The talented contemporary British writer Christopher Fowler pens an appreciation for impossible-crime mystery master John Dickson Carr in The Independent. Read it here. Key passage:

Writing prolifically under a number of pseudonyms, including Carter Dickson, Carr became one of the great American writers of “Golden Age” mysteries. Although his plots stretch credulity in the extreme, therein lies their great pleasure. His sleuth Dr Gideon Fell, fat and rumpled, with a cape, cane and monocle, was modelled on GK Chesterton, and Sir Henry Merrivale, blustery, noisy, Churchillian, is parodied in the play Sleuth.

Sadly, we live in a time of no patience for barmy British sleuths who uncover insanely complex murders, and Carr wasn’t remotely interested in offering realism or relevance. Instead, he provided cases that involved witchcraft, eerie disappearances, snowstorms, impossible footprints, a hangman’s ghost, corpses that walk through walls, and a victim who dives into a swimming pool and vanishes, combining an infectious joy with a powerful sense of the macabre.

For more information on Carr, see my article on him here.