A SIR HENRY MERRIVALE MYSTERY. A suicide pact was just the sort of notion that would appeal to Rita Wainwright. Her notorious love affair with the young American actor, Barry Sullivan, was flamboyant enough to warrant a dramatic ending, so when the two of them vanished over a cliff one rainy night, leaving only a farewell note for Rita's husband and a pair of footprints to the edge, no one doubted that it was suicide. No one, that is, but Doctor Luke, Rita's old family doctor and one of the few people in the seaside village of Lyncombe who genuinely liked her. When amateur detective Sir Henry Merrivale, who is in the district having his portrait done by a local artist, agrees to investigate, the questions start piling up. But what of it? Are the doctor's doubts without merit, or was there a more sinister plot at play? It takes the blustering, rampaging H. M. to solve this baffling mystery.
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Born in 1906, John Dickson Carr was an American author of Golden Age 'British-style' detective stories. He published his first novel, It Walks by Night, in 1930 while studying in Paris to become a barrister. Shortly thereafter he settled in his wife's native England where he wrote prolifically, averaging four novels per year until the end of WWII. Well-known as a master of the locked-room mystery, Carr created eccentric sleuths to solve apparently impossible crimes. His two most popular series detectives were Dr. Fell, who debuted in Hag's Nook in 1933, and barrister Sir Henry Merrivale (published under the pseudonym of Carter Dickson) who first appeared in The Plague Court Murders (1934) Eventually, Carr left England and moved to South Carolina where he continued to write, publishing several more novels and contributing a regular column to Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine. In his lifetime, Carr received the Mystery Writers of America's highest honor, the Grand Master Award, and was one of only two Americans ever admitted into the prestigious - but almost exclusively British - Detection Club. He died in 1977.
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