The Men Who Explain Miracles

The Men Who Explain Miracles is a podcast with a focus on impossible crimes in fiction, staffed by myself and Dan from The Reader is Warned, recorded in my front room, and posted here roughly every two months.

This page will serve as a record of every episode to date, with a brief introduction and the relevant audio link(s); if you wish to read any more about each episode, click on the title to be taken to the original post on this blog (where it exists — the first few episodes were posted on SoundCloud before we started to run out of space and hosting them on WordPress turned out more financially viable).

Apologies for the occasional changes in appearance; WordPress, for reasons known only to itself, has a habit of deleting my HTML tags and ruining the formatting.

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Episode 9: Laying Down the Laws

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In which we examine the lists of rules put forward by S.S. van Dine and Ronald Knox as they attempt to get a handle on the rules of Golden Age detective fiction.

Episode 9.1: S.S. van Dine’s 20 Rules for Writing Detective Stories

Episode 9.2: The Knox Decalogue


Episode 8: The Impossible Crimes of Paul Halter

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Wherein I first attempt an overview of the modern French maestro of impossible crimes, and then pick out five works that should commend him to fans of the subgenre.

Episode 8.1: Who Is Paul Halter?

Episode 8.2: Five Paul Halter Books to Try


Episode 7: The Ages of John Dickson Carr

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Dan and I sit down with Ben of The Green Capsule in an increasingly-busy British Library to talk through the career of the doyen of locked room mysteries and impossible crimes.

Episode 7.1: In-roads and Innovation — the 1930s and 40s

Episode 7.2: The Historicals and Later Works — the 1950s to 70s


Episode 6: An Interview with Martin Edwards

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Current President of the Detection Club Martin Edwards discusses classic detective fiction, the appeal of the Golden Age, and his new novel Gallows Court.  Dan and I try not to geek out too much in the process.

Episode 6: Interview with Martin Edwards


Episode 5: Our Fifteen Favourite Impossible Crime Novels

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Dan and I each present a list of our fifteen favourite impossible crime novels. His list is ordered, mine is picked at random from a hat.

Episode 5.1: Jim’s List

Episode 5.2: Dan’s List

Bonus Content


Episode 4: The Edward D. Hoch 1981 Best Impossible Crime Novels List

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A look through the merits and pitfalls of the oft-cited list of the 15 best impossible crime novels of all time as curated by the mystery writer Edward D. Hoch in 1981.

Episode 4.1: Books 15 to 11

Episode 4.2: Books 10 to 6

Episode 4.3: Books 5 to 1


Episode 3: Republishing Murder on the Way! (1935) by Theodore Roscoe

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Working with the wonderful people at Bold Venture Press, I was involved in the republishing of two out of print impossible crime novels by Theodore Roscoe: Murder on the Way! (1935) and I’ll Grind Their Bones (1936). Here I talk through the process, and we look at the first of these in a bit more depth.

Episode 3: Murder on the Way!


Episode 2: An Interview with Robin Stevens

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Robin Stevens — bestselling author of the Murder Most Unladylike series — joined us to discuss classic detective fiction, impossible crimes in her own books, and continuing the work of Siobhan Dowd with The Guggenheim Mystery (2017)

Episode 2: Robin Stevens Interview
Audio Forthcoming

Episode 1: Rim of the Pit (1944) by Hake Talbot

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Our very first episode, part of the quarterly Spoiler Warning series, in which we discuss the classic impossible crime novel Rim of the Pit (1944) by Hake Talbot.

Episode 1: A Spoiler-Heavy Discussion About Rim of the Pit (1944)