The Updated Mammoth List of My Favorite Tales of Locked Room Murders & Impossible Crimes


"Locked rooms... I'll tell you what it is, Humbleby: you've been reading too much fiction; you've got locked rooms on the brain."

- Gervase Fen (Edmund Crispin's "The Name on the Window," 1953)

Years ago, I compiled two lists, "My Favorite Locked Room Mysteries I: The Novels" and "My Favorite Locked Room Mysteries II: Short Stories," which desperately needed updating and that fact didn't go unnoticed as some of you kept banging on about it – to quote one recent comment, "another year and you haven't added anything." Shaming apparently works as it began to hang around me like a noose and decided to completely redo both lists, but this list is different from the previous two.

Firstly, I merged both lists into one and forgone the brief plot descriptions, because the list is bloated enough as it is. Secondly, I split the list into different categories divided by periods and specialized sub-genres (historical, juvenile and non-English) with the novels and short stories listed under "Curiosities & Oddities" not representing the best or personal favorites of mine, but still have something of interest to offer to the dedicated locked room enthusiast. Thirdly, this list was compiled based on my old, often shoddily written reviews and Watsonian memory dictated by my personal taste that has all the maturity of a 12-year-old John Dickson Carr. Lastly, the prolific impossible crime and short story writers, who have a lot of missing stories on the list, really need a separate list of their own. Same goes for all the brilliant and wonderful locked room trickery that can be found in the Japanese anime-and manga detective series, but don't feel qualified to compile such a list as my experience with them has been very narrow in scope. Needless to say, the Detective Conan (a.k.a. Case Closed) episodes "The Cursed Mask Laughs Coldly" and "The Case of the Seance's Double Locked" can be counted among the best the impossible crime genre has to offer.

So the list is undoubtedly incomplete and likely overlooked a few stories, but this mammoth-sized update should keep you bloodhounds off my back until at least 2027. Enjoy!



L'auguille qui tue (The Killing Needle, 1871) by Henry Cauvin

The Big Bow Mystery (1892) by Israel Zangwill



"The Suicide of Kiaros" (1887) by L. Frank Baum 

"The Story of the Lost Special" (1898) by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

