#155: Ye Olde Book of Locked Room Conundrums – Publication Day!


It’s finally here!

Nearly 3 months after being announced, running to 15 stories and 115,421 words, Ye Olde Book of Locked Room Conundrums is finished, and this post is here to announce that it’s ready for you to download for free!

And, yes, you read that correctly — all 15 of the original stories are included, thanks to a frankly amazing intervention by John Grant (he of the massively entertaining Noirish blog) who offered his help in sorting out the two stories I wasn’t going to have the time to get into shape…and then managed to do them in, like, zero seconds flat.

One final time, the stories herein are:

  1. ‘Rhampsinitus and the Thief’ (c. 440 BC) – Herodotus

  2. ‘The Spectre of Presburg: A Hungarian Tale’ (1818) – Anne and Annabella Plumptre

  3. ‘The Diamond Lens’ (1858) – Fitz-James O’Brien

  4. ‘The Black Pearl’ (1888) – Victorien Sardou

  5. ‘The Case of Roger Carboyne’ (1892) – H. Greenbough Smith

  6. ‘The Suicide of Kiaros’ (1897) – L. Frank Baum

  7. ‘The Lost Special’ (1898) – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

  8. ‘The Mystery of the Circular Chamber’ (1898) – L.T. Meade and R. Eustace

  9. ‘The Mystery of the Locked Room’ (1905) – Tom Gallon

  10. ‘Plague of Ghosts’ (1907) – Rafael Sabatini

  11. ‘The Mystery of the Flaming Phantom’ (1907) – Jacques Futrelle

  12. ‘The Unseen Hand’ (1908) – M. McDonnell Bodkin

  13. ‘The Round Room Horror’ (1911) – A. Demain Grange

  14. ‘The Mystery of Howard Romaine’ (1917) – Herbert Beerbohm Tree

  15. ‘Flashlights’ (1918) – Laurence Clarke

And, of course, none of this would have happened had TomCat not set the ball rolling and provided invaluable support throughout, including creating the quite fabulous cover which graces the collection.

A link to the .epub, .mobi, and .pdf versions is below — any other formats considered upon request.  Let me know of any massive flaws in the editing — there will be many, I’m sure — and I hope you find something here to enjoy.

Right, on with it…

Click here to be taken to my OneDrive and download YOBoLRC!

19 thoughts on “#155: Ye Olde Book of Locked Room Conundrums – Publication Day!

  1. Many thanks to you and Tomcat for your hard work and generosity in making this available to us GAD fans. The short story is one of my favourite formats and most of these are new to me – the two that I recognise (Conan Doyle and O’Brien) are old favourites as well. I shall save this collection up until I can curl up in a big armchair, glass of red wine at my elbow, and simply drink them in…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks so much for this treasure trove! I don’t comment often here, but I read your blog all the time. Thanks for all the hard work you and your friends undertook to share this with us.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Terry — it was a lot of fun to put together, especially ‘The Round Room Horror’ where a certain amount of detective work was required. And having TomCat and John rally round to help make it happen was awesome — that kind of shared enthusiasm for this kind of thing is exactly what this blogging lark is all about!

      I’ve already moved onto my next project, too, which I’m hoping to be able to talk about in a month or so…


  3. Did anyone say locked rooms? I swear I heard someone say locked room mysteries and here I am! It’s like saying Beetlejuice three times in a row and I appear.


    You did a fast and excellent job in dragging this collection from a mere idea into reality! I can’t actually wait to read this one myself, because there’s a ton of stuff in it I’ve not read myself.


    • Just thumbed through it… the end result looks very professional. You even wrote an introduction and you managed to find someone who actually had the time, and patience, to edit “The Spectre of Presburg.” Or did you do that yourself as well?

      Once again, my contribution to the collection was only conceptual and you ran with it!


      • Many thanks! ‘Presburg’ and ‘Flashlights’ were the stories John Grant edited into shape, highlighting to me just how hilariously amateur my attempts were given that they each took him about three minutes.


  4. Congratulations, and thanks for this collection. 😀 I was recently thinking I should get one of those mammoth compilations of locked room puzzles via Kindle – but I shall start with yours first.


    • Yeah, this will definitely be more of a ‘primer’ colection, since later stories require rights and things, but I think it could be interesting to come at these things chronologically. Hope there’s something in here you enjoy…


    • It’s been fun; who knows, another may follow at some stage (if there’s any interest, of course). I mean, not soon, just at some point. And, y’know, heavy on the may.


  5. Well done JJ – I am not an e-reader and really spend too much of life in front of VDU to also do my reading that way, but I remain in awe on your enthusiasm and entrepreneurial spirit. Bravo!


    • Thanks, Sergio — if there’s ever the chance to get it printed, I promise you’ll have the first one out of the machine (it’s worth noting at this stage that nmy idea of printing book involves some sort of Big Bertha-style contraption with mysterious inner workings that no-one ever understands…that’s about right, right?)!


      • Well, you can get it printed on-demand of course? If the PDF is print-ready (including things like a cover and an ISBN) , then you can use companies like Blurb. You just supply an artwork, you attach a price and the company takes a cut, it costs you nothing upfront – the payment is made at the ordering stage by whoever wants it. It makes the book potentially a bit expensive when you order it but I reckon it is still a good system for nieche products: http://www.blurb.co.uk/

        Liked by 1 person

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