book cover of Fatal Descent
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Fatal Descent

(Drop to His Death)
A novel by

Fatal Descent by J.D. Carr and Cecil Street (writing as Carter Dickson and John Rhode)

Carr and Street "are such expert mystery-mongers that their collaboration could scarcely fail to produce something extra special in the bafflement line. 'Fatal Descent' is all of that." - The New York Times

"London publisher shot in automatic elevator. Dr. Horatio Glass and Insp. Hornbeam pool wits - and humor - to spot the killer. Neat variation of good old 'hermetically sealed room' problem, with two authors - and their sleuths - working beautifully in harness. Verdict: Top Drawer" - The Saturday Review

A seemingly impossible murder in a private elevator draws two sleuths to the case. Inspector Hornbeam and Dr. Horatio Glass are at odds from the beginning, each dismissive of the other's theories, thus creating an atmosphere as much of competition as cooperation.

From the novel:
The elevator was perhaps six feet square by eight feet high, with steel walls painted to imitate bronze. Sir Ernest Tallant sat very quietly in the rear right-hand corner. His legs were outthrust stiffly, his back bent a little forward; and the brim of the rakish gray hat shaded his face. He might have been a grotesque parody of Little Jack Horner, if it had not been for the widening bloodstains on the left breast of his jacket. His umbrella lay beside him, also looking oddly childish like his posture. Under each roof corner of the elevator there was a tiny electric light; these four little lights illumined even the wrinkles on the backs of the man's hands, and glittered on the pieces of broken glass.

Note: The diagram in this edition has been improved for better legibility.
Published in the United Kingdom as 'Drop to His Death'

Approximately 69,000 words in length

Also available by John Rhode (pseud. of Cecil Street)
Death Sits on the Board
Dr. Priestley Lays a Trap
The Harvest Murder

Also available by John Dickson Carr:
And So to Murder
The Judas Window

[2013 Feb. 14: minor corrections]

Genre: Mystery

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