Monday, August 15, 2011

And So To Murder by Carter Dickson

And so to murder by John Dickson Carr was written in 1940 at the early stages of the second world war, this is NOT a locked room mystery and like many Carr books this also has a lot of Anti-Nazi themes (which is not surprising since Carr was a part of the English Governments propaganda for the Allies i.e. US, UK, France and the rest of the West), but the underlying theme of this book is not War but Movies and the Film Industry in merry old England, Carr takes us through movie sets and characters typical to the Film Industry.


Monica Stanton, the pretty and rather naive daughter of a British clergyman, is the author of a surprisingly scandalous best-seller. As a result, she's been hired as a script writer for Albion Films, working with William Cartwright, a script writer from the world of detective novels.

However, she's not going to be working on her own novel—she's helping Cartwright adapt his latest detective novel, “And So To Murder”. Tilly Parson is a dumpy, bustling chain-smoking American woman in her early fifties who is the highest-paid scenario writer in the world, imported from Hollywood at great expense to adapt Monica's novel.

Glamorous movie star Frances Fleur, whose punctilious husband Kurt selects all her parts, will be the star. Against the backdrop of Pineham Studios and Fleur's current movie, a series of mysterious attempts on Monica's life begin—they are exceptionally nasty and completely inexplicable, involving sulfuric acid.

When someone poisons Tilly Parsons' cigarette and nearly kills her, Sir Henry Merrivale helps Chief Inspector Masters to bring home the crimes to their unlikely perpetrator.


To begin with I have a complaint with Carr, I think Carr broke a rule of the Fair play detection which is rule number 8 "The Detective is bound to declare any clues which he may discover", I think Carr cheated on this one by giving the murderer a very strong alibi and then falsifying the alibi, I can't reveal the exact details cause this is a spoiler free blog, besides that I thought the writing was poor and since there was no murder committed it can't be termed as a murder mystery and with all the talk about movies, Nazis and poisons this seems more like a James Bond novel then a John Dickson Carr, Carr should stick to Locked room mysteries, this is Carr at his weakest only good thing is the humor in the book especially between the idiotic Director and his Assistant.

Ratings: 2 out of 5

Where can you buy it: it's in print and you can get it from any online book selling website like Flipkart or Infibeam.

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