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moonlightreader

Moonlight Reader

Lawyer, mother, avid reader. Game host extraordinaire! Partner in crime to Obsidian Black Plague! My bookish weaknesses include classics, fantasy, YA, and agreeing to read more books than is even remotely possible.

Currently reading

The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt's New World
Andrea Wulf
Progress: 40/496 pages

JOINT POST: OBD & MR talk Locked Room mystery

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd  - Agatha Christie Hollow Man - John Dickson Carr          Cover Her Face - P.D. James The Mystery of the Yellow Room - Gaston Leroux, Otto Penzler

We've already discussed the Magical Realism and Supernatural categories, so today we're going to talk about locked room mysteries. Tomorrow OBP will be posting about the general mystery genre, so keep an eye out for that post as well!

 

 

 

 

Locked room mysteries are one of our narrower categories for this bingo. A locked room mystery is basically defined as an "impossible" crime - made impossible by the fact that the location where the body was found - or the crime occurred - precludes all possible solutions. According to wikipedia:

 

"The crime in question typically involves a crime scene with no indication as to how the intruder could have entered or left, i.e., a locked room. Following other 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."

 

For purposes of bingo, any "impossible" crime will do. Here are our picks:

 

Obsidian Black Death

 

Big grin. I love locked room mysteries.

In fact one of my favorite books that I always go around telling everyone about is a locked room mystery (The Murder of Roger Ackroyd). I always think these are fun if you manage to get a really good story along with you what seems to be an impossible to solve mystery.
I love it even more if the author includes a map or drawings in order for you the reader to figure it out as you go along too. Agatha Christie did this in a lot of her works, but I can't think of any other author out there that did this in older works or in contemporary books today.

Here are some locked room mysteries that you can all take a closer look at:

1. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie

2. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

3. The Hollow Man by John Dickson Carr (this is the book I am going to read for the square since I have read the other two previously).

 

Moonlight Murder:

 

I also love locked room mysteries, even though I can rarely figure them out! Here are three that I've enjoyed in the past, and the one that I plan to read for the game!

 

 

1. Murder in Mesopotamia by Agatha Christie: this is one of my favorites by Dame Agatha. It is set in the Middle East at an archeological dig, and while Poirot makes an appearance, it is narrated by a young nurse by the name of Amy Leatheran.

 

2. The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins: this may be the first appearance of the locked room mystery in fiction, having been published in 1868. Collins was a contemporary of Dickens and wrote novels which were categorized as "sensation novels." The Moonstone has the distinction of being the first identified "detective novel." It's quite well done, even if the solution is sort of silly.

 

3. Cover Her Face by P.D. James: This is the first of the Adam Dalgliesh mysteries, and it is a classic locked room mystery. It has been years since I read it, but I recall really enjoying it. I went on to read most of the Adam Dalgliesh books published through the 1990's, although I haven't read them all.

 

I am planning to read The Mystery of the Yellow Room by Gaston Leroux, which was one of the earliest examples of a locked room mystery, and was published in 1907. Open Road Publishers have a kindle edition available for only .99 on amazon. I find that their editions are far superior to the ones that are scraped from the public domain, because they have awesome things like formatting, and proofreading.

 

Other posts in this series:

 

OB & MR talk magical realism

OB & MR talk supernatural