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Books & Authors

Locked Room Mysteries

In the world of mystery fiction, the term "locked room mystery" refers to a seemingly impossible crime—usually a murder—committed in a room locked from within. For reader and detective both, solving the mystery of how the criminal committed the crime is just as important as finding the identity of the criminal. Can you solve the locked room mysteries in the books listed below?

 The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins

The Moonstone is a beautiful yellow diamond that was stolen from the statue of a Moon god in India. When Franklin Blake brings it to Rachel Verinder's house in Yorkshire for her birthday, it brings bad luck with it. How many people will the Moonstone hurt? How many must die before the diamond's revenge is complete? The Moonstone is one of the earliest detective novels and one of the most famous suspense novels of all time.

 Great Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe

The melancholy, brilliance, passionate lyricism and torment of Edgar Allen Poe are all well represented in this collection. Here are his masterpieces of mystery, terror, humor and adventure, including stories such as "The Tell-Tale Heart"  "The Cask of Amontillado", "The Black Cat", "The Masque of the Red Death" and "The Murders in the Rue Morgue"— considered not only the first detective story but the first locked room mystery.

 And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

Ten houseguests, trapped on an isolated island, are the prey of a diabolical killer. A nursery rhyme is framed and hung in every room of the mansion: Ten little Indian boys went out to dine; One choked his little self and then there were nine... When they realize that murders are occurring as described in the rhyme, terror mounts. Who has choreographed this dastardly scheme? And who will be left to tell the tale?

 Cover Her Face by P.D. James

Sally Jupp was a sly and sensuous young woman who used her body and her brains to make her way up the social ladder. Now she lies across her bed with dark bruises from a strangler's fingers forever marring her lily-white throat. Someone has decided that the wages of sin should be death...and it is up to Chief Inspector Adam Dalgliesh to find who that someone is.

 The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson

The disappearance of Harriet Vanger, scion of one of the wealthiest families in Sweden, gnaws at her octogenarian uncle. He hires crusading journalist Mikael Blomkvist, recently at the wrong end of a libel case, to get to the bottom of Harriet's disappearance. Lisbeth Salander, a genius hacker with a terrifying capacity for ruthlessness, assists Blomkvist with the investigation. They discover a vein of nearly unfathomable iniquity running through the Vanger family, an astonishing corruption at the highest echelon of Swedish industrialism—and a surprising connection between themselves.

 The Caves of Steel by Isaac Asimov

Like most people left behind on an over-populated Earth, New York City police detective Elijah Baley had little love for either the arrogant Spacers or their robotic companions. But when a prominent Spacer is murdered under mysterious circumstances, Baley is ordered to the Outer Worlds to help track down the killer. The relationship between Baley and his Spacer superiors, who distrusted all Earthmen, was strained from the start. Then he learned that they had assigned him a partner: R. Daneel Olivaw. The "R" stood for robot—and his positronic partner was made in the image and likeness of the murder victim!

 Fantasy In Death by J.D. Robb

Bart Minnock, founder of the computer gaming giant U-Play, is found in his locked private playroom, in a pool of blood, his head separated from his body. Despite his violent end, Eve can't find anyone—girlfriend and business partners included—who seemed to have a problem with the enthusiastic, high-spirited millionaire. Of course gaming, like any business, has its fierce rivalries and dirty tricks—as Eve's husband, Roarke, one of U-Play's competitors, knows well. Eve and her team are about to enter the next level of police work, in a world where fantasy is the ultimate seduction—and the price of defeat is death....

 Firestorm by Nevada Barr

A raging forest fire in California's Lassen Volcanic National Park traps exhausted firefighters, including Ranger Anna Pigeon, in its midst. Afterward, Anna finds two from her group have been killed. One a victim of the flames. The other, stabbed through the heart. Now, as a rampaging winter storm descends, cutting the survivors off from civilization, Anna must uncover the murderer in their midst.

 Sherlock : The Essential Arthur Conan Doyle Adventures

Each of these nineteen tales is a potent mix of murder, suspense, cryptic clues, red herrings, and revenge—a ground-breaking combination of forensic science and bold storytelling. Sherlock Holmes established new rules for what a fictional hero could be, and provided a template for detective stories we still follow today. The stories "Sign of Four" and "Adventure of the Speckled Band" are locked room mysteries.

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