As we approach the (current?) end of Rob Innes’ Blake Harte series of impossible crime stories, I have to confess that one of its major successes has been getting me, a man who will take a finely-crafted plot over minutely-observed character, engaged in the lives of his core cast.
My exploration of self-published impossible crime fiction, which would itself have been impossible prior to the growth of the ebook market, continues apace — there are at present 21 books in my AiSP TBR alone. So let’s get on with it…
Welcome to Harmschapel, where people are shot while alone in locked rooms, murderers walk on water, men drown while trapped in a lift, and now it seems people return from the dead. Also, there’s Scrabble at the pub on a Thursday evening.
Prior to reading Robert Innes’ work I honestly did believe that there was quality content out there in this non-trad route (and I was right) but after more than a few low quality samples of this stream — a fair portion of which I opted not to write about on this blog, since it seemed self-defeating to my intended aim — I remained less optimistic about finding it.
Well, c’mon, as if I’m going to do a month of self-published impossible crime fiction posts and not feature Robert Innes. Spotlight (2017) is the fifth of currently nine Blake Harte mysteries, all built around impossible crimes, and this time there are two impossibilities to contend with.
I’m fortunate to have the freedom of reading books purely because I enjoy them. Following my nose through several decades of murder and mayhem has brought me to — among other things — the Golden Age and impossible crimes, and both offer more than enough depth and breadth to keep me entertained for many years to come.
Over at AhSweetMysteryBlog, my good friend Brad is frequently heard to rue how he has — at the tender age of 27 — already read pretty much every single author with a large back catalogue who is likely to interest him, and how even in these GAD-reprint rich times it is unlikely that few if any such authors will emerge to capture his interest.
After a month of possibly pie-in-the-sky hoping (hey, a full reprint of someone may be right around the corner, you never know…), let’s finish on a more positive note. This week, stuff that’s actually happening in the future and about which I have many reasons to be hopeful.
Two months after reading Untouchable (2016), the first of Robert Innes’ now six-strong series of self-published impossible mysteries, I’m back with the second instalment. This time around, parishioners keep having heart attacks in the confession booth of the small Catholic church in the (aptly named, it must be said) village of Harmschapel. “I think the only suspects you have so far are high cholesterol and God,” DS Blake Harte is told at one point — or is something more sinister going on?
I’d promised TomCat that I’d attempt to find a quality modern locked room mystery this week, but the book I was going to look at — Lord Darcyverse continuation novel Ten Little Wizards (1988) by Michael Kurland — has (miraculously…?) vanished. So instead, here’s a revival of another occasional series: a selective pick through some self-published impossible crime stories in search of the gold that doubtless exists there somewhere.