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Locked Room Authors Index: C 


Many of the best locked room classics have been written by authors who only wrote one or two titles in the genre. This page is the third instalment of our locked room classics index, covering all these minor locked room authors, without author pages, whose surnames begin with the letter C. New titles will be added to this page as information becomes available on titles that are currently unavailable or where sufficient information cannot currently be found. Details on many of these titles is quite hard to find – if you have information to add please let us know on our GoodMystery Facebook page!


Locked Room Novels: C


at midnightAt Midnight (1897)
Author: Ada Cambridge
Detective: Billy and Nettie Wingrave

 

Best Review
***

Available in ebook and paperback editions.

Book  eBook  Amazon.ca

Note: Ghostly happenings inside a locked room!

“There it is,” said the bridegroom, his eyes kindling, his voice full of feeling, evoked by thronging memories of the splendid days of youth. “And you should see it when the pink may is out and those woods full of rhododendron in flower! Look at that grass ride – the deer like to come out there to feed, though they hide in the fern to rest – and what a stretch for a gallop! There wasn’t the shooting in my time that there is now, but many a jolly day have I had with Walter Desailly in those fields over there, walking up our birds with one old dog through the turnips and stubble. You see that water shining through the trees? There was duck there; we shot them with a rook rifle by moonlight out of a bedroom window, and scared the maids with the row we made; once we caught a forty-two pound pike on a night-line; Walter had been fishing for it all his life, and found three sets of his tackle rusted in its jaws. The old squire had it stuffed for a curiosity. I wonder if Walter has it still, and whether he ever thinks of those old days?” The speaker sighed inaudibly. He was a fine man, in his prime, inclining to stoutness, and with a suspicion of frost upon his short brown beard. “Those old days” were nearly twenty years ago.


scarlet dootBehind the Scarlet Door (1971)
Author: Lou Cameron
Detective: Sgt Morgan Price

 

Best Review
****

Available only in used paperback and hardcover editions.

Book  Amazon.ca

Note: A tough city cop’s adventure with murder and witchcraft

A Welsh cop is recruited to investigate an unusual case involving the occult. The autopsy of a recent corpse belonging to a dancer reveals that her death occurred at least two weeks earlier, but the police interviewed her only two days before. Later, the body of a local witch is found, dead for well over a month, though Sgt Price had just interviewed her. 


abandoned roomThe Abandoned Room (1917)
Author: Wadsworth Camp
Detective: Bobby Blackburn

 

Best Review
****

Available in paperback and ebook editions.

Book  eBook  Free eBook  Amazon.ca  
Gutenberg  Librivox

Note: Death in an abandoned room!

The night of his grandfather’s mysterious death at the Cedars, Bobby Blackburn was, at least until midnight, in New York. He was held there by the unhealthy habits and companionships which recently had angered his grandfather to the point of threatening a disciplinary change in his will. As a consequence he drifted into that strange adventure which later was to surround him with dark shadows and overwhelming doubts. Before following Bobby through his black experience, how-ever, it is better to know what happened at the Cedars where his cousin, Katherine Perrine was, except for the servants, alone with old Silas Blackburn who seemed apprehensive of some sly approach of disaster.


house fear WCThe House of Fear (1916)
Author: Wadsworth Camp
Detective: Arthur McHugh

 

Best Review
****

Available only in paperback and hardcover editions or archive. org microform.

Book  Amazon.ca  Archive.org

Note: The story behind the film The Last Warning

Information on the book is scarce, but it is the basis for a 1922 Broadway play by Thomas F. Fallon, which was made into the film The Last Warning (1929), which was also the UK title of the book. The Wikipedia synopsis of the film: Five years after a theater was closed following a murder of one of its actors during a performance, a producer decides to solve the mystery by again staging the play with the remaining cast. During the repeat performance another murder occurs. Eventually it is discovered that the murders were part a ploy devised by the stage manager to sabotage the production.


suddenly air2Suddenly, In The Air (1969)
Author: Karen Campbell
Detective: Lisa Massingham

 

Best Review
***

Available only in used paperback and hardcover editions.

Book

Note: An airliner goes missing!

Flying Adastra, a very small airline, obviously per ardua, is one Lisa, who tells this story with twitters and jitters not altogether appropriate to the serenity of a stewardess but she remembers how a previous Astroliner had disappeared and now suspects a similar disaster. One very good scene makes the going great at the end but mostly this is a very flighty flight manifest. (Kirkus Review)


Dog Days PCMurder In The Dog Days (1991)
Author: P. M. Carlson
Detective: Maggie Ryan

 

Best Review
****

Available only in used paperback and ebook editions.

