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He Who Whispers

(Dr. Gideon Fell #16)

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  484 ratings  ·  51 reviews
At the edge of the woods by the river stands the tower. Once part of a chateau since burnt down, only the tower remains. The inside is but a shell with a stone staircase climbing spirally up the wall to a flat stone roof with a parapet.

One that parapet the body of Howard Brooke lay bleeding. The murderer, when Brooke's back was turned, must have drawn the sword-cane from i
...more
Paperback, 206 pages
Published 1953 by Penguin Books (first published 1946)
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3.91  · 
Rating details
 ·  484 ratings  ·  51 reviews


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John Culuris
May 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It always surprised me that John Dickson Carr--at least initially; he reevaluated his position later in life--was critical of the hardboiled detective novel. Of the traditional mystery writers, he comes the closest to the hardboiled school. Not in terms of what he considered hardboiled’s most obvious traits: the chases and sluggings [his words] and cleavage. No, what he shared with them--and did not share with most of his contemporaries--was movement. He eschewed that one staid location where th ...more
Karl
May 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"He Who Whispers" is a mystery novel (1946) by detective novelist John Dickson Carr.

Like Many of the works by this author which feature so-called impossible crimes (for the most part, falling into the category of the locked room mystery). In this case, the novel falls into a smaller category of Carr's work in that it is suggested that the crime is the work of a supernatural being (here, a vampire). The detective is Dr. Gideon Fell.

This novel is of some significance in the field of the Golden A
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Dolceluna
Da uno dei maestri indiscussi del giallo della camera chiusa, un gioiello nel quale si respira l' affascinante atmosfera di altri tempi. Quella dei delitti silenziosi e misteriosi compiuti in angoli cupi, dei maggiordomi obbedienti delle grandi case aristocratiche, dei pugnali conficcati nella schiena, della parole di morte sussurrate all'orecchio e dei criminologi arguti che risolvono enigmi impensabili nella semioscurità di un salotto mentre fuori imperversano tuoni e lampi. Il terrore ha morm ...more
Mike
Jul 28, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the finest, most ingenious, and most atmospheric of the classic "locked room" mystery novels of John Dickson Carr. It is also one of his most somber and frightening books. While the author is most famous for his intricate and hard to solve murder puzzles, at least some of his hardcore fans like myself most enjoy the brooding atmosphere he creates, with a hint of the supernatural hanging over sometimes appalling crimes.

He Who Whispers is particularly great in its creation of this
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Thalassapolis
Bir Agatha Christie değil
Steve Banes
Jul 20, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent murder mystery with a supernatural (vampire) twist, this is my first time reading a Carr novel, and my first Dr. Fell adventure as well... and it certainly won't be the last! Unlike some mystery writers from this era, Carr has a fantastically clear writing style that makes following the endless twists and turns fun and exciting, instead of frustratingly confusing. Carr paints such a hauntingly sad portrait of a gorgeous woman plagued by her past, you can't help but fall in love with he ...more
David F.
Feb 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My favorite of Carr's mysteries. Not his best "impossible crime" gimmick but, in my opinion, it is best told tale among his novels. It is also, I believe, the only story in which he manages to write a fairly believable romantic subplot. I have reread it numerous times and expect to do so many more.
Neer
Gripping beginning, great atmosphere, but eventually just about okay.

Full review here:
http://inkquilletc.blogspot.in/2012/0...

Andrea Stancato
May 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Bello!!! Bello davvero!!! Dirompente e geniale!!! Logico e originale!!! Impossibile che nn sia nelle liste degli amanti del giallo classico
Wyndslash
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tina Rae
Jun 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: mystery fans
Shelves: bookishly
I enjoyed this book so much! I'm really loving this little books and tea subbox. I'm loving these little British mysteries that I've never heard of but can spend my Saturdays enjoying with a nice cup of tea. It's been very relaxing and wonderful. I'm glad I've received such great books thus far!

