A thrilling read & an excellent romantic mystery.
Got an average of 4-1/2 stars on Amazon with overwhelmingly positive reviews - that's why I'm surprised that another reviewer found this book a chore.
John Dickson Carr is a masterful storyteller from the 1920s and 30s. I knew his detective novels and, through Paperback Swap, I just recently discovered his science fiction. This novel uses time travel , one of the earliest that does, and even more surprising, time travel through supernatural means! A deal with the Devil makes it possible for a mild mannered college professor to try to change history.
Well, thank heaven that's over. I have had a copy of this gathering dust for decades. I number some of Carr's mysteries (The Three Coffins, Problem of the Green Capsule, The Judas Window) among my favorite reads. But I'd never managed to get into this book of his.
I found reading this to be a chore. Somewhat a mystery, Carr is too besotted with the historical time he sets his story in. I admit I skimmed the sword-fighting parts, since they didn't seem necessary to the plot. I found the book interesting mostly for some of the details I just faulted it for. Contradictory, I know, but I certainly do not recommend this to anyone who loves Carr's (well-written) impossible crime stories. If you are into historical fiction, it will be more to your liking.
I'm just glad I got through it at last.