"The Mystery of the Strong Room" (1899) by L.T. Meade & R. Eustace

"The Mystery of the Circular Chamber" (1898) by L.T. Meade & R. Eustace

"The Warder of the Door" (1898) by L.T. Meade & R. Eustace

"The Problem of Cell 13" (1905) by Jacques Futrelle

"The Flaming Phantom" (1905) by Jacques Futrelle

"The Phantom Motor" (1908) by Jacques Futrelle

"The Round Room Horror" (1911) by A. Demain Grange

"The Secret Garden" (1910) by G.K. Chesterton

"The Fairy Tale of Father Brown" (1914) by G.K. Chesterton

"The Invisible Bullet" (1914) by Max Rittenberg

"Flashlights" (1918) by Laurence Clarke





The Three Taps (1927) by Ronald A. Knox 

The Death of Laurence Vining (1928) by Alan Thomas 

Invisible Death (1929) by Brian Flynn

The Medbury Fort Murder (1929) by George Lumnelius

Murder en Route (1930) by Brian Flynn

The Owner Lies Dead (1930) by Tyline Perry

About the Murder of the Night Club Lady (1931) by Anthony Abbot

About the Murder of the Circus Queen (1932) by Anthony Abbot

The Silver Scale Mystery (1931) by Anthony Wynne

Sudden Death (1932) by Freeman Wills Crofts

The Kennel Murder Case (1932) by S.S. van Dine

The Devil Drives (1932) by Virgil Markham

Murder Among the Angells (1932) by Roger Scarlett

The Murder of Sigurd Sharon (1933) by Harriette Ashbrook

The Plague Court Murders (1934) by Carter Dickson

The Stingaree Murders (1934) by W. Shepard Pleasants

Constable, Guard Thyself! (1934) by Henry Wade

The Unicorn Murders (1935) by Carter Dickson

The Case of the Chinese Gong (1935) by Christopher Bush

The Three Coffins (1935) by John Dickson Carr

Twenty-Five Sanitary Inspectors (1935) by Roger East

Murder on the Way! (1935) by Theodore Roscoe

Death of a Queen (1935) by Christopher St. John Sprigg

Case for Three Detectives (1936) by Leo Bruce

Death in the Tunnel (1936) by Miles Burton

The Dead Are Blind (1937) by Max Afford

The Whistling Hangman (1937) by Baynard Kendrick

The Man from Tibet (1938) by Clyde B. Clason

The Judas Window (1938) by Carter Dickson

Death from a Top Hat (1938) by Clayton Rawson

Invisible Weapons (1938) by John Rhode

The Listening House (1938) by Mabel Seeley

And Then There Were None (1939) by Agatha Christie

The Reader is Warned (1939) by Carter Dickson

Nine-and Death Makes Ten (1940) by Carter Dickson

The Case of the Solid Key (1941) by Anthony Boucher

The Frightened Stiff (1942) by Kelley Roos

The Hangman's Handyman (1942) by Hake Talbot

She Died a Lady (1943) by Carter Dickson

Blind Man's Bluff (1943) by Baynard Kendrick

Till Death Do Us Part (1944) by John Dickson Carr

Murder and the Married Virgin (1944) by Brett Halliday

Rim of the Pit (1944) by Hake Talbot

The Whistling Legs (1945) by Roman McDougald

He Who Whispers (1946) by John Dickson Carr

Thy Arm Alone (1947) by John Russell Fearn

The Three Tiers of Fantasy (1948) by Norman Berrow

Death of Jezebel (1948) by Christianna Brand

What a Body! (1949) by Alan Green

The Footprints of Satan (1950) by Norman Berrow

Death in Silhouette (1950) by John Russell Fearn

Flashpoint (1950) by John Russell Fearn

The Longstreet Legacy (1951) by Douglas Ashe

The Case of the Little Green Men (1951) by Mack Reynolds

The Sleeping Bacchus (1951) by Hilary St. George Saunders

The Woman in the Wardrobe (1951) by Peter Shaffer

Polly Put the Kettle On (1952) by Joan Fleming

The Danger Within (1952) by Anthony Gilbert

Whistle Up the Devil (1954) by Derek Smith

Six Were Present (1956) by E.R. Punshon

Killer's Wedge (1959) by Ed McBain



"The Oracle of the Dog" (1923) by G.K. Chesterton

"The Dagger with Wings" (1924) by G.K. Chesterton

"The Miracle of Moon Crescent" (1924) by G.K. Chesterton

"The Arrow of Heaven" (1925) by G.K. Chesterton

"Big Time" (1927) by Frederick I. Anderson

"The Strange Case of Steinkelwintz" (1929) by MacKinlay Kantor

"The Light at Three O'Clock" (1930) by MacKinlay Kantor

"Solved by Inspection" (1931) by Ronald A. Knox

"About the Disappearance of Agatha King" (1932) by Anthony Abbot

"Blind Man's Hood" (1934) by Carter Dickson

"The Lamp of God" (1935) by Ellery Queen

"The Border-Line Case" (1937) by Margery Allingham

"The Dream" (1937) by Agatha Christie

"Persons or Things Unknown" (1938) by Carter Dickson

"Leaving No Evidence" (1938) by Dudley Hoys

"The Haunted Policeman" (1938) by Dorothy L. Sayers

"The Room With Something Wrong" (1938) by Cornell Woolrich

"The Silver Curtain" (1939) by Carter Dickson

"The Other Side" (c. 1940s/1990) by Hake Talbot

"The Day Nobody Died" (1941) by D.L. Champion

"The Spherical Ghoul" (1943) by Fredric Brown

"The Dead Sleep Lightly" (1943) by John Dickson Carr

"The Problem of the Emperor's Mushrooms" (1945) by James Yaffe

"Murder Under Glass" (1947) by Joseph Commings

"The House in Goblin Wood" (1947) by Carter Dickson

"The Vanishing Trick" (1948) by Max Afford

"The Dauphin's Doll" (1948) by Ellery Queen

"Off the Face of the Earth" (1947) by Clayton Rawson

"From Another World" (1948) by Clayton Rawson

"Murder on a Bet" (1950) by H.C. Kincaid

"The Three Widows" (1950) by Ellery Queen

"Snowball in July" (1952) by Ellery Queen

"The Adventure of the Sealed Room" (1953) by John Dickson Carr & Adrian Conan Doyle

