The Ten Teacups by Carter Dickson – Time For Some Spoilers…

the-ten-teacups1.jpgA room decorated with a simple table, covered in a tablecloth patterned with a peacock feather motif, with ten teacups arranged on them. A room with the door being watched by a policeman. A room where a man enters in response to a mysterious invitation. A room that now houses a dead body – the man has been shot in the back of the head from very close range. The gun lies on the ground, the gun shots were heard… but when the door is opened, immediately after the shots were heard, the murderer has vanished without trace.

Thus begins The Ten Teacups, the tenth best ever locked room mystery of all time, as voted for by a number of mystery writers. But people with long memories will remember that I’ve reviewed this before. So what’s the point of this post? Read on…

The list goes:

  1. The Hollow Man
  2. Rim Of The Pit
  3. The Mystery Of The Yellow Room
  4. The Crooked Hinge
  5. The Judas Window
  6. The Big Bow Mystery
  7. Death From A Top Hat
  9. Nine Times Nine
  10. The Ten Teacups

If you must know book eight, it’s by Ellery Queen, but knowing that it’s considered a locked room mystery is a massive spoiler. If you’re desperate to know, then click here.

Anyway, my general opinion is that there are some very dodgy choices on this list and The Ten Teacups, in my opinion, is the dodgiest. Not that it’s not a decent read, but there are so many problems with the plot that I can’t discuss without going into spoilers. So that’s what I’ve done – pop over to The Invisible Event, where JJ and I pick the plot to bits, spoilers and all. Seriously, we spoil everything – murderer, method, the works. Enjoy…


  1. That Ellery Queen book is one I haven’t yet read, but I knew it was a locked room — am now very curious as to how this translates to it being a spoiler. Looks like I’ll have to relaunch my assauly on Lee & Dannay sooner rather than later…

    Many thanks for getting involved in this — was a huge amount of fun being able to just splurge on spoilers without worrying about, well, anything. Must do it again sometime!


      • Great work on the spoiler review guys, love iy.

        I agree in terms of this post, much of this list should be questioned. Although having read the Queen novel and TTTC this past year I would say the Queen one is more dodgy!


      • The Queen one is bonkers, but my biggest issue is that it’s very presence on the list is a spoiler! Of the others (that I’ve read) The Crooked Hinge is the biggest sinner but I wonder that without Chapter 17, would The Hollow Man make the number one spot?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Agreed that its appearance does make it a spoiler, and it confused my reading of it for sure. I agree that even the Hollow Man should be reconsidered, and your point about chapter 17 is very interesting, never considered it from that point of view. It seems like the new wave of fans turn He Who Whispers, Judas Window, Green Capsule and Till Death Do Us Part, all of which could be on the top 10 ahead of THM!


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