Cfar1′s #CBR4 Review #09 of John Dickson Carr’s The Man Who Could Not Shudder
The second of Mr. Carr’s books I read, The Man Who Could Not Shudder also featured Dr. Gideon Fell, his overweight detective. In this book, the narrator is asked by a friend to escort an acquaintance around London. The narrator, who is an author of some sort, spends time with the man, who mostly visits small, out of the way museums. At some point, while in a club (all British men in these types of mysteries belong to clubs) they hear a tale of a haunted house. The mysterious acquaintance is a well-off business man, and the tale of the house intrigues him. Apparently, an elderly butler had, for reasons unknown, shoved a heavy wooden dining table out of the way one night, climbed onto a dining room chair, leaped up and grabbed hold of a large chandelier and swung wildly until it ripped loose of the ceiling and crashed down onto him. Now the house is the site of mysterious moving furniture, odd noises, ect. The business man hires a friend of the narrator, a young architect, to check out the house, then buys and restores it. He then throws a ghost party. He invites the narrator and the narrator’s fiance, a business acquaintance and the acquaintance’s lovely younger wife, the architect and a young lawyer. The first night a couple of mysterious things happen, but the next morning things really start. A man is shot, in front of witnesses, by a gun that moves by itself. Scotland Yard is called in and Dr. Fell comes along.
This outing was as interesting as the first. The solution seems like something you might see on the Mythbusters. This story also had more twists and turns The Dark of The Moon. Mr. Carr does seem to have a quirk to his writing. He likes to have a character start to reveal something or make an important point, only to be interrupted. This happened enough times in both books to move from amusing to irritating. Overall this was a nice little book to read before bed.