"Bones for Davy Jones" (1953) by Joseph Commings

"The Name on the Window" (1953) by Edmund Crispin

"The Thumbless Man" (1955) by Charles B. Child

"A Country to Sell" (1955) by Edmund Crispin

"The Glass Bridge" (1957) by Robert Arthur

"Dead Drunk" (1959) by Arthur Porges



Diplomatic Death (1961) by Charles Forsyte

Too Many Ghosts (1961) by Paul Gallico

Diving Death (1962) by Charles Forsyte

Murder Most Ingenious (1962) by Kip Chase

The Hand of Mary Constable (1964) by Paul Gallico

The Fox Valley Murders (1966) by John Holbrook Vance

Mr. Splitfoot (1968) by Helen McCloy

Death After Evensong (1969) by Douglas Clark

Black Aura (1974) by John Sladek

Inherit the Stars (1977) by James P. Hogan

Invisible Green (1977) by John Sladek

Leonardo's Law (1978) by Warren B. Murphy

More Dead Than Alive (1980) by Roger Ormerod

Hoodwink (1981) by Bill Pronzini

Scattershot (1982) by Bill Pronzini

Murdercon (1982) by Richard Purtill

The Tree of Death (1983) by Marcia Muller

The Gold Deadline (1984) by Herbert Resnicow

Bones (1985) by Bill Pronzini

The Dead Room (1987) by Herbert Resnicow

Killed on the Rocks (1990) by William L. DeAndrea

Original Sin (1991) by Mary Monica Pulver

The Key to the Case (1992) by Roger Ormerod

A Shot at Nothing (1993) by Roger Ormerod

The Burglar Who Traded Ted Williams (1994) by Lawrence Block

Bloodhounds (1996) by Peter Lovesey

Come to Paddington Fair (1997) by Derek Smith

Pattern of Murder (2006) by John Russell Fearn

Schemers (2009) by Bill Pronzini


"The Room at the End of the Hall" (1961) by Don Knowlton

"No Killer Has Wings" (1961) by Arthur Porges

"The X Street Murders" (1962) by Joseph Commings

"The Unguarded Path" (1963) by Arthur Porges

"Coffee Break" (1964) by Arthur Porges

"The Impossible Theft" (1964) by John F. Suter

"The Locked Room to End Locked Rooms" (1965) by Stephen Barr

"The Man Who Read John Dickson Carr" (1965) by William Brittain

"The Long Way Down" (1965) by Edward D. Hoch

"The Japanese Card Mystery" (1965) by James Holding

"The Impossible Murder of Dr. Satanus" (1965) by William Krohn

"The Scientist and the Wife Killer" (1966) by Arthur Porges

"Nobody Likes to be Played for a Sucker" (1969) by Michael Collins

"Odds Bodkins and the Locked Room Caper" (1969) by Richard Curtis

"The Theft from the Empty Room" (1972) by Edward D. Hoch

"By an Unknown Hand" (1972) by John Sladek

"The Locked Room" (1972) by John Sladek

"The Case of the Modern Medusa" (1973) by Edward D. Hoch

"The Half-Invisible Man" (1974) by Bill Pronzini & Jeffrey Wallmann

"Captain Leopold and the Impossible Murder" (1976) by Edward D. Hoch

"The Arrowmont Prison Riddle" (1976) by Bill Pronzini

"Scenes from the Country of the Blind" (1977) by John Sladek

"The Flung-Back Lid" (1979) by Peter Godfrey

"Where Have You Gone, Sam Spade?" (1980) by Bill Pronzini

"Booktaker" (1982) by Bill Pronzini

"The Theft of the White Queen's Menu" (1983) by Edward D. Hoch

"The Grand Guignol Caper" (1984) by Joseph Commings

"The Phantom Stallion (1985) by Edward D. Hoch

"Eternally Yours" (1985) by H. Edward Hunsburger

"An Almost Perfect Crime" (1987) by William F. Smith

"The Christmas Bear" (1990) by Herbert Resnicow

"The Problem of the Phantom Parlor" (1993) by Edward D. Hoch

"The Problem of the Crowded Cemetery” (1995) by Edward D. Hoch

"An Abundance of Airbags" (1995) by Edward D. Hoch

"The Burglar Who Smelled Smoke (1997) by Lawrence Block & Lynn Block

"The Problem of the Potting Shed (2000) by Edward D. Hoch

" Circus in the Sky" (2000) by Edward D. Hoch

"The Climbing Man" (2005) by Simon Clark

"With a Twist" (2005) by J.A. Konrath

"Murder at an Island Mansion" (2008) by Hal White

"Murder on a Caribbean Cruise" (2008) by Hal White

"The Haunted Room" (2014) by Gigi Pandian

"Not With a Bang" (2016) by Matt Ingwalson

"Flatline" (2018) by Robert Innes




Le mystère de la chambre jaune (The Mystery of the Yellow Room, 1907) by Gaston Leroux

