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Locked Room Mysteries & Impossible Crimes

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Agatha Christie
And Then There Were None
2001 (First published: 1939)
Agatha Christie's version of the nursery rhyme is often considered the best mystery novel ever written. 10 strangers are trapped in an Indian island, where the sinister Mr. Owen is accusing them of murder. One by one is found dead, until ... (the resolution of the novel is very different from that of the movie versions). More ...
300 Pages
5/5
47
Agatha Christie
Murder on the Orient Express
Hercule Poirot Novel
2017 (First published: 1934)
Just after midnight, the famous Orient Express is stopped in its tracks by a snowdrift. By morning, the millionaire Samuel Edward Ratchett lies dead in his compartment, stabbed a dozen times, his door locked from the inside. Without a shred of doubt, one of his fellow passengers is the murderer. Isolated by the storm, detective Hercule Poirot must find the killer before the murderer decides to strike again. More ...
288 Pages
5/5
17
Cormac McCarthy
The Passenger
The Passenger - Book 1
2022 (First published: 2022)
It is three in the morning when Bobby Western zips the jacket of his wet suit and plunges from the Coast Guard tender into darkness. His dive light illuminates the sunken jet, nine bodies still buckled in their seats, hair floating, eyes devoid of speculation. Missing from the crash site are the pilot’s flight bag, the plane’s black box, and the tenth passenger. More ...
400 Pages
5/5
26
Martin Edwards (Editor)
Miraculous Mysteries: Locked-Room Murders and Impossible Crimes
British Library Crime Classics
2017
Fiendishly intricate cases became popular during the 'golden age of murder' between the two world wars. The tradition goes back to the days of Edgar Allan Poe and Wilkie Collins. Impossible crime stories have also been written by such luminaries as Arthur Conan Doyle, G.K. Chesterton, Dorothy L. Sayers and Margery Allingham.This anthology celebrates their work. More ...
358 Pages
4/5
55
Sarah Pearse
The Sanatorium: A Novel
Detective Elin Warner, Book 1
2021
Half-hidden by forest and overshadowed by threatening peaks, Le Sommet has always been a sinister place. But now it is renovated into a five-star minimalist hotel. Arriving in the midst of a threatening storm, vacationing detective Elin Warner immediately feels on edge--there's something about the hotel that makes her nervous. More ...
400 Pages
4/5
48
Seishi Yokomizo
The Honjin Murders
Detective Kindaichi Series - Book 1
2020 (First published: 1946)
In the winter of 1937, the village of Okamura is abuzz with excitement over the forthcoming wedding of a son of the grand Ichiyanagi family.Then, on the night of the wedding, the Ichiyanagi household are woken by a terrible scream, followed by the sound of eerie music. Death has come to Okamura, leaving no trace but a bloody samurai sword, thrust into the pristine snow outside the house. More ...
192 Pages
4/5
58
Seishi Yokomizo
Death on Gokumon Island
Detective Kindaichi Series - Book 2
2020 (First published: 1948)
Detective Kosuke Kindaichi arrives on the remote Gokumon Island bearing tragic news—his friend and fellow soldier, the son of one of the island's most important families has died, on a troop transport ship bringing him back home after the Second World War. With his last words, the dying man warned that his three step-sisters' lives would now be in danger. More ...
320 Pages
5/5
40

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The "locked-room" or "impossible crime" mystery is a type of crime seen in detective fiction. The crime in question, typically murder, is committed in circumstances under which it appeares impossible for the perpetrator to enter the crime scene, commit the crime, and leave undetected. A locked-room crime typically involves a situation whereby an intruder entered the crime scene. For instance, a murder victim might be found in a windowless room locked from the inside. Following the conventions of classic detective fiction, the reader is normally presented with the puzzle and all of the clues, and is encouraged to solve the mystery before the solution is revealed in a dramatic climax.
The earliest fully-fledged example of this type of story is Edgar Allan Poe's "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" (1841). The most famous locked-room mystery is probably John Dickson Carr's 1935 novel "The Hollow Man". A variant of the locked-room type puzzle is also Agatha Christie's "And Then There Were None".
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