The Plague Court Murders: A Sir Henry Merrivale Mystery

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Penzler Publishers, Feb 2, 2021 - Fiction - 305 pages

When a spiritual medium is murdered in a locked hut on a haunted estate, Sir Henry Merrivale seeks a logical solution to a ghostly crime.

Plague Court is old and crumbling, long neglected after its lord, hangman’s assistant Louis Playge, fell victim to the black death hundreds of years before. Famously haunted by Playge’s ghost, the property finally has a new owner and banishing the spirit is the first order of business. And when the medium employed with this task is found stabbed to death in a locked stone hut on the grounds, surrounded by an untouched circle of mud, the other guests at Plague Court have every reason to fear an act of supernatural violence—for who among them would be diabolical and calculating enough to orchestrate such an impossible execution?

Enter Sir Henry Merrivale, an amateur sleuth of many talents with deductive powers strong enough to unspool even the most baffling crimes. But in the creepy, atmospheric setting of Plague Court, where every indication suggests intervention from the afterlife, he encounters a seemingly-illogical murder scene unlike anything he’s ever encountered before . . .

Reissued for the first time in years,†The Plague Court Murders†is the first novel in the Sir Henry Merrivale series. Originally published under the name Carter Dickson, it is a masterful example of the “impossible crime” novel for which John Dickson Carr is known.†

“Very few detective stories baffle me nowadays, but Mr. Carr’s always do.” —Agatha Christie


Selected pages


The House in Plague Court
We Hear of a Lean Man and Go on an Errand
The Four Acolytes
Terror of a High Priest
The PlagueJournal
Death of a High Priest
Playing Cards and Morphine
Locked in a Stone Box
The Testimony in the Case
The Handle of a Dagger
What Was Missing at Dawn
Memories in Whitehall
Concerning Dead Cats and Dead Wives
A Shrine of Ghosts
Second Stroke of the Murderer

Which One of Five?

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About the author (2021)

John Dickson Carr (1906-1977) was one of the greatest writers of the American Golden Age mystery, and one of the only American authors to be included in England’s legendary Detection Club. Though he was born and died in the United States, Carr began his writing career while living in England, where he remained for nearly twenty years. Under his own name and various pseudonyms, he wrote more than seventy novels and numerous short stories, and is best known today for his locked-room mysteries. His beloved series character, Dr. Gideon Fell, was based on author G. K. Chesterton and appeared in twenty-four novels.

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