La maison interdite (The Forbidden House, 1932) by M. Herbert & E. Wyl

La bête hurlante (The Howling Beast, 1934) by Noel Vindry

Les invités de minuit (The Seventh Guest, 1935) by Gaston Boca

Ill mistero dell'idrovolante (The Flying Boat Mystery, 1935) by Franco Vailati

Honjin satsujin jiken (The Honjin Murders, 1946) by Seishi Yokomizo

Koude vrouw in Kralingen (Cold Woman in Kralingen, 1970) by Cor Doctor

Ättestupan (Deadly Reunion, 1975) by Jan Ekström

Senseijutsu satsujinjiken (The Tokyo Zodiac Murders, 1981) by Soji Shimada

Naname yashiki no hanzai (Murder in the Crooked House, 1982) by Soji Shimada

Shinsoban 8 no satsujin (The 8 Mansion Murders, 1989) by Takemaru Abiko

Koto pazuru (The Moai Island Puzzle, 1989) by Alice Arisugawa

Ikeru shikabane no shi (Death of the Living Death, 1989) by Yamaguchi Masaya

Operazakan – aratanaru satsujin (The New Kindaichi Files, 1994) by Seimaru Amagi

Le cercle invisible (The Invisible Circle, 1996) by Paul Halter

Ikazuchi matsuri satsujin jinken (Deadly Thunder, 1998) by Seimaru Amagi

L'homme qui aimait les nuages (The Man Who Loved Clouds, 1999) by Paul Halter

La toile de Pénélope (Penelope's Web, 2001) by Paul Halter

Misshitsu no kagi kashimasu (Lending the Key to the Locked Room, 2002) by Tokuya Higashigawa

Zaregoto series: kubikiri saikuru (Zaregoto: The Kubikiri Cycle, 2002) by NisiOisiN

La ruelle fantôme (The Phantom Passage, 2005) by Paul Halter

Death in the House of Rain (2006) by Szu-Yen Lin

Seijo no kyusai (Salvation of a Saint, 2008) by Keigo Higashino

Een afgesloten huis (A Sealed House, 2013) by M.P.O. Books

Shijinso no satsujin (Death Among the Undead, 2017) by Masahiro Imamura

De man die zijn geweten ontlastte (The Man Who Relieved His Conscience, 2019) by Anne van Doorn

La montre en or (The Gold Watch, 2019) by Paul Halter

Rechercheur De Klerck en de ongrijpbare dood (Inspector De Klerck and the Elusive Death, 2020) by P. Dieudonné


"Yaneura no sanposha" ("The Stalker in the Attic," 1925) by Edogawa Rampo

"The Monster of the Lighthouse" (1935) by Keikichi Osaka

"The Cold Night's Clearing" (1936) by Keikichi Osaka

"The Demon in the Mine" (1937) by Keikichi Osaka

"Akai misshitsu" ("The Red Locked Room," 1954) by Tetsuya Ayukawa

"Shiroi misshitsu" ("The White Locked Room," 1958) by Tetsuya Ayukawa

"Doukeshi no ori" ("The Clown in the Tunnel," 1958) by Tetsuya Ayukawa

"De zaak van de bronzen waterreservoirs" ("The Case of the Bronze Water Reservoirs," 1973) by Bertus Aafjes

"Hakkyō-suru jūyaku" ("The Executive Who Lost His Mind," 1984) by Soji Shimada

"Ningyou wa tent de suiri suru" ("A Smart Dummy in the Tent," 1990) Takemaru Abiko

Midori no tobira wa kiken” ("The Lure of the Green Door," 1991) by Rintaro Norizuki

"La marchande de fleurs" ("The Flower Girl," 2000) by Paul Halter

"La hache" ("The Cleaver," 2000) by Paul Halter

"La vengeance de i'épouvantail" ("The Scarecrow's Revenge," 2005) by Paul Halter

"The Japanese Armor Mystery" (2005) by Mă Tiān

"L'abominable homme de neige" ("The Abominable Snowman," 2006) by Paul Halter

"The Miracle on Christmas Eve" (2016?) by Szu-Yen Lin

"De dichter die zichzelf oplsoot" ("The Poet Who Locked Himself In," 2017) by Anne van Doorn

"La livre jaune" ("The Yellow Book," 2017) by Paul Halter

"Het huis dat ongeluk bracht" ("The House That Brought Bad Luck," 2018) by Anne van Doorn



