Nancy Oakes's Reviews > The Blind Barber

The Blind Barber by John Dickson Carr
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Apr 14, 09

bookshelves: crime-fiction-uk, crime-fiction, classic-mystery-fiction
Read in April, 2009

I'll give it a 2.5 because the beginning was good.

"The Blind Barber" started out very well. A group of people, including Henry Morgan, the well-known detective fiction writer of previous books in this series, are on an ocean liner returning to England. One of the people, Curtis Warren, is carrying some reels of film that if found would put some members of the US government in a predicament -- and right away he's given a cosh on the head and a few reels are stolen. Then while Warren and his friends are in the cabin next door, waiting for the attacker to return for the rest, a woman calls out to him and the friends go out in the hall to check it out. They find a woman, badly injured and take her in the cabin. They go to get help and return...but she's gone and the bed has been remade. On top of everything else, an emerald elephant of great value goes missing. So with all of this crime going on, the story should have been very interesting.

However, this series of mysteries rapidly devolved into something a bit farcical and silly. It is not until the ship reaches England that Dr. Gideon Fell is brought into the picture -- and then he is able to do his magic.

I didn't really care much for this book, but it started out well and I was sucked in right away. It goes very well until the last few chapters. I didn't care about any of the characters, really -- they seemed to be just silly and unmemorable.

Would I recommend it? Probably not, even though it got sterling ratings on Amazon (but there again, I'm usually among the lone fish swimming upstream there). You can skip this one if you're reading the series and probably not miss much.
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