lunedì 23 marzo 2015

50,000 views

50,000 views

Since my blog was born , I would not have hoped for a similar result!

                             Soon will take up to publish new things.


      Thanks to all those who have become regulars of my space.

Pietro De Palma

lunedì 23 febbraio 2015

Minette Walters: The Scold's Bridle, 1994







In 20s and 30s, the C series of the novels , confronted with that of today, would win if not blatantly, surely with a difference of points.
However it is also true that sometimes (thank God!) some of the contemporary writers is notable for complexity and freshness of invention.
I recently read a novel by the British writer Minette Walters, I own for many years and that I was never able to read first: The Scold's Bridle, 1994 (Gold Dagger Award 1994).
In it there is the story of a crime and shameful secrets, tortuous and devastating that a woman has noted in her diaries.
Mathilde has a daughter, Joanna,  and a granddaughter, Ruth: together they form a trio of "witches", wicked women, devoted to destruction of the other, but which are beings destroyed in the depths of their souls: Mathilde, beautiful woman and from a family extremely wealthy, the Cavendish (the father, was indeed a member of parliament, but also alcoholic), so exuberant at parties and so desired, in the center of the events of British country in which she lives, in reality she was raped by her uncle ogre, George Cavendish , when she was still a minor, and the shock of this youth violence, perpetrated in the birth of the fruit of violence, it is transmitted to the small Jeanne, daughter unintended, born in the hate and doughter from the hate.
At the time of the birth of Joanna, illegitimate daughter of her uncle, among others, in turn, a victim of his subnormality (he is the product of the crossings as part of a family in which tares have developed exponentially), Mathilde found a person who was agreed to marry her, James, in turn impotent. James figures as the legitimate father of Joanna, but following a family dispute (due to his betrayal), abandons his wife and daughter and moved to Hong Kong. One day reappears and decides (after having had an interview with his ex-wife, due to a certain collection of watches of value inherited from his father, declared stolen by his wife and compensated by insurance, but in fact only set aside) to make tit for tat to Mathilde, who has cheated him: he reveals to the daughter the actual paternity, and as George Cavendish, her actual father and great-uncle,  had broadcast his inheritance, exclusively, instead became property of the  mother. In fact, precisely because of genetic defects of George's father, he had ordered that, his son's death, the property would go to his brother still alive, the second son, the father of Mathilde: this to preserve the property and avoid that excessive generosity of George, due to his subnormality,  finally liquidated it in no time at all.