The Julius Caesar Murder Case (1935) by Wallace Irwin

The Bride of New Gate (1950) by John Dickson Carr

Captain Cut-Throat (1955) by John Dickson Carr

Fire, Burn! (1957) by John Dickson Carr

The Red Pavilion (1961) by Robert van Gulik

Case of Spirits (1975) by Peter Lovesey

A Murder in Thebes (1998) by Anna Apostolou

Goodnight Irene (2018) by James Scott Byrnside

The Spies of Sobeck (2008) by Paul Doherty

The Mysterium (2010) by Paul Doherty

The Opening Night Murders (2019) by James Scott Byrnside

The Strange Case of the Barrington Hills Vampire (2020) by James Scott Byrnside



The Mystery of the Disappearing Cat (1944) by Enid Blyton

The Mystery of the Invisible Thief (1950) by Enid Blyton

The Clue of the Phantom Car (1953) by Bruce Campbell

The Mystery of the Whispering Mummy (1965) by Robert Arthur

The Mystery of the Shrinking House (1972) by William Arden

Death Knell (1990) by Nicholas Wilde

The Worm Tunnel (1999) by Michael Dahl


"I Was the Kid with the Drum" (1937) by Theodore Roscoe

"The Thief of Claygate Farm" (1947) by John Russell Fearn



Whispering Wires (1918) by Henry Leverage

Death in the Dark (1930) by Stacey Bishop

Something Wrong at Chillery (1931) by R. Francis Foster

Damning Trifles (1932) by Maurice C. Johnson

The Man with Bated Breath (1934) by Joseph B. Carr

I'll Grind Their Bones (1936) by Theodore Roscoe

Devil's Planet (1942) by Manly Wade Wellman

They Walk in Darkness (1947) by Gerald Verner

Account Settled (1949) by John Russell Fearn

Exit for a Dame (1951) by Richard Ellington

Vision Sinister (1954) by John Russell Fearn

She Died Without Light (1956) by Nieves Mathews

Koromu no satsujin (Murder in the Red Chamber, 2004) by Taku Ashibe

The Man Who Was Not (2005) by John Russell Fearn

The Statue of Three Lies (2011) by David Cargill

Come One, Come All (2011) by Fredric Neuman


"The Diamond Lens" (1858) by Fitz-James O'Brien

"The Grosvenor Square Mystery" (1909) by Anonymous

"The Hills of Homicide" (1948) by Louis L'Amour

"The Closed Door" (1953) by Kendell Foster Crossen

"The Lurker in the Locked Bedroom" (1971) by Ed Bryant

"The Case of His Headless Highness" (1973) by Ellery Queen

Still not enough? You want more locked room lists? I have a list with "My Five Favorite Impossible Crime Stories from Case Closed, vol. 1-69" and back in 2017 I compiled a now outdated list with all the known Dutch-language locked room novels and short stories. I also put together two lists of lost media, "A Selection of Lost Detective Stories" and "A Return to the Phantom Library," which sadly has a lot of locked room mysteries that went unpublished and were eventually lost to history.


  1. Great job! I really appreciate your effort, because this list will be my point of reference for the next years in searching intriguing locked rooms. Thank you so much!

    1. Glad I could help feed the addiction! And hope the list proves useful in helping you build your own locked room library. :)

    2. You've already helped me many times! I discovered lots of locked rooms unknown to me thanks to you. I'm a fanatic of this subgenre, so your blog is manna for me!

    3. Good news. I'm not even close to exhausting Adey and Skupin's Locked Room Murders and who knows what else I'll find or gets published, reprinted or translated. So more than enough locked room/impossible crime reviews coming in the foreseeable future.

  2. Finally!sorry for making you work so hard,but I have completed your list years ago and now it became a habit of completing things by lists,anyway,thank you very much for this update and sorry again.

    1. Hard work? Not all. Just a leisure, months long stroll through my old reviews and shoddy memory. Something I should have done a lot sooner, but, then again, that list would have been outdated by now and you would be asking when the next update is due.

      Whenever I decide the list needs to be thoroughly overhauled again, I'll look for some outside input to plug the gaps. There are now only two juvenile short stories and no historical shorts.

  3. Great list! I'm glad to see two of my favorite Detective Conan episodes of all time get a passing mention -- at least one of which I think will end up on whatever actual favorites list I end up making. Many of my favorite authors who were underrepresented on your earlier lists are now getting their time in the sun -- you wouldn't know it looking at my blog, but I consider both Christopher Bush and Roger Ormerod high-ranking favorites of mine.

    I look forward to your potential anime and manga list! A few (respectfully) fogeys have openly stated their disdain for "cartoons" in the GAD Facebook group. I know you hate the authors, but the Detective School Q "Kirisaki Island" arc is something I still think of fondly.

    1. I'm afraid my reading and viewing of anime-and manga (locked room) mysteries has been to narrow in scope, only a handful of series, to compile a list that does justice to what have been going on in that corner of the genre. Such a list really needs to be a group effort with fans neckdeep in anime and manga detectives.

      Yes, I'm painfully aware how utterly impossible it's to convince Western mystery readers that series like Detective Conan and Q.E.D. are veritable treasure chambers. There was a brief flare of interest in The Kindaichi Case Files in the late 2000s, but there's a possibility I helped snuff that out by constantly badmouthing Yozaburo Kanari. My bad!

      Good to see someone else appreciating Christopher Bush and Roger Ormerod! And which of the two Detective Conan episodes would make your best-of list, because both are excellent for vastly different reasons.

    2. For the record, I hate Yozaburo Kanari and love Seimaru Amagi.

    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    4. I think in a void MASK is the better locked-room mystery trick, but as a whole I think I'd pick SEANCE'S DOUBLE as my favorite. The way the two locked-rooms bolster each other was actually an inspiration for me in some writing I've got tucked away (you've heard me mention Annie Hallewelle at some point before, I think?). Absolutely brilliant work these two, and while you only granted them the titles of *minor* classics I think as locked-room mysteries purely and simply about the commission and detection of impossible murders they can stand toe-to-toe with anything I've read from Carr...

