John Dickson Carr (November 30, 1906 – February 27, 1977) was an American author renowned for his detective stories. He also wrote under pseudonyms Carter Dickson, Carr Dickson, and Roger Fairbairn. Known for his “British-style” mysteries, Carr spent many years in England, with most of his novels featuring English settings and characters. His best-known detectives, Dr. Gideon Fell and Sir Henry Merrivale, were both quintessentially English.

Carr is celebrated as a leading figure in the “Golden Age” of mystery novels, known for intricate, puzzle-centric plots. His writing was heavily influenced by Gaston Leroux and G.K. Chesterton’s Father Brown stories. He excelled in the locked room mystery genre, with his novel “The Hollow Man” (1935) being recognized as the best locked-room mystery of all time in 1981.

The son of a U.S. congressman, Carr graduated from The Hill School and Haverford College. He moved to England in the early 1930s, married Englishwoman Clarice Cleaves, and began his writing career. He returned to the U.S. in 1948 as an established author.

Carr won two Special Edgar Awards from the Mystery Writers of America, for his biography of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in 1950 and for his distinguished mystery writing career in 1970. He received the MWA’s Grand Master award in 1963 and was a member of the British Detection Club.

After suffering a stroke in 1963, Carr continued writing with one hand and contributed to Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine. He moved to Greenville, South Carolina, and passed away from lung cancer in 1977.

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