My Book Notes: “The House in Goblin Wood”, 1947 [Sir Henry Merrivale] s.s. by John Dickson Carr as Carter Dickson

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The Strand Magazine 114, No. 2 (November 1947): 43-54, 104-8. Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine Vol 10, #48 (November 1947): 4-20. In The Third Bullet and Other Stories (1954).

ellery_queens_mystery_194711Summary: Vicky Adams, the child of a wealthy family, disappeared one night from a country cottage with all the doors and windows locked on the inside. At the time she was twelve or thirteen.  A week later, the girl reappeared again: through the locks and bolts, tucked up in her bed as usual. To date, nobody’s ever known what really happened. But just now, twenty years later, at the same place and in similar circumstances Vicky Adams has disappeared again.

My Take:  When I read Bloody Murder by Julian Symons, I underlined the next words: “Most of Carr’s stories are compressed versions of his locked-room novels, and at times they benefit from the compression. Probably the best of them are in the Carter Dickson book, The Department of Queer Complaints (1940), although this does not include the brilliantly clever H.M. story “The House in Goblin Wood” or a successful pastiche which introduces Edgar Allan Poe as a detective.” But I forgot all about it until now when, by pure chance, I saw it mentioned by TomCat at Beneath the Stains of Time and I hastened to read it. “The House in Goblin Wood” is a masterpiece. Absolutely brilliant.

“The House in Goblin Wood” has been reviewed, among others by Steve Barge at In Search of the Classic Mystery Novel, Mike Gray at Ontos, and at Suddenly At His Residence (with spoilers)

About the Author: John Dickson Carr was born in Uniontown, Pennsylvania, in 1906. It Walks by Night, his first published detective novel, featuring the Frenchman Henri Bencolin, was published in 1930. Apart from Dr Fell, whose first appearance was in Hag’s Nook in 1933, Carr’s other series detectives (published under the nom de plume of Carter Dickson) were the barrister Sir Henry Merrivale, who debuted in The Plague Court Murders (1934). (Source: Goodreads)

Recommended short story collections: The Department of Queer Complaints (1940); The Third Bullet and Other Stories of Detection (1954); The Men Who Explained Miracles  (1963); The Door to Doom and Other Detections (1980 ) includes radio plays; The Dead Sleep Lightly (1983) radio plays.

‘The House in “Goblin Wood”’, un relato breve de John Dickson Carr como Carter Dickson

Resumen: Vicky Adams, hija de una familia adinerada, desapareció una noche de una casa de campo con todas las puertas y ventanas cerradas por dentro. En aquel momento tenía doce o trece años. Una semana después, la niña reapareció de nuevo: a través de cerraduras y pestillos, metida en su cama como de costumbre. Hasta la fecha, nadie ha sabido nunca lo que sucedió realmente. Pero justo ahora, veinte años después, en el mismo lugar y en circunstancias similares, Vicky Adams ha vuelto a desaparecer.

Mi opinión: Cuando leí Bloody Murder de Julian Symons, subrayé las siguientes palabras: “La mayoría de los relatos breves de Carr son versiones comprimidas de sus novelas de cuarto cerrado, y en ocasiones se benefician de esta compresión. Probablemente las mejores de ellas están en  The Department of Queer Complaints (1940) de Carter Dickson, aunque no incluye la brillante e inteligente historia de HM “La casa en Goblin Wood”, un pastiche de éxito en el que presenta a Edgar Allan Poe como detective”. Pero lo olvidé por completo hasta ahora cuando, por pura casualidad, lo vi mencionado por TomCat en Beneath the Stains of Time y me apresuré a leerlo. “La casa en Goblin Wood” es una obra maestra. Absolutamente brillante.

Acerca del autor: John Dickson Carr nació en Uniontown, Pensilvania, en 1906. It Walks by Night, su primera novela policíaca publicada, protagonizada por el francés Henri Bencolin, se publicó en 1930. Aparte del Dr. Fell, cuya primera aparición fue en Hag’s Nook en 1933, otra serie de detectives de Carr (publicada bajo el pseudónimo de Carter Dickson) es la del Sir Henry Merrivale, quien debutó en The Plague Court Murders (1934). (Fuente: Goodreads)

Colecciones recomendadas de relatos: The Department of Queer Complaints (1940); The Third Bullet and Other Stories of Detection (1954); The Men Who Explained Miracles  (1963); The Door to Doom and Other Detections  (1980 incluye obras radiofónicas; The Dead Sleep Lightly (1983) obras radiofónicas.