The conflict between the two personalities from Mathilde and Joanna, never got along, then deepens due to the property that each of the two claims as her own. At two adds Ruth, daughter from Joanna, born in the desperation of a marriage gone bad even before accomplished, daughter of a failed musician, drugged and died from an overdose, he spent all the money earned is not in support of his daughter (to which he wanted very well) but in drugs.
Mathilde is as if he needed to Joanna, but over time he can not stand because without her money Joanna can not carry on in modest: she has become a call girl by high board, prostituting herself in London. On the other hand the same niece Ruth, is remained prey, in her insecurity, of a certain Hughes, a young illiterate but by great charm, who has bent her to his purposes: he is at the head of a gang of youths, younger than him, that he has weaned the rape of young girls even more rich, blackmailed and forced on the basis of threat of rapes, to steal money and valuables from their family homes. It’s also the case of Ruth, raped by Hughes and granted him the pack who raped her in turn for five hours. Ruth has bent to the will of her executioner-rapist-lover, stealing money and valuables from the house by Mathilda. The matriarch, not wanting to leave her estate to her daughter and grandson, because she fears that it could be liquidated in less than no time, resorts to a ruse, imaginative but that will have devastating repercussions on raising of family and on the environment citizen: as she has established a solid friendship with her family doctor, Sarah Blakeney, and also (but you will come to know later) with the husband by Sarah, Jack Blakeney (painter not yet recognized but very talented, so much to be portrayed fully nude, while being older), kicked out of the house for an extramarital relationship, to the doctor she  leaves her entire fortune, wanting in this way to give a jolt to the environment (and to do this, she shall instruct a camera crew to shoot a video with the music of background). Although the video has yet to be completed, someone, seizing the right moment, kills Mathilda: the old woman is found in the bathtub with her wrists cut, and wearing a terrible medieval instrument of coercion, "the bite the shrew ", an iron mask holding a muzzle, a pillory that imprisons the tongue.
However,  thorny twigs too symmetrically arranged inside the mask, so as to torture even more the victim, leads investigators to classify the death, a murder.
Many among those who could benefit from them: the daughter and niece first, but would alibis bombproof (truly removable alibis); Sarah and her husband; James, the first husband by Mathilda; Jane and Paul, friends of Mathilda, who fear she spreads their secrets: Jane was the lover of James, while Paul has fucked Mathilda, and from the relationship was born a creature, which was previously thought to be male, then turns out to be a female. To complicate the plot, there is also the pair of Violet and Duncan, tenants of Mathilda, who live in a wing of Cedar House: Violet has sent letters about the event, while Duncan was definitely another lover of Mathilda.
Obviously, the murderer shall be really the less likely, in a memorable final.
Extraordinary novel by Walters, The Scold's Bridle is a wonderful blend of Mystery and Thriller, which assumes sometimes even the movements of social novel, according to a contemporary narrative that would define Crime Fiction. The two kinds indicated are plumbed with a deep psychological cut, even merciless, which dissects the story in its innermost recesses, moment by moment. The connotation strong and intensely dramatic, is enriched by ashes hard-boiled, which give verve and rhythm, to a narrative that for a way to analyze the story very closely, could also be slow.
The typical design by Minette Walters, author born in Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire in 1949, and English author by successful  (also winner: John Creasey Awarddel Crime Writers' Association for the best first novel, The Ice House, 1992; the Gold Dagger Award in 1994 for The Scold's Bridle own; the MWA Edgar Award and the Macavity Award in 1993 for The Sculptress, and again in 2003 the Gold Dagger for Fox Evil) that is, to describe dramas within broken families , here, better than in any other case, are exploited to perfection, giving us a glimpse of the social community citizen, intimately linked to embezzlement, theft, rapes, incest, betrayal, murder, shameful secrets, blackmail, fraud, including its representatives, all related in one way or another to each other, except at Mathilda, according to a typically British scheme, in which the victim is almost always belonging to the high bourgeoisie unless aristocracy.

The ability of Minette Walters to deeply understand the mentality perverse by murderer is not free even to make the potential weakness: the murders are not games of chesses with investigators, as in the classic mystery, but are duels painful  from which no out injured only the killers but also the detectives, all affected in the soul. So the murderer here, is not an evil, but a person who kills because he can only do so, the victim of fate, and also of Mathilda, who is both a victim, because raped in her lost childhood for a childbirth not wanted, and executioner, in her bully all those around her, when not in blackmail others with her memoirs written in the famous Diaries, sought in vain by the police and instead destroyed by the murderer.
Mathilda is the key element of the story and the same narrative structure gives us more figures of detectives who in turn, support the weight of the narrative: Sarah, Sergeant Cooper, Inspector Jones, the faithless husband of Sarah: Jake. Will be he, avenger of Ruth, redeemed husband able to recapture with a tenderness never revealed so thoroughly, his wife, and at the same time able to thoroughly analyze the action coming to reconstruct the figure of the murderer, freeing the action Investigation from the plate. To four investigators who take turns in the story, is adding a fifth figure detective we would like to say, constantly present: is the character  of Mathilda, who, with a different page come from her Diaries, introduces each chapter, and at the same time directs and explains the narrative action and the choices of the other subjects. It’s this a scheme already adopted by other novelists (eg. as in Rim of the Pit, by Hake Talbot).
But there is not only the presence of impersonal and intrusive Mathilda to direct the speech, but also that of a sixth detective, the great playwright William Shakespeare, who  illustrates hand by hand the personalities and situations, with specific references and quotations from his works. The presence of Shakespeare is not random, but even necessary, because just with the figure of a his character, will explain the death of Mathilda, her torture and her relationship with the menage of her surroundings.
The result is a highly evocative writing, full of ideas and cultural destinations
, and very flexible in the explanations of disturbed personalities of the characters (all in various ways, victims of circumstance or of themselves), but at the same time, never heavy, and instead extremely multifaceted and rich in rhythm.
Pages that are read with extraordinary pleasure, and that lead to a final no obvious and to a murderer, not fallen from heaven, but instead very true, in his humanity and in his despair.
Wanting to better fathom the narrative material, what emerges is a duplicity of motives, which run within the story on two parallel tracks, and that are crossed by various people. The two tracks, are two temptations always present in the human soul, but that have characterized the last two decades of the twentieth century: money and sex. All the characters more or less, are pervaded by them, but at only one character, the two temptations, bind and fuse each other (although the motive deeper will be the sex): at the soul of the murderer.