So this one was fascinating. Right from the get go, I was intrigued by the existence of the Murder Club. I'm still quite sad that didn't end up being a focal point (I'm wondering if it is in other books i
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Nancy Butts
May 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Book #16 in the Gideon Fell series, published in 1946, and it appears to be only after the Allies had won the war that Carr could bring himself to write about what it had done to the England he loved. It shows what a master he is that he can write with so few words and create such depth of tragic feeling, and at the same time create a twisted and fascinating story that is part conventional murder mystery, part history of the devastation of war, part psychological thriller, and part vampire story ...more
Graham Powell
Fairly run-of-the-mill impossible crime. Six years ago, a man was killed atop a tower in France. He'd argued violently with his son; his son's fiancé was rumored to be all sorts of trouble, and was suspected in his death. But since the man was very clearly alone on the tower when he was stabbed... As usual, Dr. Fell explains it all.

The puzzle itself wasn't bad, and the murder method even reappeared on TV within the past year. But it didn't seem to have the energy or immediacy of Carr's earlier w
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Myles Harrold
A "locked door" murder mystery that hints at vampires. The book starts with a meeting of the Murder Club, which actually makes the book appear to be heading in a direction it never actually goes. I got kind of excited when I thought the Murder Club had dissapeared, but then the book when in a different direction. The actual mystery was quite cool and worth the read. I always have a slight problem with books that have mysteries we the readers couldn't possibly solve, but the actual solution in th ...more
Kalyan
Nov 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Voted by ardent JDC fans as his best and not without reason. The enormous Dr. Fell with his several chins is in top form here.
Bruce
Mar 21, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A complex mystery with a complex conclusion, a little hard to buy, but the read is quite entertaining and compelling.
Silash Ruparell
Sep 05, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: silash-reviews
This review also appears on my blog www.silashruparell.com

My one liner: Manipulative behaviour always gets found out. The clues will have been clear and unambiguous once you get to the end and all is revealed in this oldie whodunit. Some nice historical insight into post-war London also.

"People didn’t celebrate that victory hysterically, as for some reason or other the newspapers liked to make out. What the newspapers showed was only a bubble on the huge surface of the town. Like himself, Miles
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Jiří Pavlovský
Po fakt dlouhé době jsem sáhl po knížce z anglické detektivní školy, po expertovi na tajemství zamčených pokojů, Johnu Dicksonovi Carrovi. Dřív mě hodně fascinoval (i tím, že v jedné jeho knize přiznává jeho detektiv, že je jen literární postava), v současnosti je už pro mě anglická škola asi tak zábavná jako čtení zadání do křížovky. Ale tohle má vážně hodně propracované a promyšlené zadání. A jo, člověk fakt musí snést to, že jsou postavy (hlavně ženské) stále na okraji hysterie a emoce s nimi ...more
Vinay Mehta
Nov 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I specifically took time and efforts to buy this book as its not published anymore. I had heard praises for this impossible murder mystery and couldn't pass this off. Overall, after reading the book, my thoughts are mixed with its rating. While this is no doubt one of the macabre and supernatural tone to this story, unlike any other Dr. Fell cases, the lingering suspense and fast-paced run till the climax gives it a detective, turn-next-page zeal as well.
And that's every my good feel for the bo
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Sarah
Feb 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Miles Hammond is bemused to be invited to the first meeting of the Murder Club in five years, then flummoxed when none of the illustrious members arrive. It's just him, a charming young lady named Barbara, and Prof. Rigaud, who was to lecture on an infamous murder from before the war: a staid English family, an alluring secretary, and a man found stabbed in the back atop a tower no one else could have entered. Miles soon finds the old mystery causing ripples in the present day. Luckily, his good ...more
Luis Minski
Aug 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

El que susurra es otra atrapante novela que nos presenta la colección El Séptimo Círculo.
Ambientada en una Londres recién salida de la guerra, entre las ruinas dejadas por los bombardeos y la gente que va volviendo a su rutina; y una casa solitaria rodeada por bosques, encontramos una atmósfera opresiva y sombría, el marco ideal para un buen relato de misterio, donde un crimen del pasado sin resolver, una mujer misteriosa, y el miedo, son los elementos principales de una historia que narra magis
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Robin Stevens
Sep 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another AMAZING pair of impossible crimes that stick in the mind and send shivers down the spine - but populated by characters I have serious problems with. Carr's female characters, in particular, are like no human females I've ever met, and so reading about them is a frustrating exercise. But this is still classic golden-age stuff and a lot of fun. 12+

