Tuesday, July 30, 2019

The locked-room mystery

From CrimeReads today, "Solving Impossible Crimes."
A murder is committed in a room that is locked from the inside, or sealed, or closely observed by witnesses. Nobody saw the killer escape. Yet that is exactly what has happened. The killer is gone, evidence is scarce and there are no eyewitnesses to the crime. Enter, a detective who is determined to solve this seemingly unsolvable crime. ....

Locked-room mysteries are stories about impossible crimes. They’re literary puzzles about ‘whodunit’ and ‘howdunit.’ ....
especially "howdunit."

The writer, himself the author of a locked-room mystery, describes some of the best including Agatha Christie's And Then There Where None and John Dickson Carr's Three Coffins. His description of the latter:
Written in 1935, this novel by John Dickson Carr, arguably the king of locked-room mysteries, is widely considered the greatest locked-room mystery ever written. A visitor goes into the study of another man. Shots are fired and the first man is discovered by people outside the room to be dying from a gunshot wound. The visitor has disappeared into thin air. The snow on the ground and on the roof by the room’s window is completely undisturbed. There’s not a single footprint.
I was pleased to also find a Sherlockian story from a book I bought in high school and still have. John Dickson Carr again:
"The Adventure of the Sealed Room,"
by Adrian Conan Doyle and John Dickson Carr

This novel written by Arthur Conan Doyle’s son, Adrian, and John Dickson Carr was written in the 1950s. It’s about a couple who are found locked in a room in what was believed to be a murder-suicide attempt with the husband shooting his wife and then killing himself. But Sherlock Holmes has a quite different opinion of what happened once he gets involved.
I think I'll read that this afternoon.

Solving Impossible Crimes: Why Locked-Room Mysteries Still Captivate Crime Fiction Fans | CrimeReads

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