Pietro De Palma

domenica 1 febbraio 2015

Charles Daly King : Arrogant Alibi, 1938



Born in 1895 in New York, Charles Daly King was educated at Newark Academy, Yale and Columbia University. He graduated in psychology, and after having fought as an officer during the First World War, he became one of the biggest followers of Gurdjieff, interesting about the sleep and its components, since his thesis, publishing thick essays about psychology, including Beyond Behaviorism (1927) and The Psychology of Consciousness (1932). He was part of the group of AR Orage in New York and later headed the group in Orange in New Jersey. Besides the two texts quoted, he wrote a manuscript which circulated only in circles of fans, The Oragean Version. He died in Bermuda in 1963.
From 1932, he wrote seven novels, six of which are published, which represent the legacy of vandinian mystery school, perhaps of more than the highest expression.
Arrogant Alibi is characterized, like all the his other five novels (but we should say six, because you know for sure that Daly King finished a seventh novel whom he was waiting to be published after the Second World War, but that it was not more) from atmosphere heavy with suspicion, and a plot as usual complicated: here Michael Lord (police lieutenant), always accompanied by psychologist Rees Pons, is invited to Hartford, home of the rich Victoria Timothy wife of an Egyptologist (rather, predator of tombs) that has brought in America a large part of the things he had stolen in Egypt, constituting in a place, united to his home, a gifted museum. The name of this villa is Perkette.
That evening there will be a reception, during which they provided the musical entertainment, and will be attended Grant Worcester friend of Lord (is he who invited him) and his wife Garde; Charmion Dannish, girlfriend of Dr. Earley, young protege of the rich widow, who will sing, and the same Earley who should play something; the lawyer Gilbert Russell, office of the widow; and two Egyptologists, Ebenezer Quincey and Elisha Springer. However in the mid-evening, during the interval, Charmion having a bit of sore throat and remembering that in the bathroom next to the bedroom of the home mistress, on the first floor, there is a tube of aspirin, went there. She takes the aspirin, also she makes some gargle, then hears something in the neighboring room, and then not going across the door through which she entered, but from another through which the bathroom communicates with the dressing room adjoining the bedroom, she goes here.
A few minutes later, the Inspector Lord, downstairs, while the guests and his friend Pons are in the room where there will be a concert, hears the sound of a phone, but does not understand at first where it comes from; when he picks up the phone, he learns from Dr. Earley, left shortly before,  called at the home of a patient who is very ill, that he would not return home to perform, because his patient is dead and he must also attend to bureaucratic chores: he pleases Lord to report the incident to the hostess excusing him. While he has laying the receiver, Lord is intrigued by a faint glow of light at the end of a corridor, where he knows that there are no lights, but while he is about to go and to see, first he hears a loud scream and then the same cry more attenuated, that comes from upstairs. Bouncing down the stairs, he hears a noise coming from the master bedroom, he enters, and he sees Charmion deathly pale that looking at a point she is going to faint. He supports her in time to see he too, a body lying on the floor near the bed:  is the body of rich widow, with a dagger by the unusual shape, stuck in the throat, so that the handle baits parallel to the chin.
Michael Lord, immediately sees a phone and tries to call the police, but the line is silent because someone cut the wires: you will find that the scissors used are those which come from the basket of embroidery work of the mistress, placed elsewhere. Lord, puts Charmion on the bed and, after making sure himself about  the death of Victoria Timothy, goes downstairs to ask the butler, Rath, when the hostess was uphill. Also turns to his friend Grant Worcester, asking him to call the police because there was a murder, even if that on the front does not believe him. Meanwhile, the attention of Lord is again drawn to the dark corridor from which comes out a dim light: he goes there and understand that ithrough it that the museum is connected to the house. Gone into, he finds at a huge room, lit by a dim light, two men, Springer and Quincey, self-styled Egyptologists, who are discussing about the dating of something that attracts the attention of Lord: it is the same dagger that a few minutes ago was stuck in throat of widow Timothy. Why is there, more of everything clean?
Presenting himself to two men  and informing them about the death of the widow, Lord can know not only their names but also to understand that that dagger is the twin of the other used for the murder, and that both were in a showcase of the museum . When the three enter newly in the house, the cops are coming, under the command of Lieutenant Bergman of the police of  Hartford.
