Till Death Do Us Part (1944) by John Dickson Carr

Dick Markham seems to have it all. In Lesley Grant, he has a beautiful fiancée who he faces a long and happy life with. An encounter with a fortune teller at the Six Ashes village fete soon puts paid to that. After Lesley has an upsetting encounter with the seer, he tries to tell Dick the truth about his wife-to-be – only for Lesley to shoot him through the side of the tent.

Luckily, the fortune teller – actually Sir Harvey Gilman, the Home Office Pathologist – survives and tells Dick what he knows about Lesley. She has been married twice and engaged once, and each time her husband/fiancé killed themselves. Oddly, each of them injected themselves with prussic acid inside a securely locked room – a remarkable coincidence. It seems Lesley has a foolproof method of murder, one that Sir Harvey will soon have first-hand experience of. But a revelation soon turns everything on its head. Is Lesley truly a murderer? And if not, who killed Sir Harvey – and how?

Yes, that’s exactly the same description I wrote when I reviewed this book seven years ago, and nothing has changed. It is still my absolutely favourite John Dickson Carr novel. It’s a lovely set-up with a intriguing plot with several strands to keep you guessing, along with a clever locked room.

And, as I’ve said over and over before, Carr was a master of hiding the killer, and this is one of his finest examples. The killer is perfectly clued and is still a genuine surprise.

Oh, I said nothing has changed. One thing has – the British Library Crime Classics range has re-released this piece of genius for everyone to read. So what are you waiting for? (Apart for Amazon to get it back in stock, but there are other ways to buy books…)

10 comments

  1. It is a really fantastic book and a weirdly overlooked masterpiece, just like SHE DIED A LADY. That BL edition looks very attractive indeed, streets ahead of my rather battered green Penguin from decades ago. More Carr good news – hurrah!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Agree with everything you say about this one

    If I had to name what I think is one of the pinnacles of GAD, it is this title. It is near perfection with great plotting, difficult to put down, powerful set up, doesn’t sag in the middle, memorable characters, strong puzzle, well hidden culprit, atmospheric, excellent re-read potential, etc.

    Anyone who has not read this one has no excuse given it is re-printed. Buy a copy and you will not be disappointed.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.