Blogging A to Z: Day 9 – Impossible Crimes: Mysteries where the crime seems impossible to solve

Welcome, my fellow cozy mystery enthusiasts! Today, we’re diving deep into the world of impossible crimes. No, not like the impossible task of trying to keep your cat from sitting on your keyboard while you’re typing. We’re talking about those brain-busting, Sherlock Holmes-level mysteries that leave you scratching your head and wondering how in the heck the author managed to pull it off.

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So, what exactly is an impossible crime? Well, my dear Watsons, it’s a mystery that seems utterly unsolvable. The kind of mystery that makes you want to scream, ‘What kind of sorcery is this?!’ But, that’s what makes them so darn intriguing and captivating for us cozy mystery readers. We can’t help but get sucked into the challenge of solving a crime that seems impossible to solve. So, grab your magnifying glass and put on your thinking cap, because we’re about to dive into the world of impossible crimes!

So, you want to know about impossible crimes, do ya? Well, buckle up, buttercup, because we’re about to dive into some seriously mind-bending mysteries.

Let’s start with the classics, shall we? No one does an impossible crime like the OG mystery authors.

Take Agatha Christie, for instance. In “Murder on the Orient Express,” someone gets stabbed in a train car that was locked from the inside. How in the hell did the murderer do it? I have no idea, but I’m pretty sure Hercule Poirot had a mustache hair for that.

Then there’s Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s “The Adventure of the Speckled Band,” where a woman dies in a locked room with no apparent cause of death. Was it a snake? Was it a ghost? I don’t know, but I’m pretty sure Sherlock Holmes didn’t either until he busted out his magnifying glass and his patented “thinking pose.”

Now, let’s fast forward to the present day and talk about some contemporary cozy mystery authors who know how to serve up a deliciously impossible crime. Take Lucy Foley’s “The Guest List,” for instance. Someone gets murdered on an island during a wedding where there are only a handful of guests, and everyone has a rock-solid alibi. How did the killer manage it? I have no clue, but I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have been able to resist eating all the hors d’oeuvres while trying to figure it out.

Or how about Tessa Arlen’s “A Death by Any Other Name,” where a man dies from poison in a locked room, and the only suspect is a ghost? What kind of Scooby-Doo nonsense is this? I don’t know, but I’m pretty sure Lady Montfort would have figured it out even without the meddling of those pesky kids.

So, there you have it, folks. Some classic and contemporary examples of impossible crimes in literature. I don’t know about you, but my brain hurts just thinking about trying to solve these mysteries. But hey, that’s the fun of it, right?

Oh man, writing an impossible crime is no easy feat. It’s like trying to balance a flamingo on your nose while reciting the periodic table backwards. But when done right, it’s like magic. The reader is left scratching their head, wondering how in the world anyone could have committed the crime, and then suddenly the pieces fall into place and everything makes sense. It’s a delicate balance between creating a mystery that seems impossible to solve, but also making it solvable without feeling like you cheated.

As a writer, you have to constantly be thinking about how to keep the reader engaged and interested in solving the mystery. It’s not just about the plot twists and turns, but also the characters and their motivations. Maybe the detective has a personal stake in the crime, or maybe one of the suspects is someone they know. Whatever it is, you have to keep the reader invested in the story and the outcome.

And let’s not forget the importance of red herrings. You know, those sneaky little clues that make you think you know who the killer is, but then it turns out to be someone completely unexpected? It’s like trying to navigate a maze while blindfolded, but somehow it all comes together in the end.

But at the end of the day, the biggest challenge of writing an impossible crime is finding that sweet spot between impossible and solvable. You want the reader to be challenged, but not so much that they give up in frustration. It’s like baking a cake. You have to get the proportions just right or it’ll end up a soggy mess. And nobody wants a soggy mystery.

Okay, so you’ve read through the book and you’re convinced that the impossible crime is, well, impossible to solve. Don’t worry, my friend. You’re not alone in this. The writer specifically crafted this mind-boggling scenario to leave you scratching your head and questioning your detective skills. But fear not, for I have some tips for you to approach solving the mystery.

First off, take a deep breath and remember that you are not actually a detective. You don’t have to solve this crime in real life. This is all in good fun. So, approach the problem with a clear head and a playful attitude.

Secondly, keep an eye out for common tropes and clues that the writer may have left for you. Perhaps there’s a key detail that the author included that seems insignificant at first glance, but upon further inspection, it could hold the key to solving the impossible crime.

And finally, don’t be afraid to get creative with your thought process. Remember, this is a cozy mystery we’re talking about. It’s not like you’re solving a real-life crime. So, feel free to let your imagination run wild and think outside of the box.

Who knows? Maybe you’ll surprise yourself with your detective skills and solve the impossible crime before the fictional detective even does. And if not, at least you had a good time trying.

Well, folks, we’ve reached the end of our journey through the twisted and tantalizing world of impossible crimes. We’ve explored the classic examples from mystery masters of the past, and we’ve seen how contemporary cozy mystery writers have put their own spin on this intriguing trope.

But the real question is, can YOU solve the impossible crime? Don’t be afraid to put on your detective hat, grab a magnifying glass, and dive into your favorite cozy mystery. Who knows, maybe you’ll be the one to crack the case wide open and become a renowned mystery-solver. Or maybe you’ll just end up confusing your cat. Either way, it’s sure to be a fun ride.

So, fellow mystery lovers, let’s get cracking! There are impossible crimes waiting to be solved, and we’ve got just the right amount of curiosity and stubbornness to crack them wide open. Happy sleuthing!

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