#527: Plotting the Perfect Crime – Potential and Pay-Off via The House of Haunts, a.k.a. The Lamp of God (1935) by Ellery Queen

Black Lizard Locked Room

Slowly, slowly I work my way through the Otto Penzler-edited Woo Whatta Lotta Locked Room Mysteries (2014) — it’s not really a convenient size to dip into — and, since my chronological reading of Ellery Queen is going so well, it seemed time to take on this impossible disappearance story.  Or so I thought…

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#311: The Boat Race Murder (1933) by R.E. Swartwout

515ukrt9apl-_sx319_bo1204203200_I have never quite understood the preoccupation with the Oxford v. Cambridge: Dawn of Justice boat race; it reeks of a class consciousness that belongs in an older, less enlightened time and should, therefore, be a perfect match for my beloved GAD.  And so here we are, with Swartwout coxing the 1930 Cambridge crew to victory and so having an insider’s eye that should provide plenty of contemporary interest.  And a locked bathroom with a dead body in it, too, the key found on the floor inside once the door is broken in…and this after a discussion about detective fiction and how to go about committing a baffling murder that name-checks Freeman Wills Crofts.  Sounds good, right?  Well, it isn’t, for quite a lot of reasons.  Let’s attempt to explain them.

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