Book  eBook  Amazon.ca

Note: Too much time in the office?

On a sweltering summer day, reporter Olivia Kerr and her husband Jerry invite Olivia’s colleague Dale Colby and his family to the beach. Accompanying them is a very pregnant Maggie Ryan, Jerry’s sister, and her family. Dale’s last-minute decision to remain at home to follow up on an important story results in a tragic discovery when the beach-goers return: Dale’s body in a pool of blood inside his locked office. Vietnam veteran turned police officer Holly Schreiner leads the investigation, battling Maggie – and demons of her own.


tell tale clock 2The Tell-Tale Clock Mystery (1937)
Author: Jesse Carmack
Detective: Stonewall Rountree

 

Best Review 
***

Available only in used hardcover editions.

Book  

Note: The locked room is the easy part!

Originally published as as an advanced review copy ‘What shall we call this mystery’, with a $50 prize offered for the naming of this novel, published the following year as “The Tell-Tale Clock Mystery”.

In The Tell-Tale Clock Mystery, “Stonewall” Rountree, a former football player who switched careers and studied with the FBI, investigates the murder of Miss Agnes Turnbull, an investigative journalist who is not above a touch of blackmail. She has been shot to death in her locked hotel room, at Brock’s Haven Inn on the Fourth of July – with the  key still on the inside of the door and no gun to be found. Rountree soon solves the impossible locked room problem,  but can’t explain how her killer knew when and where to strike!


put out starPut Out That Star (1957)
Author: Harry Carmichael
Detective: John Piper #12

 

Best Review
****

Available only in used hardcover editions.

Book

Note: A vanishing movies queen!

Insurance investigator John Piper investigates the disappearance of a British movie star from a locked room in a fashionable London hotel. Not a great entry – see Best Review!


Postmortem HCPost Mortem (1965)
Author: Harry Carmichael
Detective: John Piper #24

 

Best Review
***

Available only in used hardcover editions.

Book

Note: A bit of a lark?

Insurance claims investigator Piper and his talented, tippling, sometime assistant Quinn trace the coincidental rash of deaths after bathing to a pre-planned murder plot run wild when a poisoned bottle of bathing/shaving lotion strayed from its owner’s purse. A larky straight detection job from England. (Kirkus)


double turnThe Double Turn (1956) 
AKA: The Later Miss Trimming
Author: Carol Carnac (AKA: E.C.R. Lorac)
Detective: Chief Inspector Rivers

 

No Review
***

Available only in used paperback and hardcover editions.

Book

Note: Death of A Great Victorian?

“Dead? Nothing of the kind, my dear. He is still alive, very much alive,” said Jocelyn Truby. He glanced up at the huge canvas again then added testily: “The trouble with you youngsters today is that you are so contemporary minded you tend to think of the Victorians as ancient history, on a par with Alfred and the cakes. I am a Victorian myself, and proud of it. I can remember her funeral, and I am still compos mentis.” Susan Truby tucked her arm in her uncle’s and spoke apologetically, “It is one thing to remember Victoria’s funeral, Jocelyn dear… and its quite another to be a Great Victorian…”

Carol Carnac is a pseudonym of Edith Caroline Rivett-Carnac. She was born in Hendon, Middlesex, and educated at the South Hampstead High School, and later the Central School of Arts and Crafts in London. She also wrote crime fiction under the pseudonym ´E.C.R. Lorac´ and two ´straight´ novels under the name ´Carol Rivett´.

The locked room interest revolves around a broken neck inside a locked house. Quite a rare book!


bated breathThe Man with Bated Breath  (1934)
Author: Joseph Carr
Detective: Oceola Archer

 

Best Review
****

Available only in used hardcover editions.

Book

Note: A haunted attic?

Freddie Carewe is on his way to the Gobelin family plantation, Locokinghaven, in Georgia, to work as the new chauffeur, but before he can even ring the doorbell he is confronted with a gun-toting dame and the body of a man. The woman is Marigold Theby, a relative of the Gobelin’s, who has just stumbled across their dead lawyer, but no one seems very concerned. Ocealo Archer is a gargantuan detective with an insatiable appetite who is on hand when a  a crashing noise sends everyone running to an empty gable-room, where four of them get locked in – just before gunfire erupts inside! Not advised for those who unable to tolerate 1930’s southern racism.

Great Moonlight Detective Beneath The Stains of Time review! 


invisible deathInvisible Death (1975)
Author: Lin Carter
Detective: Prince Zarkon, Lord of the Unknown

 

Best Review
****

Available only in used paperback editions.

Book

Note: I guess this is locked room… right?

