The original whodunits were the locked room mysteries, a sub-genre of the detective mystery in which a crime is committed--almost always murder-- in a location that no intruder could have entered or left, e.g., a locked room. There have been many ingenious twists on the motif since it first flourished in the late 1890s and early 1900s, as can be seen in the classic collection that makes up British Mystery Multipacks Volume 8 – Locked Room Mysteries:
The Big Bow Mystery by Israel Zangwill
Regarded as the first full-length locked room mystery, the novel focuses on a murder that has occurred inside a locked room, with no clear indication as to the weapon used, the perpetrator of the horrendous crime, or a possible escape route.
The Four Just Men by Edgar Wallace
The dead body of a politician is discovered in a room, locked from within and protected from without. The room is empty of all but the murdered man and even upon finding the corpse, it cannot be determined what the man died of.
The Invisible Man and The Wrong Shape by G. K. Chesterton
From Chesterton's first Father Brown collection, The Innocence of Father Brown, comes two whodunits best described as locked-room detective cozy mysteries!
The Valley of Fear by Arthur Conan Doyle
The fourth and final Sherlock Holmes mystery is one of Doyle's finest. A man is shot with a sawed-off shotgun and disfigured beyond recognition in an impregnable castle, to which the only entrance is sealed. There is a trail of bewildering clues--raincoats, dumbbells, a missing wedding ring--and a gripping backstory of a cult that terrorized a valley in the American West.
The Doomdorf Mystery by Melville Davisson Post
Guest American author Melville Post's best-known character is the mystery-solving, justice dispensing West Virginian backwoodsman, Uncle Abner. The 22 Uncle Abner tales, written between 1911 and 1928, have been called some of "the finest mysteries ever written." The Doomdorf Mystery is one of the best.
Includes author image gallery.
About the Author
Richard Horatio Edgar Wallace (1875-1932) was an English writer. Born into poverty, Wallace left school at 12. Joining the army at 21, he was a war correspondent during the Second Boer War for Reuters and The Daily Mail. Struggling with debt, he left South Africa, returned to London and began writing thrillers to raise income, publishing books such as The Four Just Men (1905). Drawing on time as a reporter in the Congo, covering the Belgian atrocities, Wallace serialized short stories in magazines, later publishing collections such as Sanders of the River (1911). He signed with Hodder and Stoughton in 1921 and became an internationally recognized author.
Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) better known as G. K. Chesterton, was an English writer, lay theologian, poet, philosopher, dramatist, journalist, orator, literary and art critic, biographer, and Christian apologist. Chesterton is often referred to as the "prince of paradox."
Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle (1859-1930) was a British physician and writer who is most noted for his fictional stories about the detective Sherlock Holmes, which are generally considered milestones in the field of crime fiction. He was a prolific writer whose other works include fantasy and science fiction stories, plays, romances, poetry, non-fiction and historical novels.
Melville Davisson Post (1869 – 1930) was an American author. In addition to Uncle Abner, Post also created two other recurring characters, Sir Henry Marquis and Randolph Mason. He also wrote two non-crime novels. His total output was approximately 230 titles.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
British Mystery Multipack Volume 8 - Locked Room Mysteries: The Big Bow Mystery, The Four Just Men, The Invisible Man, The Wrong Shape, The Valley of Fear and The Doomdorf Mystery is awesome.
What a wonderful treasure; an ebook collection of some of the most mind-twisting mysteries of all time. There are five classics in this collection that should take a while to read. However, once each mystery takes hold of you, you won’t be able to stop turning pages until the answer to the mysterious puzzle is revealed. The Big Bow Mystery by Israel Zangwill. First published in 1892. The Four Just Men by Edgar Wallace. First published in 1905. The Invisible Man and The Wrong Shape by G. K. Chesterton. First published in The Innocence of Father Brown in 1911. The Valley of Fear by Arthur Conan Doyle. First published in 1914. The Doomdorf Mystery by Melville Davisson Post. First published in 1918. An added bonus included is an image gallery which includes some very old photographs of the authors. I’ve just finished the last book in the collection, The Doomdorf Mystery. All I can say is, “Wow!” In fact I am not planning on reading anything now for a few days. I just want to daydream about Abner and Randolph poking around in the West Virginia woods of the early 20th century, scratching their heads as they try and figure out how the murderer entered and exited the locked room. In today’s literary world, we are bombarded with mass-marketed, mediocre “fad” books, mass-produced to make money. But this extraordinary collection is the “real deal.” All five of these stories are simultaneously timeless and “old school” and yet they were/are in many ways, fifty years ahead of their time. You will have to read them to see what I mean. These timeless classics can be read, re-read and you will always remember them. Enjoy.
Whoever is putting these British Mystery Multipack collections together is brilliant. The best stories, wonderfully presented - great stuff. The Big Bow Mystery The Four Just Men The Invisible Man The Wrong Shape The Valley of Fear The Doomdorf Mystery Highly recommended. Five stars.