Monday, January 6, 2014

The Four False Weapons, John Dickson Carr

The Four False Weapons (1937) is the last of five novels to feature John Dickson Carr's French sleuth Monsieur Bencolin.

Fairly run-of-the-mill locked room puzzle enlivened by a totally unexpected high-stakes card game.

It takes Carr until very late in the book to make the de rigueur for the era joke that one of the characters "worked out this plot with a loving ingenuity, exactly in the style of his favorite detective fiction."

Will Cuppy, in his "Mystery and Adventure" column in the New York Herald Tribune Books on October 10, 1937, said:

"Just as [one of the characters] is unjustly accused on the murder, who should arrive but Henri Bencolin, the greatest detective in France, who has been milling around in an old corduroy coat for just such an entrance. The return of Bencolin, indeed, after an absence of some seasons is the talking point of this complicated and exciting yarn."

Two daggers out of four.

1 comment:

  1. Not anybody's favourite Bencolin tale really but personally I think second tier Carr is almost better than anybody else's best game!