put away enough booze to land any two normal men in the ER with alcohol poisoning without showing any sign. Probably because of pure body mass (if there's an Obese Detective trope, he's one of the poster children).
* NeverHeardThatOneBefore: The police surgeon in ''The Mad Hatter Mystery'' is called Doctor Watson, and complains that he's been the butt of Literature/SherlockHolmes jokes for thirty years.



* ObfuscatingDisability: The killer in [[spoiler: ''The Problem of the Wire Cage'' uses his recent car accident, and its attendant injuries,]] to pull off a murder he seemingly couldn't have physically committed. Unfortunately, circumstances turn it into a murder NO ONE could've committed.
* PutOnABus: Hard-drinking amateur detective Gideon Fell is married to a rabid teetotaler. Once the first novel was finished, Carr didn't so much put Mrs. Fell on a bus as he renovated the bus into a nice [=RV=] for her and sent her off for most of the series.
* QuintessentialBritishGentleman: Sir Henry Merrivale.



* SinisterMinister: The 'helpful' clergyman of ''Hag's Nook''.
* SleepCute: In ''The Case of the Constant Suicides'', the first time Alan and Kathryn meet, the chapter ends with them sitting up at night arguing an academic point. The next chapter opens the following morning, with them waking from a SleepCute.
* SpoilerCover:
** The cover of the [=HarperCollins=] printing of the novel ''Literature/TheCaseOfTheConstantSuicides'' features a dog carrier with strange fumes rising out of it. [[spoiler:This essentially gives away the murder method used in the book -- a block of dry ice hidden in a dog carrier that releases carbon dioxide gas as it sublimates.]]
** At least two covers of ''Literature/ToWakeTheDead'' show a man in uniform at the climactic cemetery fight. One shows a man in uniform with a helmet.
* TimeDelayedDeath: Used (in combination with a few other things that complicate it) in the classic LockedRoomMystery ''The Hollow Man''.
* TomatoSurprise: ''Below Suspicion'' has an opening scene from the point of view of a young woman accused of murder. In the narration, the woman desperately thinks to herself that she's not guilty of the crime, and is despairing of anyone believing her. Since this is an internal narrative, the reader can be assured that she is perfectly innocent, and she is. [[spoiler:Of the murder she's accused of. She is, in fact, guilty of another murder, and part of her despair is that her perfect alibi for the one she committed has left her open to the accusation of the one she didn't. Gideon Fell, the detective of the story, even lampshades this trope by noting that if anyone had been able to "read the thoughts" of the young woman, they would've seen a completely sincere and truthful plea for her innocence of the murder she didn't commit.]]
* TrailersAlwaysSpoil: The cover of the HarperCollins printing of ''The Case of the Constant Suicides'' features a dog carrier with strange fumes rising out of it. [[spoiler: This essentially gives away the murder method used in the book - a block of dry ice hidden in a dog carrier that releases carbon dioxide gas as it sublimates.]]
* TroubleEntendre: Occurs in a key scene in ''The Hollow Man''.
* VeryLooselyBasedOnATrueStory: In-Universe example in ''And So To Murder'' -- in a RunningGag, Mr Aaronson's film about the Duke of Wellington continually drifts further and further away from actual history.
* WriteWhoYouKnow: Carr knew Creator/GKChesterton, the model for Dr. Gideon Fell, from the Detection Club.
* YouNeedToGetLaid: In a bit of UnfortunateImplications in ''The Hollow Man'', Dr Gideon Fell recalls a time he was chairing a debate on women's rights:
-->"... You were on the side for Women's Rights, Miss Grimaud, and against the Tyranny of Man. Yes, yes. You entered very pale and serious and solemn, and stayed like that until your own side began to present their case. They went on something awful, but [[DontShootTheMessage you didn't look pleased]]. Then [[StrawFeminist one lean female]] carried on for twenty minutes about what woman needed for an ideal state of existence, but you only seemed to get madder and madder. So when your turn came, all you did was rise to proclaim in silvery ringing tones that what woman needed for an ideal existence was less talking and more copulation. Or perhaps you didn't say copulation."
::Later in the book, Fell's assistant suggests that she should have taken her own advice.
16th Sep '16 12:39:38 AM PaulA
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* AnachronisticClue: In ''The Exploits of Sherlock Holmes'', co-written with Adrian Conan Doyle, one of the stories is about a woman being blackmailed through the threat of exposing documents proving that her late husband was already married before her, making their marriage invalid and their daughter illegitimate. Holmes, upon looking at the documents, notices that the name of the groom is written in a different ink than the rest of the document. That, by itself, doesn't mean much, since the groom might have carried a personal ink pot with him... if not for the fact that the documents are dated eight years before ink of that particular color was invented.



