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Locked Room Mysteries in Puzzles, Logic & Brain Teasers

A locked room mystery describes a seemingly impossible crime, a puzzle to be solved by the reader before the modus operandi is revealed as the climax of the detective story. Apply your wits, logic, and deductive thinking to crack the secrets of these literary puzzles.

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Arthur Conan Doyle
The Lost Special by Arthur Conan Doyle

The word 'special' in the title refers to a special train - a privately hired train. This is a train a railway company inserts into its regular schedule when somebody pays for the expenses of the locomotive, wagons, and staff to operate the train. It is essentially the equivalent of chartering an airplane at a time when there were no airplanes.

This impossible crime story concerns the baffling disappearance of a special from the London and West Coast Railway Company on its journey from Liverpool to London on 3rd June 1890. Besides the train crew of driver, fireman, and train guard the only...

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Max Rittenberg
The Invisible Bullet by Max Rittenberg

... and four other Magnum, the science consultant, detective stories.

Each story has a scientific bend or aspect to it. Magnum is not the typical detective who takes on any interesting case. He only engages when there seems to be a scientific aspect to the case. He doesn't involve himself with the law or right or wrong. His primary interest is to figure out the modus operandi as a scientific consultant. Superbly eccentric, Magnum lives up the Thames at Plumstead Marshes and travels to his laboratories via a high-powered motor launch named "Fifi". He has a brilliant but intensely shy assistant,...

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J. C. Cannell
100 Mysteries for Arm-Chair Detectives by J. C. Cannell

Based on actual crimes and mysteries investigated at Scotland Yard.

This is a fun read if you like short problems of deduction and observation. While most of them are not locked room problems, there are two of them in this collection, #34 and #88. One of them states that on an express train, a girl was found dead in a third-class compartment. Her head was badly injured. A violent blow had caused her death. The train had not stopped during the journey and the girl had occupied the compartment alone all the way.

Magicians will be able to solve some of the mysteries more easily because they...

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Walter S. Masterman
The Wrong Letter by Walter S. Masterman

The crime: The Home Secretary Sir James Watson was found shot in the head inside his study which was locked from the inside. There was no apparent way in or out for the murderer to have been able to get into the room to commit the crime, nor a way to escape unnoticed. Further, the housekeeper Mrs. Simmons did not hear any shot which she certainly would have. What is going on here? How was the crime committed and by who?

It will be the task of Superintendent Sinclair from Scotland Yard and his amateur sleuth friend Sylvester Collins, a barrister, to unravel the mystery.

The inside cover...

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Alan Thomas
The Death of Laurence Vining by Alan Thomas

An obscure masterpiece in the world of locked room mysteries with a meticulously planned-out crime that will delight the discerning detective story fan.

The original inside flap advert reads:

This brilliant first novel contains an original twist of plot that will be a tremendous relief to readers tired of the modern run of detective stories. They had found Laurence Vining, the famous criminologist, dead in the lift at the Hyde Park Tube station, a Malay kris buried in his back. The attendant swore no one had been in the lift with Vining. The skillful elaboration of incident and the...

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Arthur Conan Doyle
The Sign of the Four by Arthur Conan Doyle

Plot: While Holmes escapes boredom to a cocaine-induced haze sitting in his apartment on Baker Street, a beautiful but distressed young woman, Mary Morstan, asks for the help of Holmes and Watson. Her father vanished ten years ago. Starting six years ago she received every year from an anonymous benefactor a large precious pearl, totaling six pearls today. Now she received an invitation to meet the anonymous sender of pearls. It is an intriguing case that Holmes and Watson happily accept...

The most exciting scene of the novel is what could be called a 19th-century version of a high-speed...

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Arthur Conan Doyle
Adventure of the Speckled Band by Arthur Conan Doyle

Just before Helen Stoner's twin sister Julia was about to get married she was murdered during the night in her own chambers which she habitually locked from inside before going to bed. Now Helen was recently engaged and she, too, fears that she may be about to be killed. Ms. Stoner is living with her stepfather Dr. Roylotts of Stoke Moran in the old half-abandoned ancestral country house. Watson and Holmes investigate ...

