The best of the rest

This third and final instalment will collect those stories that a mystery buff will need to have read to get a full understanding of the impossible mystery genre. So only if you've read the stories in my last three posts can you know whether you're actually an impossible mystery fan. :)

Some of the below stories are out and out classics, and some are quite innovative to boot. Others are just great stories that bring solid surprises to the reader. And yet others belong to both categories. Bolded titles are classics, titles in italics indicate truly great stories, a must-read for any mystery fan. If a story got neither bolded nor italicised, it's still a great story that I really think you should read. But you can wait till you've read the rest...

Edgar Jepson & Robert Eustace The Tea Leaf 1925
G. D. H. Cole & Margaret Cole In a Telephone Cabinet 1928
Nicholas Olde Invisible Weapon 1928
Ronald Knox Solved by Inspection 1931
Lord Dunsany The Two Bottles of Relish 1932
Vincent Cornier Duel of Shadows 1934
Ellery Queen Lamp of God 1935
Agatha Christie The Dream 1937
Agatha Christie Dead Man's Mirror 1937
Cornell Woolrich The Room with Something Wrong 1938
Ellery Queen The Dauphin's Doll 1948
Fredric Brown The Laughing Butcher 1948
Helen McCloy Through a Glass, Darkly 1948
Peter Godfrey Newtonian Egg 1951
Hugh Pentecost The Day the Children Vanished 1958
John F. Suter The Impossible Theft 1964
Stephen Barr The Locked House 1965
William Krohn The Impossible Murder of Dr Satanus 1965
Christianna Brand The Gemminy Crickets Case 1968
Peter Godfrey Flung-Back Lid 1979
H. Edward Hunsberger Eternally Yours 1985
Peter Lovesey Amorous Corpse 2000
J. A. Konrath On the Rocks 2004
Soji Shimada The Locked House of Pythagoras 2013
RintarĊ Norizuki The Lure of the Green Door 2014
Szu-Yen Lin The Miracle on Christmas Eve 2016

The rest of the stories from my original list - those that haven't been featured in these last three posts - are just indications of what I think are enjoyable impossible mystery stories. They won't always be to everyone's taste - I mean, TomCat doesn't like John Basye Price's "Death and the Rope Trick", and he's still pretty well versed in impossible mysteries - but generally they're all worthwhile as mysteries.


  1. I'm with you on finding the range of interpretations everyone brings to their own reading fascinating. That, for instance, you rate the Coles' thoroughly dull 'In a Telephone Cabinet' as better than Norizuki's 'The Lure of the Green Door', which I would probably put near the top of all the impossible short stories I've ever read.

    I'll never get bored of seeing lists of what people rate, becaue it's such a fun exercise trying to figure out what I've loved that they'll hate and vice versa. Thanks for putting all these together over the last few months; I'm going to really enjoy picking through the ones you've rated in various places that I've not yet come across.

    1. We might have different definitions of "classics".

      I don't particularly find the Coles' offering better than Norizuki's (in fact, I'd rather read the latter again). It's just more classic. And if you consider yourself an expert, or at least an aficionado, you have to have read it.

      Norizuki's you should just read because it's thoroughly enjoyable. :)

      Otherwise, thanks for the kind words. Do let me know if you find something particularly loathsome among my recommendations (or vice versa!)...

    2. First up, some Hoch!

      Actually, first up you've got me itching to reread Halter's Nght of the Wolf collection, because man do I remember loving some of those stories.