 According to the times, the murder seems committed within about sixteen minutes, from 22:45 (time at which the hostess was seen rising, by the butler, who testifies) to 23.01 (the time of discovery of the body part Lord). Only that at this time all seem to be in a barrel of iron: the majority of the guests, including spouses Worcester, Dr. Pons, Russell, were at the hall where was the concert and were still there when it was given the news of the death of Victoria Timothy and nobody saw someone get away; the two Egyptologists were at the time of the cry, in their room of the museum to examine the other dagger, and, unless each covers the other, could not have been them (they also would never know about the existence of the telephone wire and the place where to find the scissors, or you?); Dr. Earley was even out of the house and the phone call came from outside testifies it. So what? Who ever did kill her?
At the hearing in front of the coroner, Lieutenant Bergman, gathered all the evidence, called Charmion and Lord to testify, rebuilt the discovery of the body, called Charmion later to explain why once finished gargle, she was not simply out of the bathroom to go down  but had stretched the path entering the dressing room and from there into the chamber of the Mrs Timothy from which she would have to go out in the vestibule leading to the stairs, and not having been able to explain it, the head of the investigation incriminates as the killer, even in contrary to legal procedure of this.
At this point, Michael Lord, Dr. Earley and others agree to try to save the girl.
During the interrogation in front of Dr. Earley, that is the coroner in charge of defining the nature of the death of Mrs. Timothy, Grant Worcester,  friend of Lord (is he who invited him to the party) accuses publicly such Kopstein, politician with disreputable friendships, to have made killing the woman, who opposed herself to his claims; and says he saw a man flee from the house. However, if these revelations are new , these are later denied by the revelation that no one came out of the house after Dr. Earley left: it is witnessed by a lot of persons.
However Kopstein is another point to be clarified. As well we learn that the two alleged Egyptologists, old friends of husband of Mrs Timothy killed, were not actually getting together in the museum to date the dagger, as revealed to the investigators, but in turn they went to the toilet and then leaving the showcase with the  two daggers into at the disposal of the other, as long as  was not the Egyptologist who said he would have gone to the toilet, to kill the rich widow.
In other words, if before the alibis were unassailable, now begin to see the stretch marks.
For more, you find that Quincey had a serious reason to kill her: he had a bill due of two thousand five hundred dollars that he would have to pay to the old woman at the day after the murder of her.
Dr. Earley calls on the phone and happily he says that after a series of tests, the position of Charmion has changed, because it has not disclosed any possible motive against her, as well as anyone, Bergman, had suggested that there could be.
Other strange things happen, however: by the maps of the various floors of the house, used in the renovation of the same house,  is torn that about the first floor, where was murdered the old Timothy, a maze of corridors, dark corners, and rooms without a link, which can be accessed not only through the main staircase for which rose Charmion and Lord, but also through a secondary staircase. New questions.
Lord would re-query Quincey about the bill about which he didn’t speak, but he finds the door of the museum closed, boarded up from the inside and moreover he sees slide under the door some rivulets of a viscous liquid and dark red that is undoubtedly blood. He Shoots the door hinges, he manages to demolish it, without falling down to the poor Quincey lying on the ground, whom they find with the other twin dagger, stuck in the back: he, after to have mumbled words that are currently without sense, dies .
The room was locked from the inside. Bystanders frisk it: there is no door or window that may have been used to escape and moreover the sarcophagi are all sealed by pieces of scotch old and yellowed. How did the stabber to eclipse, a few minutes before  all persons arrived, without they had seen someone escape?
After Lord will first deciphered the words murmured to his ear from dying Quincey, whom Springer will reveal to be a magic Egyptian formula: Quincey would murmured “sersew wah wah wah wah”, ie 6-1-1-1-1, because obsessed by the magic of Ser Wah, the murderer will be nailed in a spectacular final at which it will be clarified how a first crime was committed without no one could have done, and how could escape a murderer from a locked room, not before an unassailable alibi was shattered.
Extraordinary novel of Daly King, Arrogant Alibi is one of the best novels of the '30s: fantastic setting, in a spooky house, full of hiding places and dark corridors, blends puzzle mystery (here we have the triumph of Whodunit: also an impossible crime and a crime in a locked room ) with psychological mystery to grind an airtight alibi (with the triumph of Howdunit), creating a superb staging in which the suspects and the persons suspected appear and disappear, mysterious clues overlap (the phone cord severed, two similar daggers, the time clock in the electrical room of the died widow forward over twenty minutes compared with precise, the mysterious number 6-1-1-1-1), in which even the seedlings of various plans at which the tragedy consumes contain puzzles (the torn page with the map of the first floor of Perkette). 
