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* BawdySong: Near the end of ''Castle Skull'', Bencolin and a couple of other characters join in a rendition of one of the more risqué versions of "Mademoiselle from Armentières".


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* {{Bowdlerise}}: ConversationalTroping in ''Castle Skull'':
-->"You read the magazines," I said. \\
"So do I," Sally Reine informed me. "My old man gets heaps of them from the States. I like the detective-story ones, where the characters aren't allowed to swear, and the Chicago gangster cries, '[[GoshDangItToHeck Good gracious!]]' It's nice to see the tough racketeer become a [[BadButt pathological case]] at one sweep of an editor's blue pencil...'


John Dickson Carr (1906-1977) was an American MysteryFiction writer, frequently known as the master of the LockedRoomMystery. Several of his works were published under the pen-name Carter Dickson. (He also had a couple of other pen-names that he used very rarely.)

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John Dickson Carr (1906-1977) (November 30, 1906 February 27, 1977) was an American MysteryFiction writer, frequently known as the master of the LockedRoomMystery. Several of his works were published under the pen-name Carter Dickson. (He also had a couple of other pen-names that he used very rarely.)


* 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'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.

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* FairPlayWhodunnit: 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'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.truth.
** ''Castle Skull'' was originally published with the last few chapters sealed, and a message just before the seal that the reader now had all the information necessary to solve the mystery.


* AssholeVictim: By the end of ''Castle Skull'', the reader has learned that the murdered man was unquestionably one.



* HighClassGlass: In ''Skull Castle'', the German detective Baron von Arnheim sports a monocle which (like Literature/LordPeterWimsey's) is really a powerful magnifier.

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* HighClassGlass: In ''Skull Castle'', ''Castle Skull'', the German detective Baron von Arnheim sports a monocle which (like Literature/LordPeterWimsey's) is really a powerful magnifier.



* SkeletonMotif: Skull Castle, in the book of the same name, is a German castle that's been deliberately reconstructed to resemble a giant skull.

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* SkeletonMotif: Skull Castle, Castle Skull, in the book of the same name, is a German castle that's been deliberately reconstructed to resemble a giant skull.skull.
* SecretUndergroundPassage: Castle Skull is well-provided with them.


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* WorthyOpponent: Baron von Arnheim in ''Castle Skull'' is Bencolin's German counterpart, and they're competing to solve the murder. They're never less than polite to each other, and respect each other's abilities; their rivalry dates back to when they were opposing [[TheSpymaster spymasters]] in the First World War.

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* HighClassGlass: In ''Skull Castle'', the German detective Baron von Arnheim sports a monocle which (like Literature/LordPeterWimsey's) is really a powerful magnifier.


* TheWatson: In the Henri Bencolin stories, Jeff Marle narrates and asks the obvious

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* TheWatson: In the Henri Bencolin stories, Jeff Marle narrates and asks the acts as an audience surrogate in asking obvious questions of Bencolin.

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* SkeletonMotif: Skull Castle, in the book of the same name, is a German castle that's been deliberately reconstructed to resemble a giant skull.
* TheWatson: In the Henri Bencolin stories, Jeff Marle narrates and asks the obvious

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* MasterOfDisguise: Alexandre Laurent, a dangerous psychopath in ''It Walks By Night''. He escaped from a lunatic asylum, visited a crooked plastic surgeon (whose head was later found severed from his body) and was last heard of heading for the scene of the crime, with a grudge against Raoul de Saligny (who is found dead in chapter 2, likewise decapitated). Any of the principal male characters could be him, since they're all of similar height and build. [[spoiler:Any. Including the body.]]


* KnowWhenToFoldEm: Subverted in ''The Waxworks Murder''. Galant sees the police investigation will expose his activities, and proposes to leave for England and live in quiet retirement rather than go down fighting. Unfortunately for him, he's left it too late: he's already made too many enemies among his closest associates.

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* KnowWhenToFoldEm: Subverted in ''The Waxworks Murder''. Galant sees the police investigation will expose his activities, and proposes to leave for England and live in quiet retirement rather than go down fighting.[[RevengeBeforeReason stay until he's finally got revenge on Bencolin]]. Unfortunately for him, he's left it too late: he's already made too many enemies among his closest associates.


* HerCodeNameWasMarySue: In ''It Walks By Night'', Vautrelle, one of the suspects, writes a play in which the hero, Vernoy, is an obvious Marty Stu of himself.



* KnowWhenToFoldEm: Subverted in ''The Waxworks Murder''. Galant sees the police investigation will expose his activities, and proposes to leave for England and live in quiet retirement rather than go down fighting. Unfortunately for him, he's already made too many enemies among his closest associates.

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* JackBauerInterrogationTechnique: Defied in ''It Walks By Night''. Bencolin is scathing about American police forces who, in his view, just beat a confession out of the nearest suspect rather than using deduction and evidence to prove a case.
* KnowWhenToFoldEm: Subverted in ''The Waxworks Murder''. Galant sees the police investigation will expose his activities, and proposes to leave for England and live in quiet retirement rather than go down fighting. Unfortunately for him, he's left it too late: he's already made too many enemies among his closest associates.


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* OffWithHisHead: The murderer in ''It Walks By Night'' favours decapitation.

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* {{Blackmail}}: Galant in ''The Waxworks Murder'' collects evidence against public figures, blackmails them for all the money they have, and then exposes them anyway.


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* KnowWhenToFoldEm: Subverted in ''The Waxworks Murder''. Galant sees the police investigation will expose his activities, and proposes to leave for England and live in quiet retirement rather than go down fighting. Unfortunately for him, he's already made too many enemies among his closest associates.


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* RedRightHand: Galant has a broken nose that has healed badly, the result of a previous encounter with Bencolin. He could easily have surgery, but wants to get even with Bencolin first.


* HiddenInPlainSight: In one story, a killer hides a glass knife by dropping it into a jug of water.

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* HiddenInPlainSight: HiddenInPlainSight:
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In one story, a killer hides a glass knife by dropping it into a jug of water.water.
** In ''The Waxworks Murder'' the murder weapon is [[spoiler:taken from a tableau of Marat's death, and returned to its place afterwards]].
* IncrediblyObviousBug: Defied in ''The Waxworks Murder'' -- Bencolin would have liked to put a recording device in Galant's club, but the disturbance necessary to install it would have alerted Galant. Bencolin instead takes the more old-fashioned approach of sending [[TheWatson Jeff]] in, disguised as a member, to eavesdrop.


* 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.]]

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* 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 an OfficerAndAGentleman 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.]]

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* GlassWeapon: In one story, a killer hides a glass knife by dropping it into a jug of water.

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