Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Plague Court Murders (Sir Henry Merrivale, #1)” as Want to Read:
The Plague Court Murders (Sir Henry Merrivale, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Plague Court Murders (Sir Henry Merrivale #1)

3.79  ·  Rating Details  ·  195 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
There had always been whispers of ghosts when people spoke of the deserted and sinister old mansion in Plague Court; and when Chief-Inspector Masters, genial ghost-layer of the London police, broke into the little stone house in the rear court, he found the body of Darworth, the medium, stabbed to death on the floor. The door had been bolted from within and locked from wit ...more
Paperback, 312 pages
Published July 1st 1990 by Intl Polygonics Ltd (first published 1934)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Plague Court Murders, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Plague Court Murders

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 436)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Nancy Oakes
The Plague Court Murders is the first in a series featuring Sir Henry Merrivale, noted expert on crime, barrister, physician and all around smart guy when it comes to solving the unsolvable. Carter Dickson is one of the pseudonyms of Golden-Age mystery writer John Dickson Carr, and this book definitely falls within at category. The reader is presented with an impossible crime, with several suspects and a number of red herrings. In the introduction to this edition, it is noted that Carr was a fan ...more
Jill Hutchinson
Oct 10, 2012 Jill Hutchinson rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
This is the first Sir Henry Merrivale mystery written by John Dickson Carr under his nom de plume of Carter Dickson. The recognized master of the "locked room" story. Carr doesn't cheat the reader by introducing trapdoors, hidden rooms, or other such devices to solve the mystery. Instead he illustrates how the crime could have been committed without resorting to those overworked contrivances, however far-fetched the solution. In this entry, Merrivale is called in to solve the murder of a fake ps ...more
Janne Varvára
Oct 29, 2012 Janne Varvára rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
Hmm... This is actually the first John Dickson Carr (or Carter Dickson, as this is published under) novel I haven't instantly taken a liking to.
I'm very surprised at that, and I'm inclined to blame my unstable, unfocusable head for the trouble.

However, I found it confusing from the word go.
Naturally, and true to form, John Dickson Carr's murder plots are about as intricate and complicated as they come, but for some reason, I found it hard to keep the characters apart, which muddled the whole th
Jack Chapman
Nov 02, 2012 Jack Chapman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, crime
Like many people I often complain about the unjustifiable price of ebooks compared to paperback prices (even before factoring in the cost of the reading device). This week I came across a good article in The Verge pointing out that price isn't the only scandal. So what do publishers do to make their e-product worth the cost? Nothing it seems. The article is worth a read
The Verge

I bought a Kindle edition of The Plague Court Murders from Amazon's US store, published by Langtail Press. Now to be f
Sep 04, 2008 Mike rated it it was amazing
This book introduces my favorite fictional detective, "H.M.", aka Sir Henry Merrivale, aka "The Maestro," aka "Mycroft," aka "The Old Man," among other nicknames. This book is the first featuring one of Carter Dickson/ John Dickson Carr's two major detectives (the other being Gideon Fell.) H.M. is cranky, lazy, rude, and brilliant. Often he is extremely funny as well, though more so in the later books in the series. He is like a more aggressive Nero Wolfe, or a fatter and more gregarious Sherloc ...more
Nov 02, 2014 Conina rated it it was ok
There is something about this book that kept me unwilling to keep reading it. All the explanations and descriptions were more like "hiding"&"confusing" than "revealing". All the characters were often named by their first name that wasn't mentioned before that, so I kept being confused about who is who. The "main" character, according to the text on the back, appeared long after I have lost hope and thought that maybe there was some mistake with the name. All the detective's names were starti ...more
Jan C
Jul 03, 2012 Jan C rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, england
This was about 3 1/2 stars.

It took too long to wrap up. It seemed to take forever for Merrivale to explain the whole thing.

I certainly didn't get it.

Carter Dickson a/k/a John Dickson Carr is the master of the closed room murder.
Tim Deforest
Jun 21, 2013 Tim Deforest rated it really liked it
Very good Locked Room murder mystery with a fun lead character.
Aug 04, 2012 France-Andrée rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
This was my first time reading a book featuring Sir Henry Merrivale. I have a suspicion, I have read short-stories with him before because the name and description was very, very familiar. I thought starting by the first book written with him was the right place to begin my exploration.

