Saturday, June 17, 2017

Miraculous Mysteries - Classic Mystery Review

Miraculous Mysteries: Locked Room Mysteries and Impossible Crimes edited by Martin Edwards

Rating:  Good
Source: NetGalley

Description:  Impossible crime stories have been relished by puzzle-lovers ever since the invention of detective fiction. Fiendishly intricate cases were particularly well suited to the cerebral type of detective story that became so popular during the ‘golden age of murder’ between the two world wars. But the tradition goes back to the days of Edgar Allan Poe and Wilkie Collins, and impossible crime stories have been written by such luminaries as Arthur Conan Doyle, G.K. Chesterton, Dorothy L. Sayers and Margery Allingham.
This anthology celebrates their work, alongside long-hidden gems by less familiar writers. Together these stories demonstrate the range and high accomplishment of the classic British impossible crime story over more than half a century.

Genre: Mystery - Classic, Short Stories

Why I Picked This Book:  I really enjoy these collections edited by Edwards and I love a good locked room mystery!

My Impression:  I love the job that Edwards does editing these short story collections.  Before each story is a very short biography of the author so I know who they are and what they are known for and for me this context really adds to the enjoyment of reading.  I love a locked door mystery and this collection really takes those mysteries to the next level as not only do most of the murders occur in a locked room but they are seemingly impossible.  Some I could figure out but others I was clueless until the reveal.

A number of the authors I was familiar with but several were completely new to me.  I think my favorite new discovery was Sax Rhomer who created the master-criminal Dr. Fu Manchu.  While he wasn't in the short story collection included in this book the detective Moris Klaw was and I very much enjoyed watching him solve what seemed to be an impossible locked door mystery.  My favorite story over all was probably Dorothy Sayers'  The Haunted Policeman.  It is not difficult to see why she has so wonderfully stood the test of time while so many of the other authors in this book have faded more in obscurity.  While all the mysteries were entertaining brain twisters some were on the dry side.  This isn't a book I'd want to dive into and read in one setting but it was a complete delight to read a story or two each night - a delicious twisty little treat at the end of the day.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author:  Absolutely!  I love these classic collections and am always on the lookout for them.

Would I Recommend this Book?  I think anyone who enjoys classic mysteries would enjoy these.


  1. Most likely not for me, but I can see how the mystery and trying to gather the clues and solve a good yarn is very entertaining.

  2. Ooh love the cover. That cover style always gets me. :) I should get some of these older mystery collections, and I think a good locked door mystery would be a perfect way to end the day! Short stories are nice because you can read 'em in one sitting. :)

  3. Hi Katherine,

    I'm still not 100% certain about some of the contemporary cover art, but this one works really well for me.

    I am also not usually a fan of the short story genre, but as this collection was written by such an esteemed list of classic authors and sounds as though it has been so well edited and compiled, I am sorely tempted to add it to my list.

    I really like the idea of the short author biographical introductions as well.

    Thanks for sharing :)


  4. Seeing as I lean toward classic mysteries, this seems like a good read. I enjoy short stories and the more mysterious the better. Thanks for sharing and warm greetings to you.

  5. This sounds interesting. I like locked room mysteries.

  6. This sounds like a good book to read a bit at a time. Locked room mysteries sound like a lot of fun. Great review!