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Anthony Berkeley Locked Room Titles


anthony berkeleyAnthony Berkeley Cox (1893 – 1971) was an English crime writer. He wrote under several pen-names, including Francis Iles, Anthony Berkeley and A. Monmouth Platts.

Anthony Berkeley Cox was born in 1893 in Watford, and educated at Sherborne School and University College London. After serving in the British Army in World War I, he worked as a journalist for many years, contributing to such magazines as Punch and The Humorist.

His first novel, The Layton Court Mystery, was published anonymously in 1925. It introduced Roger Sheringham, the amateur detective who features in many of the author’s novels including the classic ‘Poisoned Chocolates Case’. In 1930, Berkeley helped to found the legendary Detection Club in London along with Agatha Christie, Freeman Wills Crofts and several other established mystery writers.

His 1932 novel (as “Francis Iles”), Before the Fact was adapted into the 1941 classic film Suspicion, directed by Alfred Hitchcock, starring Cary Grant and Joan Fontaine.

In 1938, he took up book reviewing for John O’London’s Weekly and the Daily Telegraph, writing under his pen name Francis Iles. He also wrote for the Sunday Times in the 1940s and for the Manchester Guardian, later The Guardian, from the mid-1950s until 1970. A key figure in the development of crime fiction, he died in 1971.

Edited from Wikipedia

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Anthony Berkeley Locked Room Novels

layton courtThe Layton Court Mystery (1925) 
Author: initially published anonymously
Detective: Roger Sheringham

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Note: Classic body in locked country house library!

In a typical English country house, a murder is committed. The wealthy Victor Stanworth, who’d been playing host to a party of friends, is found dead in the library. At first it appears to be suicide, for the room was undoubtedly locked. But could there be more to the case? As one of the guests at Layton Court, gentleman sleuth Roger Sheringham begins to investigate, many come under suspicion, but how could anyone have killed the man and gotten out of the room, leaving it all locked behind?

ciceley disappearsCicely Disappears (1927) 
Author: as A. Monmouth Platts
Detective: Stephen Munroe, temporary footman

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Available only in rare paperback and hardcover editions.


Note: A bit of a mystery!

Robert Adey in Locked Room Murders states that this book involves ‘Disappearance of a young woman from within a blacked-out room during a seance experiment.”

The rather drawn out and less than thrilling story of Cicely’s disappearance, began life as a serialisation published by The Daily Mirror, under the by-line of A.B. Cox. The Mirror ran a competition with prizes for those who guessed the solution correctly, and according to Tony Medawar, a famous mystery critic, Agatha Christie’s husband Archie was a runners-up.

death houseDeath in The House
Detective: Lord Arthur Linton

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Note: Murder in The House of Commons!

Lord Wellacombe, Secretary of State for India, dies while giving a speech to introduce a new bill on the floor of the House of Commons. His untimely demise looks like a stroke, but is it mere coincidence that a threat on his life had been made? The bill needs to be passed, but is anyone brave enough to defy the threats and risk potential murder?

Kirkus gives it a short tough review and calls it ‘stuffy’ – and there are no reviews from the usual sources – but I am rather fond of this impossible crime classic – it is a good four star mystery! Locked Room review pending!

Complete Anthony Berkeley Bibliography

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