Saturday, January 10, 2015

LOCKED ROOM MYSTERIES



So what are your favorite mystery genres? Mysteries about Los Angeles?  Scandinavian mysteries?  Mysteries set at sea?  Readers rejoice that there are so many kinds of who-done-it genres. One of the most enduring is the locked room mystery, where a theft or murder has taken place where there is literally no possibility of anyone entering or leaving the scene of the crime. 

One of the first locked room mysteries was Edgar Allan Poe’s 1841 The Murders in the Rue Morgue about a double murder committed in a room that was locked from the inside. This short-story, as well as other similar puzzling mysteries can be found on the shelves at the Monrovia Public Library.

The Black Lizard Big Book of Locked-Room Mysteries is an incredible collection of these stories. Divided by chapter with quirky titles (This Is the Unkindest Cut of All is about crimes done with knives) the amazing book includes works by Erle Stanley Gardner, Dashiell Hammett, Dorothy L. Sayers and other heroic mystery writers. 900 plus pages of almost impossible to solve mysteries will keep you up at night.

Agatha Christie’s books continue to call to us and one of her most famous is And Then There Were None. In it 10 people are invited to an island for various reasons and the truth becomes apparent as an unseen host announces that each has committed a murder without paying for it. Gradually all are killed off. This is considered one of Christie’s greatest.
 
Some very senior detectives in the London Peculiar Crimes Unit set out to solve an impossible mystery in Ten Second Staircase. Riddles mix with black humor in this Christopher Fowler novel of some minor celebrities who are murdered in a series of locked room situations. Laugh while counting the clues in this intricate story.

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