The Three Coffins Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Three Coffins

“The Three Coffins” is a locked room mystery. Professor Charles Grimaud is found murdered in his locked study after having met with Pierre Fley who had previously threatened him.   Fley is gone, there is no way he could have left the room. The door was locked from the inside and there were two people watching from the other side. It was snowing that night and there are no footprints outside the window or on the roof.   There are no other ways to get out of the room. Later Fley is found murdered in a dead end street. He was shot at close range, but there are no prints in the snow around the body.
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Dr. Fell, a professorial amateur sleuth, sets out to solve the crime along with an American friend and an Inspector from Scotland Yard. They discover that Grimaud and Fley are not the men's real names, and that they are really brothers. Together with a third they had been imprisoned in Hungary. The had tried to escape and only Grimaud had managed to get away. Fley had found him and was trying to blackmail him. Dr. Fell then goes on to ingeniously figure out how the crime had been managed.
The review of this Book prepared by Jack Goodstein

Chapter Analysis of The Three Coffins

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 20%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 50%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 20%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 10% Tone of story    -   very upbeat How difficult to spot villain?    -   Difficult, but some clues given Time/era of story:    -   1930's-1950's What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   90% Special suspect?    -   relative Kind of investigator    -   amateur citizen investigator Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   scholar Age:    -   40's-50's Ethnicity/Race    -   British Unusual characteristics:    -   Super genius


Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   England/UK

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   moderately detailed references to deaths Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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John Dickson Carr Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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