Reviewed by JEFF MEYERSON:

JOHN DICKSON CARR – The Crooked Hinge. The Mystery Library #2, University Extension: Univ. of California at San Diego, hardcover, 1976. Introduction, with notes and checklist, by Robert E. Briney. Illustrations by Dick Connor. Originally published by Harper, US, hardcover, 1938 (shown); H. Hamilton, UK, hardcover, 1938. Reprinted many times.

   The second in The Mystery Library’s series of reprints is another quality job, and the book itself is a good one. Twenty-five years before the story begins John Farnleigh was packed off to America on the Titanic. He survived and stayed in America, as he was the black sheep of the family, returning only when he inherited the family estate and title.

   Now, a year later, a man shows up claiming to be the real Sir John Farnleigh. On the night the confrontation takes place to determine the impostor, the first Farnleigh is murdered. Dr. Gideon Fell, somewhat less outrageous here than usual, must determine who killed him (or was it suicide?), and why.

   There is also a possible tie-in with another murder that happened a year earlier, and a number of Carr’s usual strange elements. These include an automaton based on Maelzel’s famous Chess Player, a local coven (?), and a truly bizarre solution. An engrossing book.

— Reprinted from The MYSTERY FANcier, Vol. 1, No. 4, July 1977.