Carter Dickson – Seeing Is Believing (1941)


Vintage Golden Age Mystery
Scavenger Hunt Category: Food
Date Finished: October 19, 2017

At a small dinner party, a hypnotist shows off his parlor trick of hypnotizing a young wife and have her stab her husband with a toy knife if she loves him or shoot him with a real gun, filled with blanks unbeknownst to her, if she does not. The wife secretly believes her husband to be a murderer and is also in love with someone else. Nevertheless she stabs her husband with the knife, proving she loves him. Unfortunately, a real knife has been substituted for the toy one and she kills him. Oops. Mistakes happen. It seems impossible that anyone could have switched knives. Luckily, Sir Henry Merrivale is staying nearby, dictating his memoirs, and is called in to solve our impossible crime.

The impossible crime does not seem quite as impossible or as clever as other John Dickson Carr mysteries, but the humor is quite evident as H.M. tells tales of boyhood tricks to his ghostwriter. I would like to read that memoir. Of course, there is the usual Carr romance, so that a couple of characters are automatically eliminated as murder suspects. The solution seems a bit unlikely, but perhaps that is just because I did not figure it out.

Vintage Golden Scavenger 2017-10-19


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