Friday, September 16, 2011

Impossible Murders: Cracking the Locked Room Mysteries

AbeBooks: Impossible Murders: Cracking the Locked Room Mysteries: The 'locked room' mystery is one of the most intriguing sub-genres of crime writing. These books depict a crime committed in what appears to be an entirely impossible situation such as a locked room where the killer has seemingly vanished into thin air.

The concept of a behind-closed-doors mystery has been a plot device since the heyday of Ancient Greece but it was not established as a sub-genre of crime fiction until the 19th century. One of the earliest examples is Edgar Allan Poe’s The Murders in the Rue Morgue where a woman and her daughter are murdered by someone speaking an unintelligible foreign language within an inaccessible room, which has been locked from the inside and is located on the fourth floor of a building. Several other authors (Joseph Conrad, Sheridan Le Fanu and Wilkie Collins) also made early attempts at this style of mystery.

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