Thursday, September 3, 2015

The Emperor's Snuff Box - John Dickson Carr

This 1942 detective novel would definitely qualify for the epithet 'Vintage Agatha Christie' if it wasn't for the fact that it was penned by one of her peers. It does, nonetheless, fit snugly into its genre (Golden Age of Detective Fiction), including Knox's Ten commandments and all : the dead body inside the locked library, the absence of signs of forced entry, the damsel in distress, the treacherous villain, the snooty and misled policeman, the heroic detective and, of course, a couple of red herrings.

Today, post-Millennium and Fred Vargas, you might not wish to spend weeks on this sort of book, but it is absolutely pleasant enough to pass off as light entertainment.

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