*Please note: this review is meant as a recommendation only. Please do not use it in any marketing material, online or in print, without asking
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Vladimir
The atmosphere of the book gripped my interest until the mystery began to reveal itself. By the end the plot got so hideously farfetched and the main characters dry and unnatural, so I simply stopped enjoying it. There’s a quote in the book which would perfectly describe the impression:

“I gave you theories about a certain supernatural agency. Well! It would appear that in this case I was misled by facts intended to mislead. But I do not put myself in ashes and sackcloth for that. No! .... But I
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Katherine Wu
Mar 03, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lollyletsgo
Feb 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I LOVED how the perception and the actuality of events was unraveled! So much fun!
Hana
May 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Più volte interrogato su quali fossero i romanzi da lui preferiti nella sua vastissima produzione, John Dickson Carr ha stilato vari elenchi, propendendo talvolta più per un'opera oppure per un'altra, ma una costante c'è sempre stata, ossia He Who Whisper.
Di fatti, Il terrore che mormora è uno dei più fulgidi esempi dello stile di Carr, e ben sintetizza la sua capacità di unire il soprannaturale con la rigida analisi razionale, e sebbene sia sempre la seconda a trionfare, il primo contribuisce
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Jessi
Miles Hammond is invited by Dr. Gideon Fell to join a dinner of the Murder Club. He is a soldier who just got out of a year and a half convalescence after being gassed. During that time, he and his sister inherited a rather large fortune as well as a large estate with an incredible library. But Miles is at loose ends. He can't even make it on time to the Murder Club dinner. When he gets there though, the club members aren't even there. Just another guest (Barbara Morell) and a man with a fantast ...more
Kate
"At the edge o the woods by the river stands the tower. Once part of a chateau since burnt down, only the tower remains. The inside is but a shell with a stone staircase climbing spirally up the wall to a flat stone roof with a parapet.

"On that parapet the body of Howard Brooke lay bleeding. The murdere, when Brooke's back was turned, must have drawn the sword-cane from it sheath and run him through the body. And this must have ocurred betwen ten minutes to four and five minutes past four, when
...more
Eugenia
I like these post-war mysteries more for their historical details about everyday life and their frankly tortured approach to the moral ambiguity of writing about death for money (and our collusion in this morally grey area as readers and purchasers of the books) than for the "locked-room" puzzles, I realized. It's an odd combination of pure escapism (the characteristic "locked-room" puzzle for which JDC is known) and disgust for the fact that the writer and reader can intellectualize it in this ...more
Lesley
Same kind of plot set-up as the one by him as Carter Dickson I read recently - mysterious unsolved crime in past (not actually locked room, but person on top of tower alone and observed), related crime in present; I guessed the identity of the perp of the attempted murder, though without all the intricacies of motive. Rather skimmed the last quarter or so. Also, that weak heart seemed to come and go a lot depending on necessities of the plot.
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AKA Carter Dickson, Carr Dickson and Roger Fairbairn.

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 b
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Other books in the series

Dr. Gideon Fell (1 - 10 of 23 books)
  • Hag's Nook (Dr. Gideon Fell, #1)
  • The Mad Hatter Mystery (Dr. Gideon Fell, #2)
  • The Eight of Swords (Dr. Gideon Fell, #3)
  • The Blind Barber (Dr. Gideon Fell, #4)
  • Death-Watch (Dr. Gideon Fell, #5)
  • The Three Coffins (Dr. Gideon Fell, #6)
  • The Arabian Nights Murder (Dr. Gideon Fell, #7)
  • The Crooked Hinge (Dr. Gideon Fell, #8)
  • To Wake the Dead (Dr. Gideon Fell, #9)
  • The Problem of the Green Capsule (Dr. Gideon Fell, #10)
“We don't fall in love with a woman because of her good character.” 12 likes
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