Honkaku meets Grand Guignol

Death in the House of Rain, by young Taiwanese author Szu-Yen Lin, is a gruesome and fiendishly clever novel about a series of impossible crimes in a strange house built to resemble a 3-D version of the Chinese character for rain. Publishers Weekly not only gave it a starred review: https://www.publishersweekly.com/978-1-974337-79-8                                                   . . . they plan to publish an interview with the author in the 9/25/2017 issue. Watch this space.

Back on line–after a week

To those of you who wondered what had happened to mylri.com and lockedroominternational.com, it’s now safe to go back on line…at least for now.

Without boring you with the details, all the problems were caused by the web-hoster I chose, ipage.com, who shut me down without warning three times, the third time for a week. Alas, I’m stuck with them for 3 years, so there’s no guarantee it won’t happen again.

The Realm of the Impossible

I am delighted to announce that the international short story anthology I have been working on for a long time, together with my friend, consultant editor of LRI, and co-editor of Mystery Scene magazine, Brian Skupin, has finally been published!

Publishers Weekly, in its starred review, writes: “…a landmark anthology, which establishes that the crafting of brilliant short impossible crime fiction is not an exclusively Anglo-American endeavor.”

In his Foreword, Otto Penzler writes: “The range of authors collected in this surprising and welcome volume, and the diversity of their backgrounds, is a tribute to the detective skills of the editors, who have somehow unearthed a cornucopia of virtually unknown stories that deserve the attention they will now receive. It is… well… impossible to applaud loudly enough…”

Here is a groundbreaking collection of 26 impossible crime stories from over 20 countries, demonstrating the global reach of this most fiendishly ingenious type of tale. Several stories appear here for the first time, many have never been anthologized, and a few classics are included.

Also included are 12 short anecdotes of real-life impossibilities: How can a man locked in his room without alcohol get drunk every night? How can heavy stone coffins in a sealed crypt be moved? How can hundreds of rare French books be stolen from an ancient library? These are just a few of the actual impossibilities that are explained in The Realm of the Impossible.

And, at a mere $19.99 for nearly forty stories from more than 20 countries, it would be a crime not to buy it. . . (I had to get that in before anyone else.)

P.S. There will not be a Kindle edition.

The Madman’s Room, reviewed by Puzzle Doctor

https://classicmystery.wordpress.com/2017/08/08/the-madmans-room-by-paul-halter/The good doctor isn’t one to throw praise around lightly, so it was particularly pleasing to read his review: “Works Perfectly….. Something special.” Music to my ears, as I, too, would rank this among Paul’s best books ever.

The Madman’s Room by Paul Halter

Paul Halter’s latest brain-teaser “The Madman’s Room” now available

The French for brain-teaser is ” casse-tete” = head-breaker and that’s the perfect description for the the maestro’s latest, which piles impossibility upon impossibility until your hair starts to hurt.  https://www.publishersweekly.com/978-1545568125

87 Year old book becomes Mysterious Bookshop’s Book-of-the Month

The highly influential Otto Penzler, the owner of The Mysterious Bookshop, chose Death in the Dark, first published in 1930, as his July 2017 book-of-the-month! Never say die, or in this case, die three times (that’s the body count, and they’re all impossible) 2017_7_6 DID Otto Penzler Book of the Month

A thoughtful review of The Ginza Ghost by Moonlight Detective

One of my favourite blog spots provides a lengthy and very thoughtful review of Keikichi Osaka’s short story collection The Ginza Ghost. The comparison to the turn-of-the-century works by Meade and Eustace is very apt and one that frankly hadn’t occurred to me.


The Howling Beast on Kindle

Noel Vindry’s masterpiece (and I do not use the term lightly: one of the greatest locked rooms ever written, with an increasingly excruciating build-up and an impossible murder that even eye-witnesses cannot explain or even believe) The Howling Beast is now available on Kindle.

This is possible because the French publisher Gallimard no longer has the rights and a diligent search has failed to locate a rights owner. If there is one, he or she is invited to come forward.

“Had Conan Doyle Read Henry Cauvain’s Maximilien Heller?”

This is the title of an article in issue 75 of the influential CADS (Crime and Detective Stories) magazine, with a highly knowledgeable readership. It can be found here:  CADS75p41-44

It points out that the French novel Maximilien Heller, which preceded the first appearance of Sherlock Holmes by 16 years, featured a drug-taking private detective with acute analytic and deductive powers, a profound knowledge of the forensic science of the day, and a facility for disguise. He was frequently consulted by the police and his audacious exploits were recorded by his friend and confidant, a doctor. Sound vaguely familiar?

Doyle himself claimed he based the character of Sherlock Holmes on Dr. Joseph Bell, his professor at medical school. Better that than admit he lifted the character lock, stock and barrel from a foreign author. But that should not detract from the fact that Doyle was a far, far better writer than Cauvain and one of the world’s great storytellers who deserved every bit of his fame.

The article makes specific reference to LRI’s The Killing Needle–published in 2014 and based on an alternative version of Maximilien Heller, L’Aiguille Qui Tue —and urges people to buy it. Far be it from me to disagree…