The Best Novel by John Dickson Carr – The Finals!

So, here we are – the Grand Final. Which will be crowned as the official* greatest Gideon Fell novel, Sir Henry Merrivale novel and other John Dickson Carr novel. And the big news… the answer to the first one is NOT The Hollow Man.

Yes, The Hollow Man was beaten by The Black Spectacles in the semi-final – just. The full results of the semi-finals are here – just scroll down to the polls – and it’s time for the final.

So, without further ado – you’ve got until Tuesday 29th, midnight GMT (ish) to vote.

*not legally binding


  1. Still trying to make sense of how Till Death Do Us Part was eliminated; nevertheless, the remaining books are amongst the best GAD fiction ever and I am enjoying this competition immensely.


  2. I feel the same way as the other Scott— missing TDDUP. But, because if its absence this round was easy for, even if I suspect My choices will get voted down in two of the three categories.


  3. So, five out of six semifinals ended with the wrong winner. That makes this round of voting a bit less interesting.

    The Fell and misc ones will still have a worthy winner, but the two Merrivale stories here are nowhere near his best. Hm.


  4. I could have had a few minor quibble along the way, but not that many to be honest. I’m pleased to see that Carr’s three most interesting novels in terms of successful plotting and proper, heartfelt characterization – He Who Whispers, She Died a Lady & The Emperor’s Snuff-Box – all of which I voted for have made it to this point, and I hope they win their respective contests now. And I think the secret of their success is their forward looking characterization, their frank and essentially non-judgemental appraisal of human frailties which raises them to prominence. Sure one may find stronger and purer puzzles but it’s the human factor here that makes all the difference.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. My votes also went to He Who Whispers, She Died a Lady and The Emperor’s Snuff-Box, but I seriously have to reread The Problem of the Green Capsule. I know it always has been somewhat of a low-profile, fan favorite, but didn’t expect it to make it all the way to the finals.

    I’m still disappointed Captain Cut-Throat performed so poorly.


  6. TPotGC, SDaL and TESB are straight mysteries done well, the other three have a more supernatural eerie vibe. All six finalists are great, though.
    Fell: I won’t vote, those two are Carr’s best novels and I can’t pick a winner.
    Merrivale: She Died a Lady gets my vote.
    Misc: The Burning Court, maybe… I’m not so sure about this one.


  7. At least we have 6 great books in the final, even if not the RIGHT 6 great books! This contest has reminded me of how many excellent mysteries the man wrote.


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