Category Archives: Locked Room Mystery

THE FOUR JUST MEN (1905) by Edgar Wallace

Edgar Wallace made a real splash with his debut novel, though perhaps not quite the kind that he had intended. Originally promoted with the offer of a huge prize for anyone who guessed the ending, Wallace eventually had to declare … Continue reading

Posted in 2013 Book to Movie Challenge, 2013 Vintage Mystery Challenge, Alfred Hitchcock, Edgar Wallace, Friday's Forgotten Book, Locked Room Mystery, London | 57 Comments

PROOF OF GUILT (1973) by Bill Pronzini

Buon compleanno Bill! Tomorrow is the 70th birthday of  William John Pronzini, now into his sixth decade of activity as a mystery author and still one of the best on the scene – and thankfully, one of the most prolific too. … Continue reading

Posted in 'In praise of ...', 2013 Book to Movie Challenge, Bill Pronzini, Locked Room Mystery | 37 Comments

THE BLOODY MATCH by Paul Halter

I’m not one for New Year’s resolutions usually but I promised myself two things for 2013: first, that I would try some of the great books recommended by my blogging compadres; and second, that I would finally read some of … Continue reading

Posted in John Dickson Carr, Locked Room Mystery, London, Paul Halter, Philip MacDonald, Scene of the crime | 37 Comments

Jonathan Creek returns

Good news for lovers of the locked room mystery in the style of John Dickson Carr. It has been announced that after a (too) long sabbatical, Alan Davies will again don his duffel coat to investigate an impossible crime in … Continue reading

Posted in John Dickson Carr, Jonathan Creek, Locked Room Mystery | 22 Comments

Clue of the Twisted Candle (1960)

The Edgar Wallace Mysteries were a series of roughly four dozen hour-long B-movies made to sit on the lower birth of a cinema double bill, originally released in Britain at a rate of roughly one-a-month between 1960 and 1965. For a … Continue reading

Posted in Edgar Wallace, Locked Room Mystery, London, Scene of the crime, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | 15 Comments

INVISIBLE GREEN (1977) by John Sladek

This detective novel by science fiction author John Sladek offers several impossible crimes in the style of John Dickson Carr and deserves to be much better known. It was paid a great compliment in 1981 when, only two years after … Continue reading

Posted in 2012 Alphabet of Crime, Crime Fiction Alphabet, Friday's Forgotten Book, John Dickson Carr, John Sladek, Locked Room Mystery, London, Scene of the crime | 47 Comments

C is for … John Dickson Carr

Kerrie’s Alphabet of Crime community meme over at the Mysteries in Paradise blog has returned for 2012. Those participating will post a review, author biog or a thematic item that matches the letter of the week either with the first … Continue reading

Posted in 2012 Alphabet of Crime, Carter Dickson, Crime Fiction Alphabet, Gideon Fell, Henry Merrivale, John Dickson Carr, Julian Symons, Locked Room Mystery | Tagged , , , | 101 Comments

DARKNESS AT PEMBERLEY (1932) by TH White

Mike Ripley in his unmissable Getting Away with Murder column recently pointed to the reprint of this early campus mystery and it is through his auspices that I have very kindly been sent a review copy by those nice people … Continue reading

Posted in 2012 Vintage Mystery Reading Challenge, Cambridge, Campus Crime, Columbo, Dorothy L. Sayers, Edgar Wallace, Locked Room Mystery, TH White | 33 Comments

Blogs what I have read

Unaccustomed as I am to blogging (with apologies to the immortal British comedy duo Morecambe and Wise and their scriptwriter Eddie Braben), I just thought I’d stop for a minute or two to point with amazement at the apparent synchronicity surrounding the great time I have been having of late participating in the blogosphere. Without realising it, I seem to have joined a group of bloggers all of whom celebrate fairly traditional detective stories, with most of us in particular being great fans of John Dickson Carr and Ellery Queen.

There’s a lot of great crime and mystery bloggers out there and I have to tip my hat to several that I have recently had the pleasure of getting better acquainted with Continue reading

Gallery | 8 Comments

N is for … NINE TIMES NINE (1940) by Anthony Boucher

The Alphabet of Crime community meme over at the Mysteries in Paradise blog this week reaches the letter N, and my nomination, also eligible under the guidelines of Bev’s 2011 Mystery Readers Challenge, is …

NINE TIMES NINE by Anthony Boucher

This golden age mystery is one of several fine examples of the genre that, like Clayton Rawson’s Death from a Top Hat (1938) and Edmund Crispin’s Love Lies Bleeding (1948), were inspired directly by the work of John Dickson Carr, the master of the locked room / impossible crime story. In this particular case, the book is not only dedicated to Carr, but in fact has an entire chapter devoted to discussing one of his novels. Continue reading

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K is for … KILLER’S WEDGE (1959) by Ed McBain

The Alphabet of Crime community meme over at the Mysteries in Paradise blog this week reaches the letter K. My contribution this week is made up of a quartet of the 87th Precinct mysteries by Ed McBain published before 1960 so as to also be eligible under the guidelines of Bev’s 2011 Mystery Readers Challenge. Today’s book is …

KILLER’S WEDGE (1959)

“There was, of course, no such thing as a locked-door murder mystery.”

McBain makes his first great stylistic departure in this, the eight volume in his 87th Precinct series, juxtaposing two radically different cases and two completely different traditions within the mystery genre, the whole kept tightly bound together by the exertion of the titular pressure – and all taking place in a single afternoon. In fact the novel takes place in just under 4 hours in total. Continue reading

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J is for … THE JUDAS WINDOW (1938) by Carter Dickson

The Alphabet of Crime community meme over at the Mysteries in Paradise blog this week reaches the letter J, and my nomination is …

J is for … The Judas Window (1938) by Carter Dickson.

I began my last post for the Alphabet Crime meme by declaring my lack of enthusiasm for the modern Grisham-style legal thriller – and then proved it was all stuff and nonsense by praising Scott Turow’s latest example of the genre to the hills. And this week I’ve compounded my lack of credibility by picking another courtroom drama, but this time at least I’ve got some mitigating factors I can offer in my defence: not only is it from the golden age of detective stories, not only is it by my all time favourite mystery author John Dickson Carr, but it’s a stone cold classic of my favourite subcategory of the genre: the locked room mystery. In fact this is a book that ticks so many boxes for me that I am also offering it as the third of my eligible books as part of the 2011 Vintage Mystery Reading Challenge over at Bev’s Reader’s Block website (check it out, it’s amazing – I just don’t know where she finds the energy or the time to do all that reading and blogging – she’s a true demon and an inspiration that one). Continue reading

Gallery | 18 Comments