The Plague Court Murders
A Sir Henry Merrivale Mystery
Other Editions of This Title:
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 thirty 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.
Praise For The Plague Court Murders: A Sir Henry Merrivale Mystery…
The post-17th-century atmosphere in the first half of the tale is thick enough to cut with a dagger [...] Like its own creepy backstory, the hero’s 86-year-old debut has now become a treasured chapter in criminal history.
A genuine baffler, placed in an eerie, ghostly setting.
— New York Times
The macabre setup is bolstered by the author’s superior gift at creating atmosphere. This entry in the American Mystery Classic series begs rereading to note how artfully Carr misdirects readers even while planting all the vital clues in plain sight.
— Publishers Weekly
— Saturday Review
American Mystery Classics, 9781613161975
Publication Date: February 2, 2021
About the Author
Michael Dirda is a Pulitzer Prize-winning critic and longtime book columnist for The Washington Post. He was once chosen by Washingtonian Magazine as one of the twenty-five smartest people in our nation’s capital (but, as Michael says, you have to consider the competition). He also writes regularly for the Times Literary Supplement;the New York Review of Books and other literary journals. His previous publications include the memoir An Open Book, four collections of essays—Readings, Bound to Please, Book by Book, and Classics for Pleasure—and On Conan Doyle, for which he won an Edgar Award. A lifelong Sherlock Holmes and Conan Doyle fan, he was inducted into The Baker Street Irregulars in 2002. He lives in Silver Spring, Maryland.