Monday, 15 April 2013

B is for Below Suspicion

This is my post for Letter B for Crime Fiction Alphabet 2013.

We all know what Above Suspicion is. But what is below suspicion? In Below Suspicion by John Dickson Carr , featuring Barrister Patrick Butler, Dr.Gideon Fell explains that in a murder investigation no one is above suspicion. But some are below suspicion, like the investigator, the butler, maid, and servants who have no motive. In this book, the murder is committed by somebody below suspicion. With such a big clue, did I figure who the murderer is? No! Carr has created a perfect smokescreen I couldn't see the truth until the revelation. Here is the synopsis:

Patrick Butler, a barrister, is one hell of a defending lawyer nicknamed 'the Great Defender', he could always get his client free out of prison, even when he is sure that his client is guilty. Patrick is never wrong and he never loses his case. Joyce Ellis is accused of poisoning Mrs.Taylor. Joyce worked as a companion-nurse-secretary to Mrs.Taylor and pleads vehemently that she is innocent. Patrick feels otherwise.

When Mrs.Taylor's relative Richard Renshaw also dies by poisoning by the same substance, suspicion falls on his beautiful, blonde seductive wife Lucia. Should I say Patrick falls for Lucia and believes she is innocent? Can he prove that Lucia is innocent? Who killed Mrs.Taylor and why? Who killed Renshaw? Patrick Butler, brilliant though he is, now needs the help of Gideon Fell to solve this case.



10 comments:

Margot Kinberg said...

Valli - I have always admired Carr's ability to lead the reader on without being 'unfair.' That takes a very special skill. And of course, the fact that Fell is a lexicographer just adds to the enjoyment of these novels for me.

srivalli said...

Thanks Margot for stopping by! I have read 4 books by Carr and he sure Did lead me on so I couldn't guess the killer in any of them. Of these 4, 3 feature Gideon Fell and I wasn't sure what his profession was other than helping our heroes find the culprit. Thanks for the info.

TracyK said...

I had not heard of this book before. I like the concept of "below suspicion." I will add this one to my list. I have yet to read any books by Carr. I hope to remedy that this year.

Thanks for introducing me to this book.

Bev Hankins said...

I love Carr and his ability to lead you by the hand....straight into the smokescreen that will baffle you. So glad you enjoyed this one too.

I love that you've posted a picture of the edition of this book that I have! It's been a while since I read it....wish I had more time to go back and reread it. Unfortunately, I've been a tad over-ambitious this year and am running WAY behind on my vintage mysteries. No time for more rereads.

writebywriting said...

Now I have to read a Carr novel. I was just bemoaning the other day that current novels try to keep people interested by making the novel very easy to follow rather than crafting an interesting mystery that draws the reader in. Carr sounds like someone I would like. Thanks.

Clarissa Draper said...

I have heard of the term above suspicion but I haven't heard of the term below suspicion. I like how Carr makes it clear who the killer is but doesn't make it so easy to discover.

srivalli said...

@ Tracy and Peter, Carr is a great mystery writer. I enjoyed all the books I have read and I am sure you would enjoy too!

srivalli said...

@ Bev, it's your vintage mystery reading challenge that introduced me to Carr. Thanks for hosting the fun challenge.

srivalli said...

@ Clarissa I haven't heard the term below suspicion too! I wanted to know what below suspicion is, that's why i picked up the book. But with such a big clue there is the problem of identifying the killer soon, but Carr clearly steered me off.

Scott said...

Another author I have actually heard of.