The Case of the Constant Suicides by John Dickson Carr (Berkley Books)

The Case of the Constant Suicides is a mystery novel by John Dickson Carr. The 1941 book features amateur sleuth Dr. Gideon Fell, a gargantuan man that is so large he walks with two canes. Fell is an eccentric and enthusiastic man who frequently utters the phrase “Archons of Athens!” when he is stumped by a tough case. As is the case in many Fell novels, this tale requires him to unravel mysterious murders that occurred in locked rooms.

Although Carr’s novels usually involved brutal murders, many of the Fell books also included comedic moments. This title is no exception; it features a large cast of comical characters, including a pair of bickering historians and the members of a Scottish clan. Even though the book is packed with humor, it still contains a strong mystery with a clever solution.

This is one of Carr’s more popular titles, and it has been reprinted on numerous occasions. This edition, which was published by Berkley Medallion in 1950, features an eye-catching cover from artist Robert Maguire. While the cover might look like standard pulp fare at a glance, you might spot some oddities when you give it a closer look. The woman posing seductively on the Scottish Highlands doesn’t seem to realize that a man is falling to his death right behind her.

Robert Maguire was an artist primarily known for his crime noir paperbacks. Over the course of his career, he created more than 600 covers for books like Black Opium by Claude Farrère and Laughter in the Dark by Vladimir Nabokov. He also created arts for greeting covers and albums like Paul Weston’s Dream Time Music.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x