Miraculous Mysteries

Miraculous Mysteries

Locked Room Mysteries and Impossible Crimes

Paperback - 2017
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Impossible crime stories have been relished by puzzle-lovers ever since the invention of detective fiction. Fiendishly intricate cases were particularly well suited to the cerebral type of detective story that became so popular during the 'golden age of murder' between the two world wars. But the tradition goes back to the days of Edgar Allan Poe and Wilkie Collins, and impossible crime stories have been written by such luminaries as Arthur Conan Doyle, G.K. Chesterton, Dorothy L. Sayers and Margery Allingham. This anthology celebrates their work, alongside long-hidden gems by less familiar writers. Together these stories demonstrate the range and high accomplishment of the classic British impossible crime story over more than half a century.
Published: Scottsdale, AZ :, Poisoned Pen Press,, 2017.
Edition: First US trade paperback edition.
ISBN: 9781464207440
Branch Call Number: F MIR
Characteristics: 351 pages ;,21 cm.
Additional Contributors: Edwards, Martin 1955-


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"sheridan le fanu's, A PASSAGE IN THE SECRET HISTORY OF AN IRISH COUNTESS; e.t.a. hoffman's MADEMOISELLE DESCUDERI were locked room mysteries before Poe's A MURDER IN THE RUE MORGUE.Conan Doyle was a gifted and versatile writer, whose imagination was fired by the macabre..he was drawn to the concept of the seemingly impossible crime. grenville robbins was a journalist who worked for THE TIMES, and wrote a handful of short stories, as well as song lyrics..he achieved the feat of publishing the first locked-room mystery set in the world of radio..e. charles vivian wrote a 1934 novel, ACCESSORY AFTER, in which inspector head has to solve the mystery of a murderer whose footprints in the snow lead to a gate and then completely disappear." "dorothy leigh sayers' last novel appeared in 1937..in later life her literary focus was on religious work and translating dante." "margery louise allingham (1904-1966) came from a family with strong links to literature..she made a significant and lasting contribution to the crime genre."

Jul 20, 2017

Miraculous Mysteries

Editor Martin Edwards prefaces each story with a short bio of the author and mentions other works if a reader is interested in further work by each author. His
observations elevate the collection.

Plots and my rating (* to *****)

The Lost Special (Arthur Conan Doyle) A man hires a specially chartered train from Liverpool to London, but he and the train disappear between two stations. The mystery is explained in a lengthy letter written by the man behind it years later. ***

The Thing Invisible (William Hope Hodgson) Carnacki the Ghost Hunter relays his experiences with what appears to be a haunted chapel where a dagger is able to attack people without a human hand wielding it. ****

The Tragedies in the Greek Room (Sax Rohmer) Night watchmen die in a museum's locked room where the most valuable item is removed from its case but left behind. **

The Aluminium Dagger (R. Austin Freeman) Dr. Thorndyke is called in to help solve the murder of man stabbed inside a room with the only door bolted from the inside and whose (open) window is 40 feet from the ground in an un-scalable wall. ***

The Miracle of Moon Crescent (G.K. Chesterton) Father Brown helps unravel the disappearance (and subsequent death) of a man who was inside a room with the one door observed by the priest and three other men. The room is 100 feet from the ground and the building has walls that cannot be climbed. ***

The Invisible Weapon (Nicholas Olde) Rowland Hern solves the problem of a man who is bludgeoned to death inside a room with people outside the only door and where no weapon can be found, even on the one man who probably committed the crime. ****

The Diary of Death (Marten Cumberland) Interesting take on a motive: the killer is avenging a dead diary writer who wrote venomously about people she knew. ****

The Broadcast Murder (Grenville Robbins) An announcer in the middle of a radio broadcast (from inside a sound-proof studio whose only door is visible by his boss) screams for help over the air, then disappears. ****

The Music Room (Sapper) During a house party in his newly bought (and under renovation) manor house a man tells about a mysterious death years before in the music room. A man was found bludgeoned to death inside the locked room. Later that night the man's young nephew is killed in the same room by what looks like a falling chandelier. ***

Death at 8:30 (Christopher St. John Sprigg) A killer acts when his victims refuse to pay a huge sum. One victim is a police official and he spends the predicted actual time of his murder encased in a glass room observed by fellow officials; but he still dies at the appointed time. ***

Too Clever By Half (G.D.H. & Margaret Cole) What looks like a suicide inside a locked room might have too many details pointing towards that. **

Locked In (E. Charles Vivian) A man is found dead in a room whose door is locked from the inside and the windows are unable to be opened; one policeman suspects it's not the suicide everyone thinks it it. ***

The Haunted Policeman (Dorothy L. Sayers) On the night of his son's birth Lord Peter is outside his London home when a policeman appears. Seeking company, Lord Peter invites the constable in for a drink and listens to an incredible tale of a murder in a nearby house that doesn't seem to actually exist. *****

Sands of Thyme (Michael Innes) Appleby relates a story about following a set of footprints to a dead body in the middle of a beach that must be a suicide. **

Beware of the Trains (Edmund Crispin) The motorman of a train disappears at a station surrounded by police who were anxious to apprehend one of the passengers. ***

The Villa Marie Celeste (Margery Allingham) Campion is consulted by police when a young couple disappears from their home, breakfast on the table with warm tea, and all their possessions intact. ****


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