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First edition of legendary crime novel The Three Coffins sells for £1,300


A rare copy of The Three Coffins by John Dickson Carr has sold for £1,300 /$2,250 on AbeBooks. The 1935 Harper first edition had a restored dust jacket.  The Three Coffins is a Dr Fell mystery and at first glance appears to be a standard Dickson Carr crime novel.

However, chapter 17 of the The Three Coffins contains Gideon Fell’s famous ‘locked room lecture’, in which the amateur sleuth describes many of the ways by which apparently locked-room or impossible-crime murders can be committed. It is a seminal piece of crime-writing.

Dickson Carr wrote more than 20 Dr Fell mysteries spanning four decades.  Fell is based upon GK Chesterton – he has a moustache, wears a cape and a shovel hat, and walks with the help of two canes.

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