Words leave imprints in your mind like footprints in the sand...
beach reading
starry skies to read under
reading in nature

The magic of a locked room mystery

  • Submitted: 9th February 2021


There are many books on TheBookTrail that take you far and wide, whether you can travel in the real world or not. Literary travel is, after all, the only way to travel right now. I’ve been to Japan and Malibu in the last two weeks without leaving my armchair.

The pandemic however has made me want to read a locked room mystery even more. That sense of feeling stuck, trapped and alone – well the pandemic has caused that and it’s not fun. What is fun, however, has been the many locked room mysteries I have been thinking about and wanting to reread. There’s not much of a journey in these books but they more than make up for it in setting and atmosphere!

The magic of a locked room mystery

Here’s a quick guide to getting stuck in a book – in the literal and well as the physical sense!

And then there were none Agatha Christie

Stranded on an island – And Then There Were None – Agatha Christie

Well, this has to be the ultimate locked room mystery. I love this book and have just bought it in Swedish to reread again. I have a compulsion to read this book every now and again. It gives me the chills and I still get that frisson when the murderer is revealed. I mean, I know who it is, and I know the clues inside out, but reliving that is just literary heaven.

I may never go to Burgh Island however where the TV version of the book was filmed…..imagine!

Locked Room mystery set in the French Alps - Ruth Ware

Stuck on a mountain – One by One – Ruth Ware

BookTrail Bookreview One by One

If you have ever wondered what it would be like to be stranded in a lodge, on a mountain, with a killer in your midst, this is the book for you!

Snow and poor visibility once outside the relative safety of the lodge is one thing, but there’s not much safety inside either! This had all the ingredients of a frightening experience in a remote hotel with people you think you know.

And the wind and snow makes noises that are scary too!

The Hunting Party - Lucy Foley

Trapped  in a hotel – The Hunting Party – Lucy Foley

BookTrail bookreview of The Hunting Party

“In a remote hunting lodge, deep in the Scottish wilderness, old friends gather for New Year.”

At a time you’re supposed to be celebrating, and with old friends, you get lulled into a false sense of security. I enjoyed this novel as it was set in Scotland and the Highlands in particular which is always remote and can be creepy given the right circumstances. These people are trapped as they are dependant on each other and on the safety of the hotel!

Mwah ha ha…

Trapped in a hotel when there’s a global nuclear pandemic – The Last – Hannah Jameson

BookTrail bookreview of The Last

You and nineteen other survivors hole up in an isolated Swiss hotel. You wait, you survive. Then you find the body.

I mean, this is perhaps more poignant now given the global situation and the fact we are trapped inside most of the time.

The Lost Village Neil Spring


An entire village – The Lost Village  Neil Spring

Authors on location – Meet Neil Spring in the Lost Village

Two mentions for this category. Neil Spring recreates a real life ghost town in Salisbury Plain. Miles from anywhere and the setting for a very fine mystery. Many years ago, soldiers entered a remote English village called Imber and forced every inhabitant out. It remains abandoned . . . Each winter, on one night only, Imber’s former residents return to visit loved ones buried in the overgrown churchyard. But this year, something has gone wrong and there is something there that shouldn’t be. This is a very remote village so there is no one around, well no-one they want to meet…..

Especially scary as this is based on true facts.

The Lost Village Camilla Sten

The Lost Village Camilla Sten

An entire village – The Lost Village – Camilla Sten

BookTrail bookreview The Lost Village here

There’s a Swedish thriller out soon in English and I reviewed it here when it became big in Sweden. It’s a treat of a read as an entire village goes missing. The locked room angle of the story comes with the group of youngsters who come to investigate years later and are trapped alone in the remote setting where the village used to be.

How does an entire village disappear and would you go looking?


There’s nothing like being locked inside a good……………..book

Susan x



See here for more #BookTrailLiterarySettings

Five books set in bookshops

Five Books set in magical places

Books set on a beach

Books set on an island

Novels set on ghostly ships

Books set in schools

Books set on the marshes

Five great books set in wartime

Time for five books set in lovely locations

Five books with a foodie twist

Five books set at sea

What about five books set in hotels

Books set in the art world

Scary Books set in the woods

Travelling Books set on a train

Books set in the animal world


Back to Blog

Featured Book

Whoever You Are, Honey

2024: On the Santa Cruz waterfront, every house is as perfect as the people inside, right?

Read more