I thought the mystery took a little time setting up. I guess the first chapters before the first murder (I think with the title being what it is this is not a spoiler!), where there's a lot of set-up which pays of
Feb 21, 2016 Matthew rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This classic locked room mystery combines elements of gothicism with the things fans of golden age mysteries except. The combination of a slightly more cerebral detection paired with moody gothic atmospherics is delightful, if a bit dated. Fun.
Mastugae Kiyoaki
Feb 09, 2014 Mastugae Kiyoaki rated it liked it
sad to realize that i have seen the trick before
Jul 10, 2016 Ellie rated it liked it
The first of Sir Henry Merrivale novels, a haunted castle mystery, still a bit rough around the edges.
Feb 27, 2013 Mary rated it really liked it
I wasn't sure about this book at the start. The backstory about the history of the house (Plague Court is the name of a house) was a bit too old-fashioned and gothic for me. Once H.M. comes into it the pace picked up considerably and once the mystery of the locked room started to unravel I couldn't put it down.
Ken Bates has been invited by his friend Dean Halliday out to the family estate. It seems that one Louis Playge, an infamous murderer, is haunting the family. When a famous psychic is killed in a locked room with police right outside the door, they have to call in the famous Sir Merivale for help.
A Rajan
Oct 17, 2013 A Rajan rated it really liked it
Full of atmosphere, intricately plotted, and with well drawn characters, this is the first in the Merrivale series, and although not the best, it's quite a fun read. It's primary problem to my mind is the somewhat contrived solution.
Feb 19, 2012 Himitsu_no_ai rated it it was amazing
This was one of the best books i have ever read. It's 100% captivating, and full of deduction. A "must read" for Locked Room Mysteries fans if you ask me
Peter di Lorenzi
Jun 12, 2013 Peter di Lorenzi rated it it was amazing
One of the best --- and certainly the eeriest --- of the Sir Henry mysteries
Pietro De Palma
May 15, 2013 Pietro De Palma rated it it was amazing
A debut with a bang. Beautiful novel with a exceptional Locked Room
Brian Cannon
Brian Cannon marked it as to-read
Jul 26, 2016
edwin alexander duran
edwin alexander duran rated it it was amazing
Jul 23, 2016
Michael Henderson
Michael Henderson rated it really liked it
Jul 26, 2016
Julie rated it it was amazing
Jul 22, 2016
Dobbyak marked it as to-read
Jul 22, 2016
Hope marked it as to-read
Jul 15, 2016
Jennifer Gordon
Jennifer Gordon marked it as to-read
Jul 15, 2016
Amy Rodgers
Amy Rodgers marked it as to-read
Jul 14, 2016
Sarah marked it as to-read
Jul 07, 2016
March rated it it was ok
Jul 14, 2016
Roz Radmore
Roz Radmore marked it as to-read
Jul 01, 2016
Nancy Boykin
Nancy Boykin marked it as to-read
Jun 29, 2016
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 14 15 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Crooked Hinge (Dr. Gideon Fell, #8)
  • The Thinking Machine
  • The Benson Murder Case (A Philo Vance Mystery #1)
  • The Layton Court Mystery (Roger Sheringham Cases, #1)
  • A Terribly Strange Bed
  • The Blackheath Poisonings: A Victorian Murder Mystery
  • The Chinese Orange Mystery
  • The Red Thumb Mark
  • The Cape Cod Mystery (Asey Mayo, #1)

Other Books in the Series

Sir Henry Merrivale (1 - 10 of 23 books)
  • The White Priory Murders (Sir Henry Merrivale, #2)
  • The Red Widow Murders (Sir Henry Merrivale, #3)
  • The Unicorn Murders (Sir Henry Merrivale, #4)
  • The Punch and Judy Murders (Sir Henry Merrivale, #5)
  • The Peacock Feather Murders (Sir Henry Merrivale, #6)
  • Death in Five Boxes (Sir Henry Merrivale, #7)
  • The Judas Window (Sir Henry Merrivale, #8)
  • The Reader Is Warned (Sir Henry Merrivale, #9)
  • And So to Murder (Sir Henry Merrivale, #10)
  • Nine and Death Makes Ten (Sir Henry Merrivale, #11)

Share This Book