TANTALIZING LOCKED ROOM MYSTERIES by Isaac Asimov

TANTALIZING LOCKED ROOM MYSTERIES

KIRKUS REVIEW

Neither of the locked-room masters--John Dickson Carr and Clayton Rawson--is represented in this collection of twelve stories; for classics, the editors turn instead to three of the most over-familiar items imaginable (Poe's "Rue Morgue," Conan Doyle's "Speckled Band," and Futrelle's "Cell 13"). Still, there's a trio of agreeable rarities here. From the Thirties: MacKinlay Kantor's "The Light at Three O'Clock" (body disappears from bloody hotel-room) and Cornell Woolrich's "Murder at the Automat"--neither especially clever in plot, but both written with infectious, streetwise zest. And Barry Perowne's "The Blind Spot" is a suave diversion, though it involves a locked-room puzzle that's never revealed (the brainstorm of a drunk thriller-playwright. . . who forgets his inspiration when he sobers up). The rest? A generally humdrum assortment: a Lester Leith tale from Erle Stanley Gardner, Robert Arthur's in-jokey "The 51st Sealed Room," William March's irritating "The Bird House," a creaky pseudo-time-machine effort by Jack Wodhams, an impossible-magic-act puzzle by Bill Pronzini & Michael Kurland, and Edward D. Hoch's solid "The Leopold Locked Room." All in all, then: a spotty collection that's inferior in most respects--including introductory material--to Hoch's own much more generous All But Impossible anthology (1981).
Pub Date: March 22nd, 1982
Publisher: Walker
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 1982




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