The Bride of Newgate
First edition (US)
|Author||John Dickson Carr|
|Publisher||Hamish Hamilton (UK) & Harper (USA)|
|Media type||Print (Hardback & Paperback)|
|Pages||308 pp (1st US)|
The Bride of Newgate, first published in 1950, is a historical whodunnit novel by John Dickson Carr which does not feature any of Carr's series detectives. Set in England in 1815, the book combines two literary genres, historical fiction and the whodunit/detective story, and after Agatha Christie's 1944 mystery Death Comes as the End is only the second novel to do so.
Miss Caroline Ross, in order to inherit a fortune, must be married but, in the London of 1815, such a marriage would turn control of the funds over to her husband. She therefore marries Dick Darwent, a convicted murderer who is to be hanged in Newgate Prison the next day, who agrees to the marriage so that Caroline will settle money upon his mistress, the actress Dolly Spencer. However, when it is learned that Dick has succeeded to the title of the Marquis of Darwent, his trial is invalidated; a peer must be tried by the House of Lords. The commutation of his sentence means that he has made a deadly enemy in the form of Sir John Buckstone, a brutal dandy who is one of Caroline's suitors. Darwent has been framed for murder by a mysterious figure known only as "the coachman". He must sort out his domestic arrangements, which include his wife and mistress under one roof, prove himself innocent of the murder of which he was convicted, and reveal the identity of the evil figure behind his problems.
Dust jacket Harper publisher summary and biography from 1950 first edition, (HC, 308 pages)
"Dick Darwent, ex-fencing master, was waiting in a dark cell of Newgate Prison—waiting to be hanged. While Dick waited for the hangman, Lady Caroline Ross, rich, cold and beautiful, prepared a champagne breakfast to celebrate her marriage to him, a marriage which would cost her fifty pounds, and which would be ended an hour after it had begun. But a shot through a bathroom window, where a lovely lady sat in a tub of milk—a riot in the opera, led by champion pugilists—a pistol duel at dawn—and a mysterious coachman, whose cloak was shiny with graveyard mold changed everything! As did Napoleon Bonaparte!
John Dickson Carr, a master of the detective novel, now proves himself to be a master of the historical novel (one which includes a fascinating detective puzzle as well) in this thrilling story of London in 1815 and the gaudy characters that made up its world of fashion, and its underworld."
- Donsbach, Margaret. "The Bride of Newgate by John Dickson Carr". HistoricalNovels.info. Retrieved November 13, 2013.
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