The second book in the Zarkon series. A criminal who calls himself The Grim Reaper, demands that wealthy NewYork City business men make huge payoffs or expect unexplained death. Jerold Streiger refuses to pay the ransom, and despite taking all precautions, ends up dead with no apparent cause. Prince Zarkon is contacted by the police who need his help after the coroner determines that Streiger died of a heart attack brought on by an impossible blood clot. Zarkon soon finds more victims and chases this evil villain to a secret hideout in Chinatown.

Zarkon and his Omega Crew zoom into death-defying action! Dead men. One after another. Rich. Famous. Powerful. And all defenseless against the invisible occult force that struck them down and left no trace of its satanic identity and devilish design. The police were powerless. The governments of the world were struck with fear and trembling. And only Prince Zarkon, the Ultimate Man, and his devoted Omega Crew, could hope to stem the bloody flood of terror about to engulf all mankind. But even the great Zarkon and his miracle men might have met their match, as the defenders of Good moved into a shattering showdown with an eerie Empire of awesome Evil.


murder campusThe Campanile Murders (1933) 
Author: Whitman Chambers
Detective: Bill Bartlett, reporter

 

Best Review
***

Available only in a rare hardcover edition, easier to watch the film!

Movie

Note: Murder at college

Bill Bartlett, police reporter for the Times-Star, gets personally involved in a murder investigation after an argument with his would-be girlfriend, Lillian Voyne, a college student/roadhouse singer. After dropping her off on campus so that she can keep an appointment with Malcolm Jannings, one of her classmates who is the chimes-ringer in the Campanile – the clock tower at the center of the campus, Bill decides to wait around for her. The music stops suddenly and a shot rings out from the tower. The police arrive and Bill accompanies them to the top, where they find Jannings shot in the head… and the killer mysteriously vanished. Not trusting the police to solve the crime, Bill enlists the aid of Dr. C. Edson Hawley, a popular chemistry professor at the University and a noted criminologist who has succeeded where the police had failed in the past. Lillian is soon identified as the prime suspect – by both the police and Dr. Hawle – and Bill makes it his mission to prove them all wrong.

Although (in typical Chambers style) the names “Berkeley” and “California” are never mentioned, and the university is called “State University,” it is clear that the actions takes place on and around the University of California. The description of the Campanile matches Sather Tower exactly, and references to other Berkeley landmarks like the Greek Theater and College Avenue, in addition to San Quentin and the ferryboat system, make it pretty obvious that the setting is Berkeley.

Murder on the Campus Wikipedia


dead fingerprintsDead Men Leave No Fingerprints  (1935)
Author: Whitman Chambers
Detective: Stanton Lake

 

Best Review
****

Available only in used paperback and hardcover editions.

Book

Note: The Walking Dead?

Danish film star Hilda Haan hires private detective Stanton Lake to protect her from a blackmailer threatening to tell her studio about her “moral turpitude” unless she agrees to marry him. Lake promises to get her out of the mess – even if he has to kill the man to do it.

However, someone does the job for him just before a seance at the residence of the once wealthy tycoon Rufus Raybourne. The victim is killed with a poker, which carries the fingerprints of an enemy of Raybourne’s who died more than a year earlier in prison. But an empty grave soon starts Lake on the trail of a dead murderer! 


double shuffleThe Double Shuffle  (1952)
Author: James Hadley Chase
Detective: Steve H
armas

 

Best Review
****

Available only in used paperback and hardcover editions.

Book  Amazon.ca

Note: A dancer and a deadly snake!

James Hadley Chase is probably the best know psuedonym of René Lodge Brabazon Raymond, an English writer also known by other pen names, including James L. Docherty, Raymond Marshall, R. Raymond, and Ambrose Grant. He is one of the best known thriller writers of all time. He was influenced by American crime writers and writers of hardboiled pulp fiction, but he rarely visited the United States and the books are based on knowledge acquired by reading and using reference materials. He has written some 90 books, almost half of which have been made into movies.

“The Double Shuffle” tells the story of Steve Harmas, an insurance detective, who has to try and find out why Susan Gellert, an obscure dancer who performs in a G-string with a deadly snake for a partner, has taken out a personal insurance for a million dollars. It is supposed to be a simple publicity stunt, but Steve is sure that whoever stands to gain from her death doesn’t intend to wait very long to collect the money. However, as he begins investigating the past and present activities of Susan, Steve becomes involved in a baffling, sinister and intricate plot to defraud the insurance companies.


way shroudThe Way for a Shroud (1953) 
Author: James Hadley Chase
Detective: 

 

Best Review
***

Available only in used paperback and hardcover editions.

Book  Amazon.ca

Note: One last dip?

