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02 Dec 2005
The Curse of the Bronze Lamp - "Carter Dickson" (John Dickson Carr) - Carroll and Graf, 1997
* * * *
Here's a puzzle for you. We have here a classic mystery. In Egypt, in the 1920s, a young archaeologist called Lady Helen Loring (yes, she's a toff) encounters a seer who tells her that if she removes an ancient bronze lamp from the country, she will be "blown to dust". She ignores him, returns to her ancestral hall in Gloucestershire with her friends Kit Farrell and Audrey Vane, enters the front door - and disappears, leaving the lamp in the middle of the floor... Now this is a sufficiently intriguing puzzle in itself, but to me there is a much greater one. Why hasn't it been turned into a period murder mystery for TV?
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