#389: Adventures in Self-Publishing – Confessional (2016) by Robert Innes

Confessional

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?

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#358: Adventures in Self-Publishing – Untouchable (2016) by Robert Innes

Untouchable

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.

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#325: Adventures in Self-Publishing – Impossible Mysteries: The Message in a Bottle (2017) by Merapi Omnut

Message in a Bottle

For reasons that are not entirely clear — he is not mentioned in the synopsis, nor the single review of this item at the time of writing (which is itself a single word — “Read” — whose tense is undetermined), nor used as a “For fans of…” comparison — this title appears when you search for Paul Halter on the world’s largest website of buying anything.  And it happens to be a self-published impossible crime story, so why wouldn’t I buy it?  The question is, should you?

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#271: Adventures in Self-Publishing – Impossible Bliss (2001) by Lee Sheldon

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Four businessmen are playing their weekly early-morning round of golf when one of them hits his ball into a sand-filled bunker.  Taking his next shot from down in the bunker, out of sight of everyone else, not only does he hit the ball straight out of the sand and into the hole (which he cannot see), but when the others approach the bunker to congratulate him they find it empty except for a blood-stained golf club, with no way for their colleague to have vanished without either being seen or leaving obvious traces.  Intrigued?  You should be…

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#174: Adventures in Self-Publishing – The Mysteries of Reverend Dean [ss] (2008) by Hal White

reverend-dean

Continuing the grand old tradition of crime-solving clergy — I refer, of course, to The Father Dowling Mysteries — Hal White’s collection of impossible crime stories featuring the retired octogenarian Reverend Thaddeus Dean gives us six takes on vanishing murderers, no footprints in the snow, impossible alibis, and more classic staples of my most-beloved of sub-genres.  And, no small praise, it bears the stamp of approval from Bob Adey…so, are the stories any good?  Well, as part of my continued trek to find something in the realms of self-published detective fiction that’s actually worth your time, let’s have a look…

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#131: Adventures in Self-Publishing – The Third Gunman (2016) by Raymond Knight Read

Third Gunman

So, how was my holiday reading?

Well, following the discovery of Matt Ingwalson’s Owl and Raccoon novellas I pledged to give more self-published works a go because — hey! — some of it is evidently very good indeed.  Sure, an overwhelming majority is awful, but it’s worth the relatively slight cost to potentially find something surprising.  Which brings us to The Third Gunman by Raymond Knight Read.

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