By: Drew Zinck
What does Carter Dickson, Carr Dickson, and Roger Fairbairn all have in common? All three of those men are actually one man, John Dickson Carr. John is considered one of greatest writers of the “Golden Age” mysteries. Most of John’s stories are complex and plot driven where the puzzle that needs to be solved is important above all else. He is known for his short stories about detectives solving seemingly impossible case mysteries. John’s Dr. Fell mystery The Hollow Man, is widely considered his masterpiece, and it was selected as the best locked-room mystery of all time in 1981.
John was born in Uniontown, Pennsylvania on November 30th 1906. He attended Hill School and was a decent student, never to good but not bad. He studied abroad and met Clarice Cleaves, and English woman, in 1931. He settled in England with her and raised three kids there before coming back home to the United States. John became a master of the locked room mystery; locked room mystery is when a detective solves a crime that is unsolvable.
John Dickson Carr has written over seventy books in his life under multiple aliases and here are some of his earlier works.
- It Walks By Night (detective Henri Bencolin) – 1930
- Castle Skull (Bencolin) – 1931
- The Lost Gallows (Bencolin) – 1931
- Poison In Jest – 1932
- The Waxworks Murder (Bencolin) – 1932 (US title: The Corpse In The Waxworks)
- Hag’s Nook (detective Dr. Gideon Fell) – 1933
- The Mad Hatter Mystery (Fell) – 1933
- The Blind Barber (Fell) – 1934
- The Eight of Swords (Fell) – 1934
- Death-Watch (Fell) – 1935
- The Hollow Man (Fell) – 1935 (US title: The Three Coffins)
- The Arabian Nights Murder (Fell) – 1936
- The Burning Court – 1937
- The Four False Weapons, Being the Return of Bencolin (Bencolin) – 1938
- To Wake the Dead (Fell) – 1938
- The Crooked Hinge (Fell) – 1938
- The Black Spectacles (Fell) – 1939 (US title: The Problem Of The Green Capsule)
- The Problem of the Wire Cage (Fell) – 1939