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Having them explained is like having David Copperfield describe how he walked through the Great Wall of China or made the Statue of Liberty disappear. The illusion has disappeared. It's not really magic, after all.

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If magic and locked room mysteries don't intrigue you You don't deserve magic, mind-bending stories, or fireworks. Tap here to turn on desktop notifications to get the news sent straight to you. There are many more, but you get the idea. Help us tell more of the stories that matter from voices that too often remain unheard.

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Insurance company investigator Miles Bredon takes on the case. Delightfully tongue-in-cheek tone, baffling clues, challenging mystery counterpointed by poetic evocation of the river and countryside. Fine novel by author of 10 celebrated "commandments" for Urbane mystery, set in the pastoral reaches of the upper Thames, concerns the disappearance of young heir to a fortune.

Fine novel by author of 10 celebrated "commandments" for writing detective fiction. Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. Published April 1st by Dover Publications first published More Details Original Title.


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Tag: Locked Room Mysteries

Sort order. Oct 26, GlenK rated it really liked it Shelves: mystery-thriller. Inexplicably, they decide to take an extended canoe excursion through English countryside waterways. During this excursion, Derek disappears or does he? This engaging mystery novel was first published in and is the second featuring Bredon.

It is very plot heavy and complex so much so that it kind of falls apart in the last chapter or two but has a great deal of charm, engaging characters, and a good sense of place. Jun 01, Manuel Alfonseca rated it liked it. Another mystery novel with detective Miles Bredon solving the problem while playing patience. The mystery itself is a tangle with the least probable solution. Bredon discusses the possible solutions with inspector Leyland, but keeps some of his ideas from him and from the reader so as to surprise both. View 1 comment. May 23, Marilyn Saul rated it liked it Shelves: back-to-friends-of-library-sale.

I wanted to REALLY like this book, but, quite honestly, it was so convoluted with so many ridiculous conjectures and mis-leads, that I actually just felt weary. There were, however, moments of snarky British humor that were a bit redeeming, but not enough so to make me want to seek out any other Knox mysteries. Jan 13, Peggy rated it liked it. Slow starting and hard for me to get interested in. It is plot driven vs character, not my favorite.

The plot was fairly complex and Knox's writing was more 'formal' than I'm use too. I stuck with it though and ended up enjoying it. Lovely descriptions of the countryside along the Thames and witty banter between characters. Dec 01, Jack Heath marked it as to-read Shelves: category-mystery. Synopsis: a mystery set in the upper Thames area. Insurance investigator Miles Bredon looks into the disappearance of a young heir to a fortune. Mar 05, Bev rated it liked it Shelves: vintage-mystery , mystery. Father Knox was an influential theologian, classical scholar and critic. He is well-known in the mystery field as one of the founders of of Holmesian scholarship as well as the author of the celebrated "ten commandments" for writing detective fiction.

These commandments are as follows: 1. The criminal must be mentioned in the early part of the story, but must not be anyone whose thoughts the reader has been allowed to know. All supernatural or preternatural agencies are ruled out as a matter of Father Knox was an influential theologian, classical scholar and critic. All supernatural or preternatural agencies are ruled out as a matter of course. Not more than one secret room or passage is allowed.

No hitherto undiscovered poisons may be used, nor any appliance which will need a long scientific explanation at the end.

Murder Room Chapter 3

No Chinaman may figure in the story. No accident may help the detective, nor must he have any unaccountable intuition which proves to be right. The detective himself must not commit the crime. The detective is bound to declare any clues which he may discover. The stupid friend of the detective, the Watson, must not conceal from the reader any thoughts which pass through his mind: his intelligence must be slightly, but very slightly below that of the average reader. Twin brothers, and doubles generally, must not appear unless we have been duly prepared for them. And most writers of the Golden Age followed these rules scrupulously.

The Footsteps at the Lock shows Father Knox to be not only a scholar and critic of the genre but one who could practice what he preached. The story starts out innocently enough. Two cousins, Derek and Nigel Burtell, set out on a canoeing trip up the Thames. The goal is to give Derek a voyage in the great outdoors to restore his failing health. It also happens that Derek is shortly, upon his 25th birthday, to inherit 50, pounds from his grandfather. Insurance is also involved because, in view of Derek's frail condition, his life has been insured by the Indescribable Insurance Company in the event that he does not reach the celebrated day.

While the journey upstream is uneventful, the return trip does not go as planned. Nigel must leave the canoe at Shipcote Lock in order to take an exam at Oxford.


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While he is away, the canoe is found adrift below the lock, Derek has disappeared, and there is a jagged gash in the bottom of the canoe. The Indescribable Insurance Company immediately suspects foul play and sends Miles Bredon, a prime investigator, to investigate the circumstances. Is there a murderer along the banks of the Thames or has Derek met with an unfortunate accident? Most importantly, will the company have to acknowledge the claim?

the footsteps at the lock murder room Manual

Further muddying the waters, Derek's cousin has disappeared as well. This is a very literate and witty mystery. And very tongue-in-cheek. There are plenty of clues from a set of strange photographs to a baffling cipher to the trail of footprints near the lock and there is also plenty of opportunity to match wits with Bredon. The challenging mystery and nefarious deeds are countered with the beautiful descriptions of the river and the surrounding countryside.

It has been a while since I read this one, but I do remember enjoying the interactions between Mike Bredon and his wife, Angela. They set out by canoe to retrace the cousins' trip and to investigate the area around the lock. Angela is a good partner for Mike and there is a fair amount of witty conversation. Three and a half stars. Oct 18, Abbey rated it liked it Shelves: bright-young-things , myst-cosies , myst-set-andor-auth-uk , suspense-thriller , vintage. Classic puzzler from the s and on many "best of" lists.

All in all this was an enjoyable read but I had one major problem: I managed to guess precisely where the all the twists and turns would come, and pretty nearly exactly what they would be! But the writing was smooth, and the puzzle was entertaining. High-living young Derek has been doing things far, wide and handsome all his Oxford career, based upon his expected inheritance at age When Derek disappears and the boat found damaged and adrift after Nigel had gone up to Oxford to take an exam, the investigators at first suspect accident, then murder-for-profit.

Layers within layers, puzzles tied to other puzzles, abound in this finely crafted, albeit slow and extremely old-fashioned tale. Interesting, but not tasty. Mar 14, Leslie rated it really liked it Shelves: , vintage-crime-and-pulp.

Why are locked room mysteries so popular?

A book completely of its period. At its centre are two unlikeable cousins, Derek and Nigel, and wills leaving one or the other of them large sums of money, depending on who survives whom and when. Derek is stupid, unimaginative, and addicted to drugs; Nigel is pretentious, vain, and fancies himself a Wildean aesthete. Trying to please a dying rich aunt by pretending to like each other, they go on a boating trip down the Thames, where first one and then the other disappears under very mysterious A book completely of its period.