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Rupert Penny Locked Room Titles


There is not much information available on the life of Rupert Penny. Gadetection merely notes: Rupert Penny (1909-1970) was a pseudonym for English (some sources Australian) writer and crossword expert Ernest Basil Charles Thornett, who also wrote as Martin Tanner. His series character was Chief Inspector Beale of Scotland Yard. Some of Penny’s mysteries are available from Ramble House.

Note to Canadian customers: Only Policeman’s Evidence can be bought on Amazon.ca at a reasonable price. Better to buy other paperback titles direct from Amazon.com


Rupert Penny Locked Room Novels


policemans evidencePoliceman’s Evidence (1938)
Detective: Inspector Beale

 

 

Best Review
*****

Available in paperback and ebook editions.

Book  eBook  Amazon.ca

Note: A puzzle within a puzzle!

The Locked Room, Acrostic, Train Schedule World of Rupert Penny. Between 1937 and 1941 British writer Ernest Basil Charles Thornett wrote several puzzle-oriented mysteries that until now have only been available in the UK. Using the pseudonym Rupert Penny and the first person friend of Police Inspector, Tony Purdon, the author takes you to the stodgiest of English manors where murder dwells, if not reigns.

Inspector Beale must use all of his puzzle-solving skills, including acrostics and elaborate timelines, to track down the murderer in classic not-so-cosy style. 1938’s Policeman’s Evidence takes Tony Purdon and Inspector Beale to a country manor where a fortune in jewels has been hidden for a century. It’s a treasure hunt for the ages.

The only one of Rupert Penny’s books to make it on to Edward D. Hoch’s list of all time best locked room mysteries!


sealed roomThe Sealed Room Murder (1941)
Detective: Inspector Beale

 

 

Locked Room Review
****

Available in paperback, ebook, and audible editions.

Book  eBook

Note: A classic locked room plot!

 When we think of “locked room mysteries” we think of John Dickson Carr and his imitators, but back in 1941 Britain’s Rupert Penny penned one of the best and most satisfying impossible crimes ever crafted – Sealed Room Murder. Fans of the Policeman mysteries of Rupert Penny will find this classic whodunit every bit as puzzling the others. With diagrams, charts, maps and even a Dutton-like challenge to the reader page, this is a mystery you can’t pass up!  Gadetection Review


Rupert Penny Puzzle Novels

Not true Locked Room mysteries – but some of Penny’s other works are impossible crimes, and all are great puzzle plots that will appeal to many locked room crime fans.


talkative policemanThe Talkative Policeman (1936)
Detective: Inspector Beale

 

 

Best Review

Available in paperback and ebook editions.

Book  

Note: An impossible Mystery?

Rupert Penny wrote this longer-than-usual impossible mystery in 1937. It’s full of maps, charts and highly formatted text, and Ramble House is proud to present it as a facsimile book. Its 330 pages will transport you to the English countryside of the mid-30s as Inspector Beale and his ever-present friend Tony Purdon tackle the murder of a clergyman who had the misfortune of having his head bashed in by person or persons unknown. The author states that by the time you read the first 33 chapters you will have all the information you need to name the murderer and reconstruct the crime. Are you up to the challenge?


Policeman's HolidayPoliceman’s Holiday (1937)
Detective: Inspector Beale

 

 

Best Review

Available in paperback and ebook editions.

Book  eBook 

Note: Suicide or murder?

Policeman’s Holiday concerns a gentryman who is found hanging in an orchard and which looks like suicide — but isn’t. Only an acrostic provides a clue. Chief-Inspector Beale has never tackled a puzzle of such a high caliber; so potent that it threatens to chagrin the police to death! 


policeman armorPoliceman in Armour (1937)
Detective: Inspector Beale

 

 

Best Review

Available in paperback and ebook editions.

Book  eBook 

Note: An enthralling game!

In Policeman in Armour, Rupert Penny once again guides you through the evidence up to a certain point, then turns on you and says: “Now you ought to know who murdered the man, and how, and why.” But do you know? Test your brains and see. You will find it an enthralling-game.

In this story, Sir Raymond Everett, ex-judge, is murdered in his mansion Heath Approach, and there is no shortage of suspects for Chief-Inspector Beale of Scotland Yard to interrogate and consider. Assisted as always by his friend and fellow-sleuth Tony Purdon, as well as Detective-sergeant ‘Horsey’ Matthews, also of the Yard, and the local constabulary, Beale finds this case one of the most challenging of his career.


lucky policemanThe Lucky Policeman (1938)
Detective: Inspector Beale

 

 

Best Review

Available in paperback and ebook editions.

Book  eBook 

Note: An impossible serial killer?

The Lucky Policeman takes Tony Purdon and Inspector Beale to an insane asylum where an inmate has escaped and townspeople are dying from a mysterious spike to the lower brain… and they are all missing their left shoe! This series of bloody murders in the forest, and the odd array of evidence,  suggests that a madman is committing the crimes. But is all as it seems on the surface….


she had gasShe Had To Have Gas (1939)
Detective: Inspector Beale

 

 

Best Review

Available in paperback and ebook editions.

Book  eBook 

Note: Beale’s strangest case?

Inspector Beale has seen many brutal crimes in his career, but this one takes the cake. The body of a young woman is seen, then it disappears, then it pops up again, only this time the head, and lower arms and legs have been cut off and are missing. Instead, tennis rack covers are taped to the neck and the two upper arms. But not the legs. So far, it’s just one of the goriest crimes he and his journalist pal, Tony Purdon, have ever seen. But then a second body is found – and it’s missing head, arms and feet. What is going on?


sweet poisonSweet Poison (1940)
Detective: Inspector Beale

 

 

Best Review

Available in paperback and ebook editions.

Book 

Note: One of Penny’s best!

Murder comes slowly to prep school Anstey Court, but when a young student is poisoned by candy, Chief-Inspector Edward Beale and his sidekick, Tony Purdon, are on hand to investigate. They learn about life and sports at the school, where undercurrents from long ago run deep and mysterious. Who would want to murder an innocent young schoolboy? And is there more of the cyanide hidden around the schoolgrounds, waiting for its next victim? Beale and Purdon are in a race to find the killer before he strikes again.


cut runCut and Run (1941)
Written as Martin Tanner

Detective: Arnold Dane

 

No Reviews

Available in paperback and ebook editions.

Book  eBook  Amazon.ca

Note: No inspector Beale!

Australian (?) author Rupert Penny, writing under the name Martin Tanner, takes a vacation from his Inspector Beale police procedurals and pens a swift-moving chase story, full of psychological horror and breakneck thrills. Our hero parks his car, and takes a country walk, and when he gets back he’s met by Dr. Paul, one of the most engagingly evil villains ever conjured, who asks if he can search the car for an escaped lunatic. Well, of course the lunatic is hiding in the back seat and she’s beautiful and not much of a lunatic at all. The chase is on!


Rupert Penny Bibliography


Locked Room 101: The Masters


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