Friday, March 31, 2006

The Reader Is Encouraged

Another pulp mystery from the big box, Carter Dickson's 1939 novel The Reader Is Warned might establish Dickson -- who also wrote under the pen name John Dickson Carr -- as my new favorite vintage thriller fiction author. A classic dark house murder mystery, the book involves a supposed psychic who predicts that a stodgy patron will die at a certain time. He does.

What ensues is a double mystery. Is the psychic truly psychic? Who killed the patron, if anyone? The reader is treated to the sleuth character Sir Henry Merrivale, who might also be my new favorite mystery hero. I also enjoyed how the various law officials interacted, the surprising revelation of who the killer is, the voodoo-like Bantu elements, the various romantic relationships that were revealed, and Dickson's other mechinations.

Be sure to seek out the work of Dickson. He was a talent. A total talent.

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