Wednesday, August 30, 2023

"All of You Had Reason To Kill Him"

"The Locked Room Mystery Mystery."
By Jasper Fforde (born 1961; HERE and HERE).
First appearance 2007.
Online at The Guardian (HERE).

   "Locked Room Mystery is dead! Can you work out the culprit in this witty short story by Jasper Fforde, author of the popular Thursday Next mystery novels?"

A surfeit of suspects, but can it really be that they're all telling the truth? "We were about to present Locked Room with his award," says one, "but he'd gone missing. We eventually found his body in the library. I swear, the room was locked, the windows barred, and there is no other entrance."

Main characters:
~ The victim: Locked Room Mystery.
~ The fuzz:  Detective Inspector Jack Spratt and Detective Sergeant Mary Mary.
~ The suspects: Red Herring, Unshakeable Alibi, Cryptic Final Message, Least Likely Suspect, Overlooked Clue, and the butler, Flashback.

Reference and resources:
- "he borrowed it word for word from Poe's The Murders in the Rue Morgue":
  The experts have their say about EAP (HERE).
- Detective Jack Spratt has his own Wikipedia page (HERE).
- P. J. Bergman also spends some time with "The Locked Room Mystery Mystery" (HERE).
- Nearly a decade ago we encountered another piece of metafiction by Jasper Fforde, "The Death of the Locked Room Murder" (HERE).
- Another impossible crime story (some consider it a tour de force) that fits neatly inside the SFF genre is Fredric Brown's novelette, "Daymare" (HERE).

Unless otherwise noted, all bibliographical data are derived from The FictionMags Index created by William G. Contento & edited by Phil Stephensen-Payne.

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