By Jeff Baker
I’m nuts about locked-room mysteries, impossible crime stories, you get the idea. Stories that couldn’t have happened but did! Not just a Whodunnit, but a How-The-Hell’d-He-Do-It? I’ve written a few and even published one http://www.overmydeadbody.com/a307.htm, but I’m not in the same league as the masters of the form. There are some fine novels but the best of this type are in short stories.
Clayton Rawson had been an amateur magician and his character The Great Merlini is a magician who solves seemingly “impossible” crimes, helping out a friend on the police force. Two of his best short-stories in this vein are “Off the Face of the Earth” and “From Another World.” In one, a man is murdered in a room sealed by newspaper with no way to get in except cutting the paper. In the other, a man vanishes from a phone booth that is in full view of a group of observers.
I’ll recommend the collection “The Mammoth Book of Locked-Room Mysteries and Impossible Crimes” https://www.amazon.com/Mammoth-Locked-Room-Mysteries-Impossible-Crimes/dp/0786707909 and say, as fun and challenging as this form is, there should be more LGBT-themed impossible crime stories.