My Late Wives ; Another adventure of Sir Henry Merrivale by Carter Dickson
New York : William Morrow & Co., 1946. First Edition. Hardcover. 282 pages ; 19 cm. Tattered $2.50 dust jacket. Pages are unmarked and binding is firm.
All Roger Bewlay's wives had four things in common: no near relatives —- a hunger for romantic love — an idyllic honeymoon— and, after their honeymoon, nobody ever saw them again . . .
A great killer, an artist at his profession— until that doughty gentleman, Sir Henry Merrivale, lumbered on stage, club in hand, murder in his heart as he stalked a golf ball —- and a mad man . . .
My Late Wives By CARTER DICKSON Author of The Curse of the Bronze Lamp
Pleasantly, with the offhand calm of a weather forecaster—fair and warmer today, followed by death rays in the late afternoon — Carter Dickson leads you on the trail of a mass murderer. And so fascinating is the hunt, so skillfully, so diabolically does Dickson write, that you begin to feel a killer is stalking you in your own easy chair — probably your best friend, at that.
Eleven years after Roger Bewlay had dis-appeared — almost as effectively as his four wives—-an unknown author wrote a play about him and sent it to Bruce Ransom, English actor. Ransom knew just how the part should be played — almost too well. And Beryl West, his impulsive, electric director observed dreamily that "audiences would eat it up."
The play had something all right — including a scene about which no one except the police, one witness, and Bewlay himself could have known . . .
It also had an ending that was pure bilge. But Bruce liked it. And to prove his point about it to Beryl he took a month off, used an assumed name and proceeded to act out the part of Bewlay in a small village. Then suddenly — terrifyingly — his part got out of hand and the play began to act itself out line for line in real life.
This is Sir Henry on his best behavior — and Carter Dickson in top form. My Late Wives is full of wit and that whopping sense of the ridiculous which is Dickson's forte — not to mention a double love story, and some remarkably attractive and amusing — if lethal — characters . . .
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