Monday, November 10, 2014

Locked Room Mysteries

If there is one plot that always catches my attention in crime fiction, it is the locked room mystery. John Dickson Carr was undoubtedly the master and I read every one of his books many years ago (and also the ones writter under Carter Dickson).

One of my favorite locked room murders, because I am such a Martin Beck fan, is THE LOCKED ROOM. by

In one part of town, a woman robs a bank. In another, a corpse is found shot through the heart in a room locked from within, with no firearm in sight. Although the two incidents appear unrelated, Detective Inspector Martin Beck believes otherwise, and solving the mystery acquires the utmost importance. I am not sure this one would rank with the greats but setting and character rate high with me.

What are some other great ones?  

Forgot to post my movie review of THE BLUE ROOM. 

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Are we talking strictly locked rooms or impossible crimes in general?

IT WALKS BY NIGHT, Carr
RIM OF THE PIT, Hake Talbot
DEATH FROM A TOP HAT, Clayton Rawson
THE CHINESE ORANGE MYSTERY, Ellery Queen
BLACK AURA and INVISIBLE GREEN, John Sladek

Also, short stories by Joseph Commings (Brooks U. Banner) and Edward D. Hoch (Dr. Sam Hawthorne).

On television, JONATHAN CREEK had several excellent ones.

THE BLACK LIZARD BIG BOOK OF LOCKED-ROOM MYSTERIES has 68 short stories.


Jeff M.

Margot Kinberg said...

Patti - Here's an interesting article from The Huffington Post about this very topic! Enjoy

George said...

I'm reading a Dr. Sam Hawthorne collection of locked room mysteries, NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE, right now! Highly recommended!

pattinase (abbott) said...

You know I have never read an Ellery Queen mystery.
Must get the Black Lizard Book.
Thanks, Margot.
Also not familiar with Dr. Sam Hawthorne.

Charles Gramlich said...

I just read one of these written from the point of view of a robot. It was very cool. Can't think of the title now and the book is at home.

Anonymous said...

I'm reading the Black Lizard collection now - it's 920 pages or so but has a lot of good stories in it. It starts with the classics - Poe, Doyle, Futrelle, Nelville Davisson Post, etc. - and moves on from there.


Jeff M.

John said...

I tend to use the "impossible crime" label rather than locked rom. Below are some of my favorites that do not necessarily involve a locked room but always an impossible crime.

Vintage:

THE DEATH OF LAURENCE VINING - Alan Thomas
TOUR DE FORCE- Christianna Brand
DEATH OF JEZEBEL - Christianna Brand
MR. SPLITFOOT - Helen McCloy
THY ARM ALONE - John Russell Fearn (writing as "John Slate")
THEY CAN'T HANG ME - James Ronald

Contemporary:
THE WEED THAT STRINGS THE HANGMAN'S BAG - Alan Bradley
FATAL GRACE- Louise Penny
THE MEMORY OF BLOOD - Christopher
Fowler
HOODWINK - Bill Pronzini
THE TOKYO ZODIAC MURDERS - Soji Shimada

Charles Gramlich might've read THE CAVES OF STEEL by Isaac Asimov. It's the only impossible crime novel I know of with a robot. But there are probably a lot more. I'm not a big sci-fi fan.

seana graham said...

Adrian McKinty's In the Morning I'll Be Gone has a good one.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Been meaning to read McKinty. So many good books on here--that I haven't read.

Graham Powell said...

I cannot recommend the John Sladek books that Jeff mentioned highly enough. Fun, witty, great characters, and each with a genuine mystery. I only wish there had been more of them.

Fowler is a terrific writer and his books are hard to classify. They're sort of police procedural, and sort of traditioinal mystery. I believe TEN SECOND STAIRCASE also had a locked room, and THE VICTORIA VANISHES features a pub that disappears.

seana graham said...

We suffer from a surfeit or riches, Patti.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I already picked up the McKinty book although I probably should read the first two first. And I put about four others on reserve. Thanks!

seana graham said...

I'd say in order is good but not absolutely essential with the Sean Duffy books. Although I don't know if that will be the case with number 4, which is coming out pretty soon.

Anonymous said...

Graham, I also wish Sladek had done more of the Thackeray Phin books. They were great! I was told about them at the time by my friend - one of the locked room experts - Bob Adey, who also introduced me to the Jonathan Creek series.


Jeff

Sergio (Tipping My Fedora) said...

Must read this again - I love the beck series and adore Carr - I don;t think it's the best of thei books (probably THE ABOMINABLE MAN would get the vote as my favourite).