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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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    « Who Goes There? | Main | Listening in a Locked Room »

    May 21, 2012


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    Margot Kinberg

    Les - It really is so good that Rue Morgue Press is bringing back good classics like this one. I haven't read it in a long long time, so I'll have to get my hands on a copy and savour it again. Thanks for the reminder! Trust Carr for the most intriguing "impossible mysteries..."

    Les Blatt

    Margot, Carr remains the standard by which even today's "impossible crime" stories must be judged. Whether it's a relatively new author, such as Paul Halter, or a neglected classic such as "Rim of the Pit," by Hake Talbot, I find myself invariably comparing those books to Carr, both for their puzzles (and "fairness") and against the often-terrifying atmoshpere Carr could create in his stories. I'm glad that some of his books are finally back in print; some are even available now as ebooks. And the Rue Morgue Press is invaluable for what it is doing for a lot of "Golden Age" authors of all mystery genres.


    So glad to know that Tom is keeping Rue Morgue Press alive. But what happened to the Rue Morgue Press catalogs? Is there a newsletter in its place? I used to know of all the new titles being planned and when they are released. But since Enid's death the mailings stopped. How do you keep up with the new RMP books, Les? (an assault of questions, I know) If I knew I would definitely be posting on my blog about the new releases, especially this Carter Dickson book.

    Les Blatt

    John, like you, I haven't received any mail catalogs in a while. I just checked the website and, while they have Peaacock Feather Murders on the home page, their "coming soon" lists books to be published (future tense) in January and February 2012. It might be worth posting in the GAD group on Facebook, since Tom frequently checks in over there, to ask him what's happening.


    I've just been reading this story - I found it through my local library network. I actually stopped reading it in the last several pages - and I won't finish it. What stinker of a denouement, and what a disappointment. I can't believe I found this on a 'best mysteries' list online. After over 260 pages, that Rube Goldberg ending is a real kick in the pants. I don't expect perfectly normal explanations for 'impossible crimes,' but they do have to be 'possible,' after all. And two extraordinary, flukey actions by the criminal - one after the other - just doesn't pass the test. I've rolled my eyes at a Dickson Carr solution before, but this one is just unacceptable.

    Les Blatt

    Mark, I'm sorry you were disappointed in the book. I did warn, in my podcast review, "in fairness I must warn you that the solution – when it is explained – rather strains credibility a bit. But that may just be an unfair reaction on my part – the kind of reaction we might have when a stage magician explains how a particular illusion was created; there’s a tendency, I think, to sigh, “Is that all there was?”" I suspect you'd take issue with that "strains credibility a bit"! But I still enjoyed the book. Then again, it would be pretty dull if we all agreed on the merits of any particular book. Thanks for posting your reaction to it.


    This book obviously has many fans. That being said, Carr was quite poor on charactization - I don't even know what HM looks like after reading that book. So everything rides on plot, and in this case, the solution. Here's where he lost me - I think I can do it without spoiler issues. A gun is found on the attic floor. The explanation for how it got there broke the camel's back for me. Given that the killer relied on the placement of the gun to not be caught, the possibility goes from highly improbable to effectively impossible. One sentence justifies how the gun got there, but it makes no sense. There's a rule in golden age mystery writing that the solution cannot rely on coincidence. This solution requires at least two extremely unlikely circumstances, one after the other. This was less like seeing how a magician does a trick, and more like learning that the 'impossible' magic trick you saw on television was really done be editing the video tape. All a matter of taste, I know. I enjoyed The Three Coffins - i just couldn't get past this 'solution.' It was more like "and then he woke up from his dream" than a proper ending.

    Les Blatt

    Mark, "The Three Coffins" has always been a favorite of mine - though I'm not sure the solution to the first murder would pass the reality test... ;-) Have you tried "The Judas Window"? Or "He Who Whispers," another one (like "The Three Coffins") where the descriptive passages are really chilling.

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