For a blog set up with the implicit aim to explore the impossible crime in fiction, it has to be said that impossibilities have been rather thin on the ground at The Invisible Event of late. Here, then, is a podcast episode committed to the impossible crime (or one-tenth of it, at least) with author Tom Mead.
With his no footprints story ‘The Indian Rope Trick’ having appeared in the July/August 2020 edition of Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine and another no footprints story ‘The Footless Phantom’ due to appear in EQMM in the near future, not to mention this lovely breakdown of the impossible crime he wrote for the EQMM blog, Tom is well-placed to talk about the obscure and not-so-obscure when it comes to vanishing killers and tracts of impression-taking material underfoot. And so alongside the expected names — Norman Berrow, John Dickson Carr, Paul Halter — expect some less heralded examples to fill out your wish lists in the shape of Herbert Adams, Ken Crossen, Gerald Verner, and more.
I mean, sure, we wander a bit over the impossible crime as a subgenre — doubtless leaving our footprints everywhere — but there’s no point sitting down with people who love a field of writing and only talking about the hedges. It always comes back to footprints or the lack thereof, those of you waiting for me to express an opinion on the Joseph Commings collection Banner Deadlines (2004) finally get your wish, and Tom even went so far as to adapt Gideon Fell’s locked room lecture from The Hollow Man (1935) by John Dickson Carr and apply it to the ‘no footprints’ problem in fiction.
Thanks to Tom for his time recording this — we battled many a technical issue, let me tell you — and his efforts in bringing the likes of more Rob Reef to an English-speaking audience, to Jonny Berliner for the music, and to those of you who listen for, y’know, listening.
The podcast will return in two weeks. If you haven’t yet voted in the poll for more Agatha Christie discussions, there’s still plenty of time: details here, no purchase necessary, definitely no refunds.
All previous episodes of In GAD We Trust can be found on the blog by clicking here.