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Judson Pentecost Philips Locked Room Titles


Judson PhilipsJudson Pentecost Philips (AKA: Hugh Pentecost) (1903 – 1989) was an American writer who wrote more than 100 mystery and detective novels under  the pseudonyms Hugh Pentecost and Philip Owen, as well as under his own name. As Judson Philips, he also wrote numerous pulp sports novels in the 1930s. 

Philips started writing short stories for pulp fiction magazines in the 1920s and 1930s. He also wrote plays and a newspaper column. In 1950, he helped found the Sharon Playhouse, where he served as a producer and adviser. In the mid-1960s he hosted a program about events in Connecticut’s “Northwest Corner” on radio station WTOR in Torrington, CT, which attracted a following. A number of his mystery novels were published under his own name as well as the Hugh Pentecost moniker, all of which benefited from strong characterization, fair play with the reader, and unstilted language to describe interesting situations. An entertaining conversationalist and raconteur, he was well respected in his community and in his literary genre.

In 1973, he received the Grand Master Award, the highest honor bestowed by the Mystery Writers of America. Phillips died of complications resulting from emphysema in 1989, at the age of 85, in Canaan, Connecticut.

Edited from Wikipedia

More from Gadetection – Mike Grost

While Judson Philips wrote hundreds of novels and short mysteries, apparently only three make our locked room list, and one of these , his most famous, does double duty as both novel and short story. Can any readers add to this slender collection?


Judson Philips Locked Room Novels


Children VanishedThe Day The Children Vanished (1976)
Author: Hugh Pentecost
Detective: Clyde Haviland

Best Review
****

Available only in used paperback editions.

Book  Amazon.ca

Note: The extended version!

The full length novel edition of a famous locked room story  ‘The Day the Children Vanished’ by Hugh Pentecost. A station wagon full of schoolchildren is seen driving into a two mile stretch of road known as the “dug away” with a sheer cliff on one side and a fence guarded drop into the lake on the other. The problem is that it apparently never emerged from the other end! The road is carefully searched, but there is no sign of the vehicle or any accident. With no possible exits for a vehicle, the village is soon driven into a terrified frenzy over the missing children. Then some of the children’s clothes are discovered in an old quarry, but the car is still nowhere to be found! Why would anyone take nine children? And where is the car? 


Judson Philips Locked Room Short Stories


Big lizard LR mysteriesRoom Number 23 (1925)
Author: Judson Philips
Detective: James Bellamy

Collection: The Black Lizard Big Book of Locked Room Mysteries 

Locked Room Review

*****

Available in paperback and ebook editions.

Book  eBook  Amazon.ca

Note: An impossible murder!

 ‘Room Number 23’ by Judson Pentacost Philips is a classic locked room story.  A scream is heard emanating from Room 23 of the old Nathan Hotel near Washington Square. The door is finally battered down, only to find the room completely empty, and the occupant, Miss Wilson, who was in possession of a small fortune in jewels, seemingly dissolved into thin air. The door was the only way out of the room, and it was under constant observation from the moment Miss Wilson returned to her room, a few minutes prior to the scream. In addition, the room was flanked by the rooms of her brother, and a PI who had been hired to protected them, and they were both on the scene before the cry stopped echoing down the corridor. The investigation is taken up by a young reporter for ‘The Republican’, Renshaw, assisted by his roommate, the eccentric and brilliant James Bellamy. Eventually, the case becomes a murder, when the body of Miss Wilson impossibly turns up behind some ash cans in the basement – an area which had previously been thoroughly searched. How was it possible to move the body about in a hotel full of police and how did the killer escape from Room 23? The solution is one of the best!


Big lizard LR mysteriesThe Day The Children Vanished (1958)
Author: Hugh Pentecost
Detective: Clyde Haviland

Collection: The Black Lizard Big Book of Locked Room Mysteries 

Locked Room Review

*****

Available in paperback and ebook editions.

Book  eBook  Amazon.ca  

Note: An excellent locked room story!

‘The Day the Children Vanished’ by Hugh Pentecost is clearly one of the best stories in this collection. A station wagon full of schoolchildren is seen driving into a two mile stretch of road known as the “dug away” with a sheer cliff on one side and a fence guarded drop into the lake on the other. The problem is that it apparently never emerged from the other end! The road is carefully searched, but there is no sign of the vehicle or any accident. With no possible exits for a vehicle, the village is soon driven into a terrified frenzy over the missing children. Then some of the children’s clothes are discovered in an old quarry, but the car is still nowhere to be found! Why would anyone take nine children? And where is the car? Oddly, a real life crime in 1976, known as the “Chowchilla Kidnapping”, proved to be eerily similar!


Complete Judson Philips Bibliography


Locked Room 101: The Masters


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