The Best Carr Novel Ever – Results and Final Final Round

And the results are in… we now know which are the greatest mystery novels ever written by the mighty John Dickson Carr.

And those results are:

Miscellaneous Carr:

The final round here had The Burning Court facing off against The Emperor’s Snuff-Box. I think most people may well have expected such a final and probably predicted the winner here too, gathering 58% of the vote. The best Miscellaneous Carr title is… The Emperor’s Snuff-Box.

Sir Henry Merrivale:

I’m not sure which books people expected to be in the final – perhaps the draw meant that The Judas Window missed out on its place here. But in the face-off between The Reader Is Warned and She Died A Lady, the winner, with a whopping 79% off the votes, was… She Died A Lady. Probably worth noting that the semi-final against The Judas Window was much closer, should anyone want to get into a “second best Merrivale” argument…

Dr Gideon Fell:

I was convinced that this would be won by The Hollow Man, but it fell in the semi-final. So it came down to the puzzle-centric The Black Spectacles vs the atmosphere-driven He Who Whispers. This was actually close for the first day, but by the end of the poll, with 65% of the vote, the best Gideon Fell book is… He Who Whispers.

And now, I’m sitting here, thinking that I haven’t answered the question I posed, namely which is the best Carr novel. I’ve got three… so we better have a final final round, hadn’t we?

Voting open until Saturday midnight – for the ultimate title of Best Carr Ever!


  1. Must admit, I thought BURNING COURT would come out ahead in that category, just because no other writer could have written it. I love SNUFFBOX but Christie could also have written it. All three are great and as I said before, the top 11 is closer, I think, to reflecting the spread of votes and general love for Carr. Of these three, which is too few already, I will go for HE WHO WHISPERS, without hesitation. More and more this seems to be the top choice for the true Carr aficionado and I have no problem with that.


  2. I must be the only one who found He Who Whispers underwhelming, then.
    For me, the thrilling reversals of She Died A Lady and Judas Window are the essence of Carr. I’m sad that they didn’t make it to the end.


  3. Glad to see He who whispers win. It’s my favorite Carr with the Crooked Hinge.
    I can’t remember if i’ve read the Black Spectacles or not…oups…so..I will read it (or read it again) this christmas ^^


  4. So now I have to pick between He Who Whispers and She Died a Lady? B-b-but that’s like picking which of your children you want to save on a sinking ship, if you can only save one of them! I’ve no problem with shoving The Emperor’s Snuff-Box out of the lifeboat, but it’s a different story with the other two!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Any title not in the final has been beaten democratically by a different title – hence this is actually pretty fair. Yes, it doesn’t give a clear second place, but the winner is still the democratically elected best title.


  5. Just proves that these polls are extremely arbitrary. THE BURNING COURT which is one of the greatest (if not the greatest) mysteries ever written doesn’t make the cut. And simply cannot understand the love for HE WHO WHISPERS. Nevertheless, it is fun to participate. Thanks.


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