A Private Note on Locked-Room Mystery Novels (II)


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Early this year I posted: A Private Note on Locked-Room Mystery Novels. My aim was to complete reading the fifteen novels listed. So far I’ve read:

  1. The Hollow Man (aka The Three Coffins), 1935 (Dr. Gideon Fell #6) by John Dickson Carr
  2. Rim of the Pit, 1944 (Rogan Kincaid #2) by Hake Talbot
  3. The Mystery of the Yellow Room, 1907 (Joseph Rouletabille #1) by Gaston Leroux
  4. The Crooked Hinge, 1937 (Dr. Gideon Fell #8) by John Dickson Carr
  5. The Judas Window, 1938 (Sir Henry Merrivale #8) by Carter Dickson
  6. The Perfect Crime: The Big Bow Mystery, 1892 by Israel Zangwill
  7. Death from a Top Hat, 1938 (The Great Merlini #1) by Clayton Rawson
  8. The Chinese Orange Mystery, 1934 (Ellery Queen Detective #8) by Ellery Queen
  9. Nine Times Nine, 1940 (Sister Ursula #1) by Anthony Boucher
  10. The Peacock Feather Murders (aka The Ten Teacups), 1937 (Sir Henry Merrivale #6) by Carter Dickson
  11. The King is Dead, 1952 (Ellery Queen Detective #23) by Ellery Queen
  12. Through a Glass, Darkly, 1950 (Dr. Basil Willing #8) by Helen McCloy
  13. He Wouldn’t Kill Patience, 1944 (Sir Henry Merrivale #15) by Carter Dickson
  14. (tie) Too Many Magicians, 1966 (Lord Darcy #2) by Randall Garrett; and Invisible Green, 1977 (Thackeray Phin #2) by John Sladek

And I look forward to reading, before the year’s end, the rest of books on the list. Stay tuned.

(Source: A Locked Room Library by John Pugmaire)

5 thoughts on “A Private Note on Locked-Room Mystery Novels (II)”

  1. Jose – This is an impressive list of classic GAD.

    Of the ones you have read, which is your favourite and why?

    1. Scott, thanks for your comment. My favourite so far is The Judas Window, … , has it all. It’s a fast-paced, fair-play detective novel with trial scenes running throughout most of the book, and two thundering climaxes in court at the end. It’s also a locked-room mystery, with one of the best practical solutions to murder in a locked room ever devised. (quote from a reviewer)

      1. Jose – great choice. The Judas Window was the first GAD novel I read by an author other than Agatha Christie. The set-up and locked room are irresistible, Merrivale is in top form with none of attempts at slapstick humor in his later appearances, the court room scenes are captivating, and the mid-book reveal is amazing.

        Regarding the solution, I must not be very intelligent as I had to read the ending three times to understand how it was done. I still think that the skill and luck of the culprit for this to have worked stretch any credibility. Nevertheless, it’s a nice example of what makes Carr great and a fine first place to start to read his prolific output.

  2. I still think that the skill and luck of the culprit for this to have worked stretch any credibility.

    You don’t need any skills or luck with that murder weapon. All the murderer needed is (ROT13) n fgrnql unaq be fbzrguvat gb xrrc gur pebffobj fgrnql naq n pyrne ivrj bs gur ivpgvz. It’s more doable than you think. I liked the idea that every room has a Judas Window only a murderer can peek through. Leave it to Carr to make your own living room look terrifying!

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