A lot of impossible crime novels published these days have, let’s face it, about enough impossible crime content for a short story. So a short story collection seems like a sensible thing to try, right? Even one that does put ‘short stories’ on its cover and then call itself “a novel” on the back. Right?
The reprinting of Robert Adey’s Locked Room Murders (2nd ed., 1991) at the end of 2018 was a delightful turn-up for those of us who had been dreaming of owning that reference bible. And once the excitement settled, I’m sure more than a few people started thinking “Hey, they should really do another one of these…”.
The accepted wisdom is that Edgar Allan Poe wrote five stories which formed the basis of the nascent detective fiction genre, and the plan for this month had originally been to look at one story each week. But that’s what you plan when you fail to account for the rigour and research of Christian, who blogs at Mysteries, Short and Sweet.
It’s Christmas Eve, you’re keenly watching for snow and listening for reindeer hooves on your roof, and Christian and I are moving onto the lesser crime stories of Edgar Allan Poe — the weaklings which nevertheless still hold some sway where the development of detective fiction is concerned.
Sometimes my Tuesday posts are themed as Little Fictions, wherein I look at short stories; back in May I did a month themed around the origins of my detective fiction obsession called Going Home. This month it’s a Megazord comprised of both, looking at short stories that formed the origins of detective fiction…and there’s only one place to go for that.