    5. Well, if you want to widen your scope in this area, you might get to your long-awaited review of the DC episode Glamping Kaijiken. Oh sure, it's not an impossible crime per se (or at all), but after compiling this list of all-time greats, you wouldn't want to neglect the "alternative" classics, would you? ;D

    6. I did say Mask and Seance can be counted among the best locked room mysteries the genre has to offer, but might have called them minor in reference to either the who/why or their status among Western fans. As you said, try to get this lot to watch a detective anime or read a mystery manga. Not even when they're stuffed with all their favorite treats. And it would be interesting to see what everyone else makes of those episodes for exactly the reasons you mentioned. And it would be interesting to see what our fellow bloggers make of those two episodes for exactly the reasons you mentioned. Mask has a solution that's as visually stunning as it's horrifying and perhaps something that would have even left Carr speechless, but Seance is a plot-technical masterpiece. It's hard to decide which one is better. That's why I asked.

      I didn't neglect the alternative classics, Kacey. They got a category all of their own ("Curiosities & Oddities"). How else was I going to smuggle Joseph B. Carr's The Man with Bated Breath and more (so much more) John Russell Fearn onto the list? See, Kacey? Plotting. Not scheming. ;)

    7. Well, of course not. You're no vulgarian ;)

      I must say though, that's not quite what I meant by alternative classics. (J.B.) Carr and Fearn's novels may be unconventional or pulpy, but they do work in some way as detective fiction. Whereas, (not to put too fine a point on it) Glamping Kaijiken is one of the stupidest attempts at detective fiction I've ever seen. Even for something written as comedy, it's just ludicrous. I've been looking forward to your take on it (which is sure to be hilarious), and I'm sure the other four or five of us who read DC are too :)

    8. Are you secretly a Yozabura Kanari fan who wants to see me bash something Conanian? Because from what I know of the episode, there's a pretty good chance I'm going to hate it. But a return to the anime is long overdue. And still have some recommendations from Ho-Ling to go through. So who knows...

  4. Wow! This is a great list, with stories wonderfully varied in time, subject, and language. I'm surprised by how many I've read, but thankfully that's still a tiny percentage, so I've got many, many great recommendations to follow up on!

    (Also, and this is completely unrelated, there's an Anne van Doorn story in next month's EQMM, "The Doctor Who Fell Into Sin." I'm really excited, as I missed "The Poet Who Locked Himself In" when it came out. I figured I'd mention this for the benefit of those of your readers who don't keep an eye on EQMM's contents. (Though I suppose it could be said to be tangentially relevant, since van Doorn showed up a couple of times on your list...))

    1. You're one of the non-Dutch readers of this blog I know has read and commented on my reviews of Anne van Doorn's novels and short stories. So you know how much I love that series, but wasn't thrilled to learn "The Doctor Who Fell into Sin" was picked to be translated next. I would have gone with "The House That Brought Bad Luck" or "The Man Who Wanted to Fly." Sorry to dampen your enthusiasm, but thought it was the weakest story from The Lover Who Disappeared in the Bog and Other Mysteries. On the other hand, it wouldn't be the first time people disagreed with me.

      One of the reasons why I divided the list into categories is to show the locked room and impossible crime in all its varicolored glory.

    2. Well, that's a shame... Still, even if there are better ones, at least these're starting to trickle through in translation. I was planning to order the old issue with "The Poet..." over summer break anyway.

      It never ceases to amaze and irritate me when critics talk about the impossible crime subgenre as if it were somehow narrow or restricted. There's such astonishing variety there, if only you take the few seconds needed to look for yourself.

    3. Well . . . "The Doctor Who Fell Into Sin" is not a concise translation of the Dutch story "De dokter die de weg kwijt was." It's rather an adaptation. I think you'll like the English version, TomCat.

      Besides, I translated "De man die zou vliegen," ("The Man Who Wanted to Fly") but it was rejected by EQMM. My copy-editor had high hopes for that story though--me too! Well, I'm sure I'll find a home for it one day.

    4. You fixed the ending? Great! Ignore my previous comment and get excited again. You now have a locked car mystery and a partially vanished house to look forward to.

      I'm really surprised EQMM rejected "The Man Who Wanted to Fly." That story is practically tailored for their readership.

    5. Well, now I'm even more interested than I was before. I always find it interesting when authors go back and revise their own stories, and that interest is surprisingly not dampened in the least by the fact that I can't compare it to the original. I await its arrival with bated breath!

      (And good luck finding a venue for "The Man Who Wanted to Fly." It's one of your stories I especially want to read, TomCat's review having piqued my interest. I'll certainly be there to read it when it does make its way through the language barrier. (Indeed, what I really hope is that some forward-thinking and industrious publisher realizes that it's high time for Robbie Corbijn to make a book-length appearance in the Anglophone world.))