Arthur Conan Doyle considered this his best story. It is a classic locked room mystery with a clever method. It has been adapted for television, film, theatre, radio,...

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Gaston Leroux
The Perfume of the Lady in Black by Gaston Leroux

This is the continuation of The Mystery of the Yellow Room with many of the main characters reappearing. The setting is even more fascinating in an old castle called The Fort of Hercules. Again we get a detailed map of the castle where the strange happenings occur to help us visualize the setting and situation. The novel explains and resolves some of the connections between the various characters leading to a stunning revelation.

  • CHAPTER I: Which Begins Where Most Romances End
  • CHAPTER II: In Which There Is Question Of The Changing Humors Of Joseph Rouletabille
  • CHAPTER III: The Perfume
  • CHAPTER IV: En Route; the Little...
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Gaston Leroux
The Mystery of the Yellow Room by Gaston Leroux

From the author of the famous The Phantom of the Opera comes this detective story. While this is not the first locked room mystery, it is the first such novel that features a detailed floorplan illustrating the crime scene. This provides an additional layer of information for the reader to follow along and try to solve the mystery.

The protagonist is the amateur sleuth and reporter Joseph Rouletabille who is sent to investigate a criminal case at the Ch√Ęteau du Glandier and takes along his friend the lawyer Sainclair, who narrates. (This is the successful detective fiction template created...

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Jacques Futrelle
The Problem of Cell 13 by Jacques Futrelle

The premise of this locked-room story is wonderful. The protagonist is Augustus S. F. X. Van Dusen who is in a scientific debate with Dr. Charles Ransom and Alfred Fielding. Augustus, also known as "The Thinking Machine", claims that nothing is impossible when logic and clear thinking are applied. To prove his point, they conduct an experiment where Van Dusen is locked up in a prison for one week with the challenge to escape, which of course he does. But the real fun is in how he does it. It is a tour de force of logic and deductive thinking. Highly recommended to all locked room crime lovers. ...

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Arthur Conan Doyle
The Adventure of the Empty House by Arthur Conan Doyle

Arthur Conan Doyle was the most famous and successful author in the detective story genre. One of the locked-room mysteries he wrote was The Adventure of the Empty House. The story plays in 1894, three years after Holmes's apparent death. Ronald Adair, son of the Earl of Maynooth, a colonial governor in Australia, was killed with a soft-nosed revolver bullet to his head while sitting in his room, working on accounts of some kind. The motive was not robbery since nothing was stolen. Adair's door was locked from the inside and the only window in the room presented a 20-foot drop with no sign...

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Israel Zangwill
The Big Bow Mystery by Israel Zangwill

The Big Bow Mystery was one of the first locked-room mystery stories and the first full-length locked-room mystery. It is still one of the best with an ingenious solution. It has been used as the basis for three movies (The Perfect Crime (1928), The Crime Doctor (1934), The Verdict (1946)).

Set in London's East End, in Bow, a murder occurred inside a locked room, with no clear indication as to the weapon used, the perpetrator of the crime, or a possible escape route. Mrs. Drabdump, a widow who rents out rooms, panics when one of her lodgers does not respond to her attempts to wake him....

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Edgar Allan Poe
Murders in the Rue Morge by Edgar Allan Poe

With Murders in the Rue Morge, Edgar Allan Poe is the inventor of the model for the modern detective story consisting of a brilliant detective, his personal friend who serves as the narrator, and the revelation of whodunit that is revealed before the explanation of how the crime was committed. More specifically, Poe is also the father of the locked room mystery, detective stories where the impossibility of the crime takes center stage. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle acknowledged that he modeled his most famous Sherlock Holmes stories after Poe's detective story model by having Watson explicitly state in the first Holmes...

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Displaying 1 to 13 (of 13 products)