An extraordinarily vandinian novel.
The thinking behind the crushing of an airtight alibi, and the capture of an evil murderer, is very complicated, son worthy of all this literature that from Van Dine originated:  the extremely complicated thinking behind the solution of puzzle at The Bishop Murder Case, by S.S. Van Dine; The Greek Coffin Mystery, by Ellery Queen; or also About the Murder of the Clergyman’s Mistress, by A. Abbot: it is as if Daly King had drawn from all other vandinian authors that before him had their debut as part of the novel, creating a super novel that had characteristics taken from various sources, but in the same time it was not a mere collage, but new original work that transcended its same original sources, creating and recreating all the problems of the enigma novel of the '30s and bringing them to an unusual level of stylistic perfection.
Moreover, it is obvious that it’s a vandinian novel: first Michael Lord is accompanied by his friend the psychologist Pons, and thus form a pair, at which one of the two elements is an institutional figure: Ellery is related to his father who is a police inspector, Philo Vance is related to Markham which is a District Attorney, Abbot is linked to Thatcher Colt who is a Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police. Daly King perhaps had as model for his  Michael Lord, Lieutenant of Police, the character created by Abbot, Thatcher Colt. There is also here a trick that calls another vandinian famous, Ellery Queen, at least in his novels of the '30), ie the dying message: what else is precisely Sersew Wah Wah Wah Wah? And yet vandinian is another feature: the Egyptian setting. In fact, since the early 1900s when many tombs were discovered and important excavations were undertaken in Egtitto until 1922, the year of the discovery of the tomb of Tut-Ank-Hammon, there are many novels that show locations of Egypt, from R. Austin Freeman (The Eye of Osiris, 1911) to Dermot Morrah (The Mummy Case Mystery, 1933), Agatha Christie (Death on the Nile, 1937 and Death Comes as the End, 1944). But, in the novels of the so-called vandinian school, they rise to a real distinctive character.
In fact, from the novel by S.S. Van Dine, The Scarab Murder Case, 1929, all or most ,those who wanted to refer to Van Dine copying the elements of his narrative style, ended up creating a novel that had Egyptian setting  or artifacts that were related to ancient Egypt or other exotic locations that could still arise from Van Dine: Ellery Queen (The Egyptian Cross Mystery, 1933); Rex Stout (Red Threads, 1939) in which the Egyptian setting becomes Indian setting ; Clyde B. Clason (The Man From  Tibet, 1939) at which to the setting in Egypt is replaced a Tibetan setting; Richard Burke (Chinese Red, 1940) in which the exotic setting here becomes Chinese; and finally this novel Daly King.
The same trick that the murderer uses to get away with it, brings us to the second novel by Van Dine The Canary Murder Case, not because it is the same instrument, but because on an instrument of common use, ingeniously, the murderer builds his foreignness to the realization of the crime.
Finally the Locked Room: when the room is more closed than ever, and cannot be a suicide, and there was not something that has moved the time of the assassination, and there are not conditions such that the murderer could confuse himself with who had gone into the room, because it was dark or smoke, and there are not other outputs, the solution is only one: there’s some form of output… masked . This masked output then is found, but  it is kept locked on the other side, by a nail whose head is rusty which leads to think that output has not been used for a long time. So what?
A new twist  will change this solution into another.
But the guilty will flee, only he will not escape a terrible death, that will re-lead us to a previous novel by S.S. Van Dine, The Greene Murder Case.
After writing this article in Italian, I did read it to my friend Mauro Boncompagni and I asked him why the only cover of this novel, which is visible on the network (Collins Crime Club, 1938) was too explicit, revealing a lot of the novel. He told me that my remarks on the english cover of the novel by King were just, but also told me something I did not know: it seems that before me one of the greatest unrecognized and reviewers of mystery novels , Torquemada, in a review of the book, in fact, appeared in the Observer in 1938, had made the same my remarks.
He also told me that he was a great admirer of Carr (Mauro told me that, because we are both fans of John Dickson Carr), as well as a refined man of culture and translator (with his real name Edward Powys Mathers) and compiler crosswords, past to history (under the pseudonym Torquemada). It seems that Colin Dexter has recently reminded him.


