Tuesday, 5 October 1999

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

Edition: Penguin, 1967
Review number: 348

Carr's novel has a title that is today primarily reminiscent of Johnny Speight's series about Alf Garnet in the seventies; both of course refer back to the marriage service. The title is not really closely related to the events in the novel; in fact, there are no married couples in the story at all.

Till Death Us Do Part is a typical Carr mystery. He wrote many subtle variations on the locked room theme - body found in room locked on the inside, so that how the murder was committed is as interesting as who did it. While each one is well crafted and intriguing, they are best read in small quantities. The puzzles generally involve ingenious plots, misdirection, people not who they appear to be, and the incisive intellect of Gideon Fell sorting it all out to unmask the killer.

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