So, earlier this week I put up this post lamenting the poor selection of stories for a ‘new’ locked room anthology edited by David Stuart Davies. In response, the internet’s resident doyen of all things locked room, TomCat over at Beneath the Stains of Time, put up this post suggesting an alternative list of equally out-of-copyright stories suggested by a look through Robert Adey’s Locked Room Murders. To wit:
I arranged an alternative line-up of fifteen titles for Classic Locked Room Mysteries or a hypothetical, non-existent anthology, called Ye Olde Book of Locked Room Conundrums…
To cut a long story short, I am currently engaged in making this hypothetical, non-existent athology somewhat less hypothetical and rather more-existent, scouring the internet to collect these public domain stories into one document — electronic only, sorry Sergio — that I will then make freely available to anyone who wishes to read them. The stories included will hopefully be:
- ‘Rhampsinitus and the Thief’ (c. 440 BC) – Herodotus
- ‘The Spectre of Presburg: A Hungarian Tale’ (1818) – Anne and Annabella Plumptre
- ‘The Diamond Lens’ (1858) – Fitz-James O’Brien
- ‘The Black Pearl’ (1888) – Victorien Sardou
- ‘The Case of Roger Carboyne’ (1892) – H. Greenbough Smith
- ‘The Suicide of Kiaros’ (1897) – L. Frank Baum
- ‘The Lost Special’ (1898) – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
- ‘The Mystery of the Circular Chamber’ (1898) – L.T. Meade and R. Eustace
- ‘The Mystery of the Locked Room’ (1905) – Tom Gallon
- ‘Plague of Ghosts’ (1907) – Rafael Sabatini
- ‘The Mystery of the Flaming Phantom’ (1907) – Jacques Futrelle
- ‘The Unseen Hand’ (1908) – M. McDonnell Bodkin
- ‘The Round Room Horror’ (1911) – A. Demain Grange
- ‘The Mystery of Howard Romaine’ (1917) – Herbert Beerbohm Tree
- ‘Flashlights’ (1918) – Laurence Clark
I say “hopefully” because some of them are proving a touch difficult to find, so the final collection may not have quite this line-up. I mean, I trust Adey and TomCat, so I’m hoping it will, but you can’t always get what you want.
It is my understanding that there should be no copyright issues attached to these works, and hopefully it’s clear that I’m doing this out of sheer enthusiasm. If anyone wishes to mount a legal opposition to this…well, please be gentle.
With fair weather and a following wind it will be available sooner rather than later, so watch this space…and in the meantime, enjoy the awesome cover that TomCat knocked up for this undertaking above — hidden talents, I tell you.
P.S. — No, this is not the same as the publishing project I mentioned here, but as I’m waiting on a few things for that I thought this could be fun; I need to update you on that, too, but I need something to happen before I start talking about it and get everyone’s hopes up.