* BestServedCold: In "The Adventure of Foulkes Rath" (part of ''The Exploits of Sherlock Holmes'', co-written with Adrian Conan Doyle), Holmes says the proverb ("the old Sicilian adage that vengeance is the only dish that is best when eaten cold") after it turns out the murder victim was killed by a person whose brother he framed for robbery and murder twenty years ago.
* BodybagTrick: In the backstory of ''The Hollow Man'', this is part of the story that leads to the killer's vengeful motivation. Three brothers escaped from a prison by feigning death and allowing themselves to be BuriedAlive, but the one who managed to escape from his coffin first ran away and left the other two to die.
* BottomlessMagazines: Spoofed in ''Fatal Descent''. An editor mentions "Now, it distinctly states (page 96) that the hero's gun is a six-shooter. By going back and counting the bangs, I discover that in the excitement of the moment, he has now fired 13 shots without reloading."



* ClockDiscrepancy: A vital part of the solution to ''The Hollow Man''. The reported time of the second murder is so far off that [[spoiler:it took place ''before'' the first murder, and the victim of the first murder was the killer]].
* CloseCallHaircut: The climax of ''The Bride of Newgate'', set in 1815, is held up by the arrival of a minor character at Darwent's house, demanding satisfaction for mostly plot-irrelevant issues. Darwent and everyone else (including the reader) is impatient to go on with the plot, but as the intruder is AnOfficerAndAGentleman he can't refuse the duel. Riled, but not wanting to kill or seriously injure the man, Darwent (who, before being made a peer, was a fencing master) shaves off some of his hair and both of his impressive and stylish sideburns. [[spoiler:Then his maddened opponent accidentally charges through a false wall, revealing the hidden room that holds the central mystery and kick-starting the climax proper.]]



* DealWithTheDevil: ''The Devil in Velvet'' opens with the protagonist selling his soul to the Devil to travel back in time. The Devil keeps up his end of the bargain, but (of course) has a few jokers of his own to play.



-->"Three of us were once buried alive. Only one escaped!"\\
"And how did you escape?"\\
"[[spoiler:I didn't, you see. I was one of the two who did not escape.]]"



* ElectrifiedBathtub: This is the cause of death/murder method in the Merrivale mystery [[spoiler:''The Reader is Warned'']].



* FairPlayWhodunnit: His stories always showed you all the clues. The only problem was usually that the murder was ''impossible'' to begin with, so you couldn't figure out ''how'', much less who. Carr even [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded the tar out of this]] in ''The Three Coffins'' when Dr. Fell stops in the middle of the novel to explain all the ways you can do a locked room mystery, [[BreakingTheFourthWall because there was no point in pretending they weren't in such a novel]]. At the end of the chapter (yes, it's a full chapter of all the ways to pull one off) the other characters tell him that the two murders don't fit into ''any'' of his categories. [[spoiler: They're really wrong.]]

to:

* FairPlayWhodunnit: His stories always showed you all the clues. The only problem was usually that the murder was ''impossible'' to begin with, so you couldn't figure out ''how'', much less who. Carr even [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded the tar out of this]] in ''The Three Coffins'' when Dr. Fell stops in the middle of the novel to explain all the ways you can do a locked room mystery, [[BreakingTheFourthWall because there was no point in pretending they weren't in such a novel]]. At the end of the chapter (yes, it's a full chapter of all the ways to pull one off) the other characters tell him that the two murders don't fit into ''any'' of his categories. [[spoiler: They're [[spoiler:They're really wrong.]]]] Carr's essay "The Greatest Game in the World" makes a key point about what makes a Fair-Play Whodunnit really fair, and good when done right: the key to the case isn't just one clue -- a random word hidden in chapter six -- but a system of interlocking clues that allow the reader to open a tapestry of interpretation that gives a larger picture: that of the truth.



* FantasyAllAlong: A dark example from the standalone novel ''The Burning Court'': [[spoiler:The detective comes up with an rational explanation for the murder mystery in the penultimate chapter. But in TheStinger chapter, we learn that Marie Stevens is most likely a witch, quite probably the reincarnation of a 19th century murderer, and that she framed the woman who was arrested for the murder.]]



* GenreSavvy: Dr. Gideon Fell is well aware that he's in a detective novel.

to:

* GenreSavvy: GenreSavvy:
**
Dr. Gideon Fell is well aware that he's in a detective novel. The locked room mystery ''The Hollow Man'' famously has an entire chapter that consists of Dr Fell giving a lecture on locked room mysteries in fiction.
** The standalone ''The Nine Wrong Answers'' periodically stops to warn the reader that if s/he thinks such-and-such is the case, s/he's wrong.



* HomePornMovie: ''The Judas Window'' had a plot point in which a female character was blackmailed using sexual photos of her taken with her consent by an ex-boyfriend.
* IJustShotMarvinInTheFace: Used in ''The Ten Teacups'', [[spoiler:in which the victim is wrongly assumed to have been shot at close range because he had a powder burn from when the killer "accidentally" shot him with a blank cartridge the previous day]].



* LeaveBehindAPistol: At the end of ''Hag's Nook'', Dr Gideon Fell cuts a deal with the murderer: a full confession in exchange for a handgun with one bullet in it. The last chapter of the book is the murderer's written statement. The trope gets twisted in the final two sentences, when the murderer is too afraid of death to raise the gun to his temple, so will still have to face the hangman.



