The Footprints on the Ceiling

The Footprints on the Ceiling (1939) is a locked-room mystery novel written by Clayton Rawson.

The Footprints on the Ceiling
AuthorClayton Rawson
CountryUnited States
SeriesThe Great Merlini
GenreMystery novels
PublisherG.P. Putnam's Sons
Publication date
Media typePrint (Hardback & Paperback)
Pages240 pp (in Dell mapback #121)
Preceded byDeath from a Top Hat 
Followed byThe Headless Lady 

It is the second of four mysteries featuring The Great Merlini, a stage magician and Rawson's favorite protagonist.

Plot summary

Ross Harte, publicity writer, is investigating the person behind a classified ad seeking a haunted house for sale. When it turns out to be his old friend The Great Merlini, Harte drops by his store, The Magic Shop, looking for an explanation. Harte and Merlini are soon swept up into a complex and bizarre plot involving the death of Linda Skelton, an agoraphobic heiress, at her home on Skelton Island, a tiny island in the East River of New York City. The plot soon expands to involve a psychic researcher and his favourite medium, a group of treasure hunters seeking a sunken treasure, counterfeit golden guinea coins, a man with blue skin (argyria), a gangster named Charles Lamb, a second murder by "the bends", and a murder scene with a set of neat footprints marching across the ceiling. Merlini survives more than one attempt on his life before he can call in the police and conclusively bring the crimes home to the guilty.


The fictional Skelton Island, where the story is set, is roughly based on North Brother Island, NY. In the map included in the book, Skelton Island is shown south of the real-life North Brother Island, more or less where South Brother Island actually is.

This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.