Recommended Reading


Locked Room Murders by Robert Adey, 1979 and 1991
The expanded 1991 version of this indispensable bibliography lists nearly 2000 locked room novels and short stories with a very brief summary of each and an even briefer solution given at the back of the book. The thirty-plus pages of introduction constitute an outstanding history of the genre.

Chambres Closes, Crimes Impossibles by Soupart, Fooz and Bourgeois, 1997
The French-language equivalent of the Adey bibliography, with a fuller description of the problem but the solutions in the form of coded references to a classification table. Over half the references are to stories originally published in English. The French is easily manageable by anyone who reached high-school level in the language, and well worth the effort.

1001 Chambres Closes by Roland Lacourbe, Vincent Bourgeois, Philippe Fooz and Michel Soupart, 2003
This is an updated and vastly expanded version of the 1997 bibliography with 600 novels and 500 short stories, with a comprehensive review of each. It should be a valuable addition to any locked room aficionado’s library, even though it is in French. Unlike the 1997 version, there is no classification of the solutions provided. Lists of “”***** masterpieces” and “”****not to be missed” are provided (see Articles).

Mike Grost
Mike Grost is an expert on all things mysterious, present and past. His website contains an excellent Guide to Classic Mystery and Detection featuring many impossible crime stories


The following highly recommended blogs are not exclusively devoted to locked room mysteries, but their authors are knowledgeable and articulate enthusiasts of the sub-genre:
At the Scene of the Crime
Moonlight Detective
Puzzle Doctor
At the Villa Rose
Classic Mysteries
Ho-Ling Wong
Death Can Read                                                                                                                   The Invisible Element                                                                                                         Locked Room Mysteries

Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine

The impossible crime short stories listed below have appeared or will appear in EQMM
The Call of the Lorelei by Paul Halter July 2004 (translated by Peter Shulman)
The Tunnel of Death by Paul Halter March/April 2005
The Night of the Wolf by Paul Halter May 2006
The Robber’s Grave by Paul Halter June 2007
Nausicaa’s Ball by Paul Halter September/October 2008
The Gong of Doom by Paul Halter June 2010
The Mystery of the Green Room by Pierre Very August 2011
The Man With the Face of Clay by Paul Halter July 2012
House Call by Alexandre Dumas (yes, that Alexandre Dumas!) April 2013
The Locked House of Pythagoras by Shimada Soji August 2013
Jacob’s Ladder by Paul Halter February 2014
The Ghost of the Badminton Court by Szu-Yen Lin August 2014
The Lure of the Green Door by Norizuki Rentarou November 2014
The Wolf of Fenrir by Paul Halter  March/April 2015
The Executive Who Lost His Mind by Shimada Soji  August 2015                                 The Spider by Kago Saburo  December 2015                                                                     The Sarecrow’s Revenge by Paul Halter  May 2016                                               Miracle on Christmas Eve by Szu-Yen Lin May 2016                                                       The Cold Night’s Clearing by Oosaka Keikichi May 2016                                     Windfall by Ulf Durling November 2016                                                                       The Yellow Book by Paul Halter July/August 2017                                                         The Running Dead by Shimada Soji September/October 2017


List of Anthologies in English and French
The Locked Room Reader edited by Hans Santesson
Locked Room Puzzles edited by M. Greenberg
All But Impossible! edited by Ed Hoch
Death Locked In edited by Doug Greene and Bob Adey
Murder Impossible by Jack Adrian and Bob Adey
Whodunit? Houdini? edited by Otto Penzler
The Mammoth Book of Locked Room Mysteries edited by Mike Ashley
Tantalizing Locked Room Mysteries edited by Isaac Asimov
101 Years of Entertainment edited by Ellery Queen
Sleight of Crime edited by Clute, C. and Lewin, N.
The Mammoth Book of Perfect Crimes and Impossible Mysteries edited by Mike Ashley                                                                                                                               The Black Lizard Big Book of Locked-Room Mysteries edited by Otto Penzler Miraculous Mysteries edited by Martin Edwards

Ironically, if you’re prepared to try out your high school French armed with, say, the Oxford-Hachette English-French Dictionary on CD, a vastly greater choice is available to you. For, while–at a guess–over 90% of impossible crime short stories were originally written in English, the most prolific anthology editors have been the team of Roland Lacourbe and Daniele Grivet (Roland is Bob Adey’s counterpart in France and Daniele is the excellent translator) who have produced the following French- language anthologies:
Les Meilleurs Histoires de Chambres Closes
Les Detectives de l’Impossible
Les Magiciens du Crime
25 Histoires de Chambres Closes
20 Defis a l’Impossible
Mysteres a Huis Clos
Petits Crimes Impossibles
Vingt Pas dans l’Insolite
(All the above are available on PriceMinister)


Collections differ from anthologies in that all stories are by the same author
List of Collections in English and French
The Mysteries of the Reverend Dean by Hal White. Hal’s website gives an excellent overview of many anthologies and collections

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