    6. Well, I had your comments in mind when I made the English adaptation, but it's still a vexing question whether you like the new version or not!

      Yeah, I thought "The Man Who Tried To Fly" was cut out for EQMM. My copy-editor thinks it's the best of the three stories she read. So, I think the story will find a home eventually.

    7. Hopefully, you'll find a home for the story. I look forward to reading the improved version eventually. Just have a translation of "The House That Brought Bad Luck" ready, if John Pugmire ever decides to do a second LRI anthology.

  5. I love these lists; you always give me more than a few overlooked titles to check out, and it's great fun working through your recommendations. Expect updates on some of these in the coming years when I eventually find them...!

    1. I very much look forward to you throwing up your hands in despair to ask the heavens how they made it onto my list.

  6. Thank you TomCat. I prize lists like this one to help me curate the best of the best GAD fiction to read. I look forward to making time to go through this line by line to see which titles I have already versus those still to find and enjoy.

    Well done as I know this is significant effort for you to do this ... but the blogosphere appreciates the effort!

    1. Glad I could help. You can rest your conscience knowing that plunging down the locked room rabbit hole is more of a hobby than a punishment for me. :)

  7. Thank you for including four of my stories, TomCat:
    M.P.O. Books - Een Afgesloten Huis
    Anne van Doorn - "The Poet Who Locked Himself In"
    Anne van Doorn - "Het Huis Dat Ongeluk Bracht"
    Anne van Doorn - "De Man Die Zijn Geweten Ontlastte"

    Apparently, I'm one of a handful of contemporary writers who are included. I'm in good company!

    1. All more than deserving of being included and a source of pride to have a small, but respectable, representation of Dutch locked room mysteries. That there even is such a thing as a Dutch locked room mystery still confuses me sometimes.

  8. By the by, TomCat, sorry to double-comment but I wanted to let you know that I've been inspired by you to burden myself with the extreme undertaking of re-reading/re-watching, reviewing, and ranking every single episode and chapter of the Detective Conan anime/manga franchise. It will be of interest to three people tops (and one of them is me), but who knows? Maybe a definitive reading list will help western readers give the series a chance..?

    1. I'm sure there are at least six of us now. So we're practically the Junior Detective League.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. Haha, well, at least I can count on a few of you... Speaking of six, I just finished re-reading Volume 6. It's pretty all-around great for this era of Conan, and I think it's when the series started to transition into something greater than it has been. The Junior Detective League case is pretty whatever, but the ART COLLECTOR MURDER CASE and THE TENKAICHI FESTIVAL MURDER CASE blow the other cases in this period out of the water. ART COLLECTOR (V6 C2-5) turns on a few really clever visual clues and a pretty damn solid Agatha Christie-style dodge, and TENKAICHI (V6 C9-10, V7 C1) isn't at all a half-bad inverted mystery that'd suit Columbo or Ace Attorney. The only other early Conan that comes close at all is ART MUSEUM OWNER (V4 C1-3), which has a really clever and elegant trick for the dying message...

    4. Yes, I remember it was around volume 6 or 7 that there was a noticeable uptick in quality. That's another stumbling block to get people to read Detective Conan, because the series starts out slowly and some of the least impressive stories come from the first handful of volumes. The locked room case from volume 1 comes to mind.

      You also made me want to reread the series, but I'll likely wait until the English releases have reached volume 90 or 100. I don't want to abandon Q.E.D. for another year.

  9. I have started making my way through the lists.

    You have listed 61 GOLDEN AGE LOCKED ROOM & IMPOSSIBLE CRIME FICTION novels of which I have seven still to find for my collection (P.S. The Danger Within aka Murder in Captivity is by Michael not Anthony Gilbert).

    I have 14 of 29 of THE MODERNS (AFTER THE FIFTIES) to collect. The rest of the wonderful list will get attention when I have more time.

    Since you're down the locked room rabbit hole, please consider sharing your 3, 5 or 10 absolute favourites from this total list of novels and short stories. I would value seeing what you consider the best of the best. Thank you.

    1. Going by your score of the classics and moderns, you have a very respectable locked room library! And I'll fix that mistake tomorrow. Glad to see I managed to keep them at a bare minimum.

      Whittling down the list to just ten, or so, titles is going to take some soul searching. I structured this list in such a way as to avoid having to pick which kids stay on the lifeboat and which ones get pushed out.

  10. The sad thing is,most of manga/anime impossible crimes aren't even translated ,just a few have been and even those are rare to get mentioned,series like case closed and kindaichi are popular,that's why they are even little known ,I don't think anybody ever mentioned detective gakuen q,the seven locked room mystery or the umineko when they cry and there are few movies I don't remember the names right now but u think I have ten series and anime which have locked room mysteries in them but never get mentioned on any site even though they are translated,let alone the ocean of untranslated works.