“This Way for a Shroud” is a chill-a-page story of police versus mafia racketeers in the fast-paced, hard-hitting style readers have come to expect from James Hadley Chase.

June Arnot, a glamorous screen actress, is found murdered in the swimming pool, in a massacre in which all her servants are also killed.

The D.A. suspects Jack Maurer, boss of a billion dollars worth of rackets, a man he has been trying to take to trial for fifteen years. The reason: Jume Arnot was Jack Maurer’s mistress. Is this the opportunity he has been waiting for? The D.A.’s case depends on Frances, a terrified and unwilling eye-witness with a shady past. Can the DA protect her from the mafia’s professional killer? 


murder ingeniousMurder Most Ingenious (1962)
Author: Kip Chase
Detective: Justine 
Carmichael

 

Best Review
****

Available only in ebook and paperback editions.

Book  eBook  Amazon.ca

Note: An impossible murder and theft!

When Hubert Goodall, wealthy Californian estate owner, was found knifed to death in his art gallery, and a valuable Gauguin picture stolen, it would seem that someone had committed the perfect – or rather impossible – crime. For, unless all the guards were lying – and there appeared to be no collusion between them – it was impossible for anyone to have either entered or left the building at the time of the murder. Of course, if one looked for them, there were suspects galore. Plenty of people surrounding Goodall had a motive for resentment, or worse, against him, and plenty of people seemed to behave suspiciously either before or after the crime had been committed. The job of sorting things out fell on old Mr Carmichael, one-time detective, now confined to his wheel-chair. He had a tough time piecing together the puzzle, for he was up against a most ingenious murderer, who all but succeeded in evading the consequences of this crime.


murder childrenMurder Among Children  (1968)
Author: Tucker Coe
Detective: Mitchell Tobin

 

Best Review
****

Available in used paperback and ebook editions.

Book  eBook  Amazon.ca  eBook

Note: A pseudonym of Donald E Westlake – Mitchell Tobin Series #2

Mitchell Tobin is back, in a novel as uncompromising, as hard and reflective as his debut in Kinds of Love, Kinds of Death. Dismissed from the New York City Police Department, Tobin wants only to remain at home behind a wall of his own making, but instead finds himself thrust into a case that begins with police harassment of a Village coffee shop and ends in multiple murder. 


Glass SpearThe Glass Spear (1963)
Author: Sidney Hobson Courtier
Detective: 
Ambrose Mahon

 

Best Review
***

Available only in used hardcover editions.

Book  Amazon.ca

Note: A strange tale from the Australian Outback!

The bush country of Australia provides the unusual setting for this odd tale of death in the land down under. Dick Thewan, returns home to Kinie Ger where he, and several others, all orphaned, had been brought up by Huldah, who is now hiding in her rooms, while a jailbird named Carpentry is in charge, until he is murdered. This death surprised no one, but the murder of Huldah’s brother, and Huldah’s disappearance, are another matter!

A great Best Review by The Pretty Sinister blog!


curious heelThe Case of The Curious Heel (1944)
Author: Kendell Foster (Ken) Crossen
Detective: Jason Jones & Necessary Smith

 

Best Review
****

Available only in used paperback editions.

Book

Note: Information required! 

The locked room aspect involves a death by shooting while inside a sealed bathroom.


phantom fingerprintsThe Case of the Phantom Fingerprints (1945)
Author: Kendell Foster (Ken) Crossen
Detective: Jason Jones & Necessary Smith

 

Best Review
****

Available only in used paperback editions.

Book

Note: A mysterious disappearance!

Morris Block, a Broadway producer and blackmailer, is stabbed to death during a party. The murderer’s fingerprints are found on the knife, but by the time the police finish fingerprinting the group and find the match, the killer has vanished from the house, despite the fact that all the doors are guarded by the police and an undisturbed blanket of snow surrounds the house! 


worldly womanThe Death of a Worldly Woman (1948) 
Author: A. B. Cunningham
Detective: Sheriff Jess Roden

 

Best Review
***

Available only in used paperback and hardcover editions.

Book

Note: Not your average backwoods murder?

Sheriff Jess Roden investigates a double murder in an apartment house. The woman who is poisoned inside her locked apartment has a rather disreputable reputation and the perverted caretaker is even worse. 


becky lowWho Killed Pretty Becky Low?  (1951)
Author: A. B. Cunningham
Detective: Sheriff Jess Roden

 

Best Review
***

Available only in used paperback editions.

Book

Note: Who killed Becky Low?

Sheriff Jess Roden investigates the murder of a young girl stabbed to death inside a locked room and the subsequent death of another woman who apparently knew too much.


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