During a garden party on Lord Ashe's estate in the village of Six Ashes, Dick Markham's fiancee Lesley Grant visits the tent of a fortune teller and leaves it rather unsettled. To see what the man told her, Dick pays him a visit himself, but before the fortune teller can tell him anything, he gets wounded by a shot from a rifle when Lesley is at a shooting range. Of course she claims she did it accidentally, but later that evening the injured fortune teller invites Dick over to his house to reveal his real identity. He is Sir Harvey Gilman, a pathologist and expert on crime, and tells him about his fiancee, her real age and her past husbands/lovers and how all three of them died through prussic acid in a locked room - apparently suicide, but Sir Harvey assumes Lesley got hold of her fortune by killing the men with some ingenious trick. And he wants to try a little experiment with Dick the next day, as Lesley invited him for dinner in her cottage. The following morning an unrecognizable caller summons Dick to Sir Harvey's cottage again and there he witnesses a shadow shooting through the window of Sir Harvey's sitting room. However the bullet does not hit him and it is not the reason for his death. He died through prussic acid injected with a hypodermic syringe while all the windows and doors of the room were locked. But then why did someone shoot through the window with the same rifle Lesley used when she accidentally shot through the tent the day before - or wasn't it accidentally after all?
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Thursday, April 19, 2012
Dr. Luke Croxley, the narrator of this novel, gets a visit by one of his son's patients. Rita Wainwright's worries are not of medical nature though. She has an affair with a younger man called Barry Sullivan, a young American actor, while being married to her older husband Alec. The latter however is more interested in radio broadcasts about recent war developments than what his wife does behind his back. Rita is fond of Alec and does not want to hurt him, but at the same time she feels the urge to run away with Barry. One night when Croxley is over at the Wainwrights Rita and Barry vanish, leaving two sets of footprints leading to the end of a cliff and not coming back. Later the dead bodies are found, but they did not die from the fall or from drowning. They were shot at close range.
Friday, April 6, 2012
Mystery writer Arisugawa Arisu and his friend and clinical criminologist Himura Hideo are invited to the mansion of locked room writer genius Makabe Seiichi, who during the Christmas party announces that his next novel and therefore his 46th locked room is going to be the last one. The invited writers and editors are shocked but the topic soon changes when strange presents are found in the guests' rooms and an unknown man is seen prowling around the mansion. The situation comes to its peak when Makabe and (apparently) the unknown man are found in two different locked rooms, both burned in fireplaces. In one of them the police finds the remains of what seems to be (now rendered unreadable) notes of Makabe's last locked room trick. Was the Japanese Carr murdered with his own idea?