Pietro De Palma

martedì 6 gennaio 2015

Robert Adey has dead



                                   The great Bob Adey left us alone

Bob Adey, a historical figure with regard to history, criticism and analysis of crime fiction about The Locked Rooms  and the Crimes Impossible,  has died for an incurable disease.

British, was born in 1941. From an early age he had as passion the study of tales of impossible crimes. The fruit of his research had been his most important work: Locked Room Murders and Other Impossible Crimes, published in 1979, that is also today the bible for us.
In 1991 he published a second edition, revised and enlarged in the amount of collected material.
The first chapter of 99 Chambres Closes by Roland Lacourbe had been written from Adey as a passionate historical introduction of the genre
.

He also published several anthologies: Death Locked In (with Douglas Greene), Murder Impossible (with Jack Adrian), 20 défis à l'impossible (with Roland Lacourbe), one of which even in Japan: 18 Locked Room Puzzles (along with Idetoshi Mori).


martedì 23 dicembre 2014

The Jack Vance Locked Room: A Room to Die In (Ellery Queen), 1965



As it is well known by now, the two cousins Manny and Danny QUEEN, thought at one point to stop the series of Ellery Queen. Probably they  saw themselves out of the world, with an Ellery that extricated himself with puzzles that if respected the '' enigma deductive formal "in the words by Francis Nevins, were not compatible with the address which had taken the Crime Fiction after the end of World War II: less brainy puzzles, and more action and violence. The Finishing Stroke, therefore, would have to be the "swan song" of the series. But, instead, the novel of 1958, was the last only in intention, because, five years later, in 1963, the two cousins thought to resume cooperation and continue the queenian series  with The Player on the Other Side . However, something was not right.
In fact, two years before, in essence two years after The Finishing Stroke, was published a novel called Dead Man's Tale. Radically different style, seemed squeak not a little with that idea of detective fiction that Ellery Queen had imposed until to two years before. The beauty is that it was not a solitary incident, but was followed by 26  novels all very different, because – this, the idea revolutionary base - the two cousins (Manfred Lee), entrusted to a series of minor authors, the continuation of their series, creating a kind of parallel track but radically different.
Essentially those who we usually call "queenian apocryphal ", a term that does not do justice to the experiment, were novels that broke the formal unity of the novels until to that of 1958, but (it is also true) that they had the” imprimatur” by one of the Queen, Lee, who supervised the work and often turned a  novel, in a good novel.
Among the authors, figured often also known science fiction authors, borrowed gender "mystery", as Edward D. Hoch, Theodore Sturgeon or Jack Vance, as well as authors of rank hardboiled as Hanry Kane.
Three novels of the series were written by Jack Vance, "well-known science fiction writer, who “was one among  the few writers that wrote apocryphal to have deliberately adopted queenian situations and topics”:  The Four Johns;  The Madman Theory;  A Room to Die In.

