The Dead Man's Knock

The Dead Man's Knock, first published in 1958, is a detective story by John Dickson Carr which features Carr's series detective Gideon Fell. This novel is a mystery of the type known as a locked room mystery.

The Dead Man's Knock
First UK edition
AuthorJohn Dickson Carr
CountryUnited Kingdom
SeriesGideon Fell
GenreMystery, Detective novel
PublisherHamish Hamilton (UK)
Harper (USA)
Publication date
August 20, 1958[1]
Media typePrint (Hardback & Paperback)
Pages265 (Zebra paperback edition, 1987)
ISBN0-8217-2099-6 (Zebra paperback edition, 1987)
Preceded byBelow Suspicion (1949) 
Followed byIn Spite of Thunder (1960) 

Plot summary

In a little university town in the U.S. state of Virginia, surrounding Queen's College, Professor Mark Ruthven and his wife Brenda are arguing furiously because she is about to leave to meet her lover. Before the night is over, young and voluptuous Rose Lestrange will apparently walk into her bedroom and stab herself with a razor-sharp dagger—at least, that's what the police say, because the windows and door are securely locked and bolted from the inside. But Rose was being blackmailed. Is the blackmailer the same person who's been playing vicious pranks around the College's grounds, and also the murderer? Is the key to how the murder room was locked and bolted from the inside to be found in a locked-room mystery novel plotted by Wilkie Collins? It takes Dr. Fell to sort out the lies and reveal the surprising truth.


  1. "Books Today". The New York Times: 25. August 20, 1958.

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