* MagicAIsMagicA: Carr's commitment to the Fair-Play Whodunnit, where everything necessary to solve the mystery must be laid in front of the reader, meant that in those rare cases where he wrote a story involving the supernatural, the rules the magic operated by were clearly explained. For example, in ''The Devil in Velvet'', Professor Nicholas Fenton makes a Deal with the Devil to go back in time and try to solve (even better, prevent) a murder; he and the devil hash out a detailed contract as to how this is to happen, and the precise terms of the contract end up being relevant to the denouement.



* NoFourthWall: In ''The Nine Wrong Answers'', the narrator regularly halts the action to inform the reader that if you think such-and-such is the case, "you're wrong."



* QuintessentialBritishGentleman: Sir Henry Merrivale.



* SpoilerCover: The cover of the [=HarperCollins=] printing of the novel ''Literature/TheCaseOfTheConstantSuicides'' features a dog carrier with strange fumes rising out of it. [[spoiler:This essentially gives away the murder method used in the book - a block of dry ice hidden in a dog carrier that releases carbon dioxide gas as it sublimates.]]

to:

* SpoilerCover: SpoilerCover:
**
The cover of the [=HarperCollins=] printing of the novel ''Literature/TheCaseOfTheConstantSuicides'' features a dog carrier with strange fumes rising out of it. [[spoiler:This essentially gives away the murder method used in the book - -- a block of dry ice hidden in a dog carrier that releases carbon dioxide gas as it sublimates.]]]]
** At least two covers of ''Literature/ToWakeTheDead'' show a man in uniform at the climactic cemetery fight. One shows a man in uniform with a helmet.




to:

::Later in the book, Fell's assistant suggests that she should have taken her own advice.
16th Aug '16 3:36:11 PM john_e
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* MysteryWriterDetective: William Cartwright in ''And So To Murder'' performs the bulk of the investigation, though Sir Henry Merrivale is the one who finally resolves the case.

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* MysteryWriterDetective: William Cartwright in ''And So To Murder'' is a detective novelist who performs the bulk of the investigation, though Sir Henry Merrivale is the one who finally resolves the case.
16th Aug '16 3:35:55 PM john_e
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Added DiffLines:

* MysteryWriterDetective: William Cartwright in ''And So To Murder'' performs the bulk of the investigation, though Sir Henry Merrivale is the one who finally resolves the case.
1st Aug '16 5:54:44 AM john_e
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Added DiffLines:

* VeryLooselyBasedOnATrueStory: In-Universe example in ''And So To Murder'' -- in a RunningGag, Mr Aaronson's film about the Duke of Wellington continually drifts further and further away from actual history.
6th May '16 1:14:10 PM john_e
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Added DiffLines:

* CaptainErsatz: In ''Captain Cut-Throat'', the English spy Alan Hepburn and his wife Madeleine are very reminiscent of Sir Percy Blakeney and his wife Marguerite in ''Literature/TheScarletPimpernel''. The role of [[TheSpymaster Chauvelin]] is taken by HistoricalDomainCharacter Joseph Fouché, the head of Napoleon's secret police.
5th May '16 11:22:21 AM morenohijazo
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Added DiffLines:



Added DiffLines:



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* SpoilerCover: The cover of the [=HarperCollins=] printing of the novel ''Literature/TheCaseOfTheConstantSuicides'' features a dog carrier with strange fumes rising out of it. [[spoiler:This essentially gives away the murder method used in the book - a block of dry ice hidden in a dog carrier that releases carbon dioxide gas as it sublimates.]]
20th Sep '14 7:08:19 PM AccidentalPolyglot
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* DyingClue: In one novel, the victim says before dying to the person trying to assist him "It was your gloves". [[spoiler:It had previously been established that the victim only spoke French and that a TranslationConvention was being used. In French, "your gloves" is "vos gants", which sounds similar to the murderer's name "Vaughan".]]

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* DyingClue: In one novel, [[spoiler: ''Patrick Butler for the Defense'']], the victim says before dying to the person trying to assist him "It was your gloves". [[spoiler:It had previously been established that the victim only spoke French and that a TranslationConvention was being used. In French, "your gloves" is "vos gants", which sounds similar to the murderer's name "Vaughan".]]
8th May '14 8:52:55 PM ninjacrat
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* BuriedAlive: Part of the backstory of ''The Hollow Man''/''The Three Coffins'' was a jailbreak by BuriedAlive. There was a plague epidemic going on in that prison, and the escaper counted on the burial detail being in too big a hurry for little details like nailing the coffin lid tightly or shoveling very much dirt on top.

to:

* BuriedAlive: Part of the backstory of ''The Hollow Man''/''The Three Coffins'' was a jailbreak by BuriedAlive.live burial. There was a plague epidemic going on in that prison, and the escaper counted on the burial detail being in too big a hurry for little details like nailing the coffin lid tightly or shoveling very much dirt on top.
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