Why did he write them? In an interview, he revealed that: "... Because Ellery Queen gave me a flat fee of 3,000 dollars for each book. Which was then a lot of money! I did have to sign a contract never to reveal I actually wrote the books. Theoretically I Never Took His Name. In a way he took my good proze and did everything to let it pass as His Own".
Novel noteworthy, A Room To Die In is a variation of "Locked Room", not very orthodox, but still worth mentioning. The Apocryphal, and this novel confirms this, they were not necessarily works of fiction that had to take other ways than those visited by Queen, that not necessarily have to be alternatives to the Mystery works. What changes is the style of writing less voluptuous than by Queen, dense of meta-meanings and the fact that they are novels that have different detectives, but not Ellery. It 'also true that there are novels, included in the canon of queenian authentic works,  that aren’t  indeed authentic:  The Player on the Other Side (written by Dannay with Theodore Sturgeon) or ... And On The Eighth Day ... (written by Dannay along with Avram Davidson), or The Fourth Side of The Triangle or The House of Brass (same collaboration ).
Moreover about  queenian Locked Rooms, is not that there are a lot: The King is Dead, The Door Between, The Chinese Orange Mystery. But the solution adopted here, is at the limit: it is a work  of break.
Why? The locked room, it is quite dissimilar from the construction of a Locked Room tout court, as had been theorized by Carr, Rawson, Boucher and Derek Smith. It provided basically three possible moments (a room in which the crime occurred before, one in which occurred at the same time and finally another where the victim is killed after) and an endless array of tricks to close the door or windows . Here, instead, we resort to a solution that subverts the rule inspirational background, that’s  the murderer’s flee from a locked room.
Roland Nelson was found dead in his house, in a hermetically sealed room, with many bolts and latches to think that he feared for his safety. His death is defined as suicide by the Inspector Thomas Tarr when he shall report the circumstances to his daughter Ann, reached by a policeman at home.
For the police the case is closed, for the daughter not. She does not stop. She knew too much his father, a man full of life, that would never have killed himself. Yet the fact of the discovery of his corpse is there to remind her that it must be suicide. But she does not believe it.
By whom he was afraid of being killed? Why on his bank account is a shortfall of twenty thousand dollars and then two thousand monthly withdrawals, as if he had paid a blackmailer? And why a blackmail?

