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    Mystery Publishers

    • Academy Chicago Publishers
      An imprint of the Chicago Review Press. Features a number of interesting authors, most long out of print, plus some other odds and ends, including some horror stories by Conan Doyle.
    • Crippen & Landru
      Crippen & Landru publish mystery short story collections. Of particular interest is what they call "Lost Classics," a series of anthologies of mostly uncollected stories by authors who might be enjoyed by a new generation of readers.
    • Dean Street Press
      This small British publisher has a great many classic crime books in its much broader catalog. They are bringing back many Golden Age classics by authors who deserve another chance at a new audience.
    • Felony & Mayhem
      This publisher specializes in classic mysteries, broadly defined, including newer mysteries that adhere to classic standards. They have just overhauled their website to make it much more informative and user-friendly.
    • Locked Room International
      A small press, specializing in very good English-language translations of (so far) mostly-French authors of locked room and impossible crime stories. They publish in Print-On-Demand and electronic editions.
    • Merion Press
      The Merion Press is an independent publisher of out-of-print works that were originally published over 75 years ago, but are enduring even today.
      The brainchild of editor/anthologist/author/bookstore-owner Otto Penzler, the Mysterious Press has recently returned to life and now works with Open Road Media as an electronic book publisher. It is already republishing the work of a lot of classic authors, with more books on the way.
    • Oconee Spirit Press
      A small, independent publisher committed to publishing "lively fiction, and provocative non-fiction." Most of their list covers early works by established authors writing traditional mysteries, such as Carolyn Hart and Margaret Maron.
    • Oleander Press
      This small eclectic British publisher has begun publishing a series of classic British mystery novels, primarily from the Golden Age. The series is grouped into a section of their catalogue named "London Bound," as the books are set in London.
    • Ostara Publishing
      "Ostara Publishing re-issues titles that have unjustifiably become unavailable either through the ravages of time or the forces of publishing economics. We specialise in Crime and Thriller fiction titles and our range goes from the1920s through to the 21st century. We publish thematically and currently have six series available. All our titles are published in a 'trade paperback' format and printed to order."
    • Poisoned Pen Press
      Based in Scottsdale, Arizona, the Poisoned Pen Press publishes a fairly wide variety of mysteries. Some are reprints; many are new, by newer authors. Their website has a great deal of information about their books and authors.

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    « Marching Into (Mystery) Madness | Main | Time to Rumble - or to Grumble »

    March 19, 2012


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    Great review! That was a really enjoyable listen. Of course now I'm going to have to work my way through your back catalogue. I may be a while!

    I've not heard of Sealed Room Murder or Rupert Penny but I'd be interested to read it. I think it may be too expensive in the UK, though.

    Is the motive for locking the room really just that "what can't be explained isn't punishable"? My gut instinct is that that's a cop-out, only one step short of "if it seems impossible, people will blame the local ghost/vampire/chupacabra", which is of course actually just shorthand for "I wanted to write a locked room mystery but couldn't work out how to plot it". Is it even legally sound? Could you really get off because the prosecution couldn't demonstrate your method? (I have a feeling the film Fracture is based on a similar idea, but I've not seen it and I don't know if it's realistic.)

    I think it was probably John Dickson Carr who said something along the lines that the hardest part for an author wasn't locking the room, but working out why it had to be locked. As I read and write more and more impossible crimes, it's quickly becoming the part that I'm most interested in.

    You're right that we locked room lovers are maybe too demanding of the solutions. People often compare mystery techniques to stage magic, but no-one demands that a stage illusion should be baffling to watch from the front AND simple and elegant to watch from the back. To ask the mystery author to pull off the equivalent of both sometimes seems too much.

    Having said that, all those diagrams do sound a bit daunting!

    Les Blatt

    Hmm. I know that Ramble House has an inexpensive e-book version for the Kindle, but I don't know if Amazon U.K. has that available - and their price for the paperback is nearly 23 pounds. I'd bet that you can find a better deal.

    As for the motive for locking the room, that's not the sole reason for the crime, of course - but it is mentioned as a major consideration; Carr does the same thing in some of his books (I won't list them here because that would be a spoiler).

    In any case, I'm glad you enjoyed the review. As for the backlist...well, I've been posting a new review weekly for nearly five years now...enjoy working your way through it! And thank you.


    Thanks for the review, Les - this book is near the top of my "To Be Read" pile. I enjoyed "Policeman in Armour" and "Cut and Run", although the latter is more of a "caper" than a mystery :) Four of Rupert Penny's books are available as e-books (in ePub format)for US$8.99 each from

    Les Blatt

    Monica, this was my first Penny mystery. I see that Ramble House appears to have republished ALL of his mysteries - 8 under his own name, plus one as "Martin Tanner." And, as you say, some are also in e-book format from Lulu, which seems to handle Ramble House's sales. So I have some serious reading still to be done... ;-)

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      That means that if you order anything from Amazon through a link from my site I get a small commission. As a result, I'd consider it a favor if you would consider making your purchases through my links. As always, though, if you have a local mystery book store, I encourage you to use them as your first choice. For anything else...thank you.

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