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.
The intention had been to bring you another episode of the Men Who Explain Miracles podcast today, but first Plan A failed, then Plan B failed, and the need for a Plan C was unanticipated. And so let us return to the self-published world with a dead butler in a locked room…
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.
No-one is more surprised than me to find self-published fiction forming a fairly regular part of my online book-scouting. The experience of reading Matt Ingwalson’s Owl and Raccoon novellas was quite transformative in my perception of this stream of literature, and recently stumbling into Robert innes’ prolific and entertaining output only strengthens my intention to keep digging.
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.
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?