Roland Nelson had had a daughter by partner Elaine Gluck without ever having married, but then he was married with a rich woman, Pearl Maudley. The marriage,for  a certain insensitivity by Roland was shipwrecked soon but she did not want a divorce, and so one night, after being by Cypriano, a couple of friends, Pearl had died by accident.
Roland had inherited a fortune. Is it possible that he had had any responsibility in the death of his wife and anyone had discovered it? Tarr also investigates in this sense, but he doesn’t  find anything.
The private life of Roland is screened thoroughly. He was a chess player, which could also become a better player if he had persevered and had it been less bold. His usual playmate had been Alexander Cypriano, an excellent player who, once learned the death of Roland, shows up at the Roland’s daughter inviting her to lunch. Ann understands there is down something: she thinks that the reason may be a valuable board that found among the belongings of his father, ebony inlaid with rubies and diamonds, the memory of a great victory in an international tournament. Cypriano said it was his and had been given to Roland Nelson after a joke. But then she discovers that the house of Cypriano is mortgaged and registered holder of the mortgage was Pearl, from which it had passed to Roland. But  this mortgage is not found.
Even ambiguous are two other characters: the landlord of Nelson, the builder Martin Jones, and a cousin of Pearl, Edgar Maudley.
The first is unpleasant man, who speaks ill about Roland Nelson, and offends Ann; the second is a bird of prey, defrauded about the family treasure from the marriage of Pearl with Roland: a cousin that he would be heir by Pearl if Roland had not had a recognized daughter. Now he is there to ask her, when not to impose her almost the return of family assets. Ann does not intend to take advantage about the situation but not even to be taken by a fool; and so she agrees about the division of assets, especially books of rare editions, contained in two large bookcases against the wall covered with wooden panels, which divides the study room from the living room.
For most, the Ann’s mother is not found. Is she the blackmailer? It comes a her letter that obliges to think about her impending arrival. But ... nothing.
Also other things do not add up.
First of all the shots: they are heard three during the night at which died Nelson, but only a bullet has killed him and there is no sign about  the other two: either bullets or shells. Then the question about  the mortgage: she finds it was torn by Roland after he and Alexander are played to chess having as trophy for the winner, Jehane, wife of Alexander and bedfellow of Nelson.  Roland had won, she obviously had refused to be used as a thing, her husband had offered  his precious board to rival, and Roland had torn the mortgage as to seal the end of his relationship (with his lover: Jehane). And finally the footprints left on the floor: Ann in her desperate search of truth, analyzed the impossibility of the situation of his father's death, and passed to sift all, focuses her action on the two libraries and realizes that on the ground there are a number footprints circular: there should be six and nine instead she finds, although the walls are solid.
After two more murders (the husband of his mother Elaine, Harvey Gluck, strangled instead of Ann, in the bathroom of Ann; and her mother Elaine, strangled three months before and found in the trunk of her car, abandoned in a junkyard ), Ann will understand the motive of the murder and will find the solution, the culprit and will deliver him to Tarr, hopelessly in love with her.

Beautiful novel, has an ending that recalls somehow the French literature of thirties: the murderer is found at the moment when you understand how was thought the Locked Room, because his criminal action identifies him as the only one that would could achieve it in that context. Beyond this, the novel (its original title was Death of a Solitairy Chess Player ) rows that it is a pleasure.
Ann seeks out, Ann tries, Ann is in danger, Ann solves. The police action is limited to mostly the confirmation and elimination of false leads, with its investigation.
Then..it’s interesting the structure of the plot: about the Locked Room it’s talking at the beginning, at the discovery of the corpse; then we talk about other things: blackmail, other characters in the drama. Then returns the speech about the Locked  Room, and once you move away from it, and this stretch and contract the rope goes even further: it is as if the Locked Room, while not always talking about it, conditioned the course of the novel, because at the end, everything we talked about, and we thought served to distract the reader “stretching the broth”, actually it finds in the final. Jack Vance is linear in his estate,  but you can see a mile away that he was not a writer paid to the Mystery. From what? From the suicide.
The police, until it’s proven otherwise, supports the theory of suicide. For the fact that the body was found in a hermetically sealed chamber, with a wound-blank. The beauty is that it does not explain everything:  strange this police! If Roland shot himself, the paraffin glove would prove it: but..has been done the paraffin glove? No. Why? Maybe - thinks the reader – the police  was so convinced about the suicide. OK. And the wound-blank? How was it possible that the murderer could fire at point-blank to Roland without  he did not fit? Without signs of a struggle had been found, scratches, or worse that the victim had been stunned or drugged. Nothing. Nothing to explain this. Strange this! Moreover, the medical examiner, who always enters in the investigation by Ellery (Sam Prouty) with his characteristic shape, you do not see him here. It’s as if naively Vance would put  axioms without prove them, that instead belongs at the normal procedure of implantation and resolution of a classic detective novel. And the gun? A  pistol .38 you don’t know  if it was property by victim or not. You don’t know how it can be entered, if it is suicide. That's all this is not explained in the novel.
In conclusion ...
The solution remains, nice. But then you realize that it's all a bluff. Because the murderer didn’t  go out from the locked room, if anything he created it.

Pietro De Palma