    1. I co-reviewed "The Kamikakushi Village Murder Case" story-arc from Detective Academy Q with Jim on his blog and you can find a review on this blog of the excellent locked room story from the second volume of Fire Investigator Nanase. I mentioned Spiral: The Bonds of Reasoning a couple of times, but, generally speaking, you're right only a few series ever get mentioned. However, these series are so massive and large in scope it's almost like eating a whale. You can only do it one bite at a time. Just look at the wide variety of my Kindaichi reviews. Everything from manga and anime adaptations from different eras to light novels.

  11. I think I should start a blog of anime/manga and light novels mystery ,but then again I am not really a frequent reader and have busy shchedule like Issac,I kinda know why he couldn't able to post frequently,being a student and young you have tons of distractions.but surely with time we will be next the invisible event or beneath the stains of time.

  12. YES! This post is what I needed.

    Hope you're doing well.


  13. Also Tomcat,

    In light of the Kamikakushi Village murder mention in the comments which caught my eye, have you ever read Another? Don't recall it having an impossible crime but it's a wonderful supernatural whodunnit(or rather, whoisit) with that eerie tone ever so familiar in Japanese mysteries. Owh and of course its setting has to be a Japanese rural mountain village. It was written by Yukito Ayatsuji(Decagon House Murders, which you read I believe),
    and there was an anime adaption. I liked the anime so much and did not care about knowing the solution I went to read the book rather soon after. With which one you decide to go with I will leave up to you.


    1. I'm doing well and hopefully you're doing the same. I've not read or watched Another, but I've noticed its existence and jotted it down on my list of potential interesting items to investigate further in the future. But the backlogs are massive. So no idea when I'll get to it.

  14. Update: the British Library Crime Classics is going to publish a long overdue reprint of Christianna Brand's Death of Jezebel in August and the cover looks amazing!

    1. That's fantastic news. DoJ is required reading for any GAD enthusiast. Is it perfect ... no, but no golden age book (or any other) is perfect. But this one works well and shows the mastery of Christianna Brand.

      Everyone should buy two and give one to a friend to read :)

      Well done to the British Library Crime Classics.

    2. Well this is welcome news! I don't usually rush out to buy new releases of books I've already read, but that's what I'll be doing here! (Though if it's coming out in August, it won't be out in the U.S. for at least another four months or so. Hopefully it doesn't end up like The Woman in the Wardrobe and go out of print before making it over here...) And that cover is wonderful! Even for the BLCC, it's a stand out.

      Like Scott suggested, this (along with one of the Carr reprints, don't know which) will probably be the book I use to introduce friends and family to the genre. It really is one of the most perfect examples of mystery fiction that I can think of.

  15. Kacey - Deciding which Carr to recommend to family or friends as an introduction is an interesting problem. Of the recent ones available, I would say Till Death Do Us Part or She Died a Lady, but if a copy of the reprint of The Judas Window is available, I might recommend that too given its set-up is irresistible.

    Imagine if British Library Crime Classics next re-prints other Brand titles or Carr classics like He Who Whispers or The Problem of the Green Capsule.

  16. By the way, if you were wondering which twenty, or so, short stories I would pick to be anthologized, these would be my picks (trying to avoid the obvious, overly anthologized ones):

    "The Invisible Bullet" (1914) by Max Rittenberg
    "Flashlights" (1918) by Laurence Clarke
    "The Stalker in the Attic" (1925) by Edogawa Rampo
    "Big Time" (1927) by Frederick I. Anderson
    "Solved by Inspection" (1931) by Ronald Knox
    "I Was the Kid with the Drum" (1937) by Theodore Roscoe
    "The Day Nobody Died" (1941) by D.L. Champion
    "The Dead Sleep Lightly" (1943) by John Dickson Carr
    "The Vanishing Trick" (1948) by Max Afford
    "Murder on a Bet" (1950) by H.C. Kincaid
    "The Closed Door" (1953) by Kendell Foster Crossen
    "The Clown in the Tunnel" (1958) by Tetsuya Ayukawa
    "The Unguarded Path" (1963) by Arthur Porges
    "Odds Bodkins and the Locked Room Caper" (1969) by Richard Curtis
    "By an Unknown Hand" (1972) by John Sladek
    "The Case of the Modern Medusa" (1973) by Edward D. Hoch
    "A Smart Dummy in the Tent" (1990) by Takemaru Abiko
    "The Lure of the Green Door" (1991) Rintaro Norizuki
    "The Scarecrow's Revenge" (2005) by Paul Halter
    "The House That Brought Bad Luck" (2018) by Anne van Doorn