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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

Capital Crimes: London Mysteries: A British Library Crime Classic (British Library Crime Classics)
Martin Edwards
Progress: 105/410 pages
Sherlock Holmes: The Definitive Collection
Arthur Conan Doyle, Stephen Fry

Locked Room Mysteries - Anthology

Miraculous Mysteries: Locked-Room Murders and Impossible Crimes - Martin Edwards, Various Authors

The British Library Crime Classics series has published a number of anthologies edited by Martin Edwards. I was looking for a locked room mystery to fill a square in a Halloween bingo game, and thought that this one would fit the bill splendidly. And so it did.

Only one of the stories was an unredeemable clunker - the abysmal The Case of the Tragedies in the Greek Room by Sax Rohmer.

My favorite stories were The Lost Special by Arthur Conan Doyle, a clever non-Holmes story about a train that simply disappears, The Miracle of Moon Crescent by G.K. Chesterton, an extremely complicated Father Brown mystery that was previously published in The Incredulity of Father Brown, and Too Clever By Half by GHD and Margaret Cole, which makes the point that complicated plots should be avoided.

The remaining stories are all entertaining, and contain all of the secret passages, disappearing weapons, and complicated murderous devices that a reader needs to be satisfied with a locked room/impossible crime. The story by Dorothy Sayers would be a charming Wimsey tale that follows directly on the heels of Harriet Vane giving birth to the Wimsey heir, with a suitably lighthearted solution but for the fact that it contains a disgusting racial slur which rather ruined the whole thing for me, so fair warning should be provided. Yes, different times, yada yada yada. Nonetheless, the slur used is indefensible, and shocking to the modern reader.