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The Abandoned Room

A Mystery Story

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Published: 1917
Language: English
Wordcount: 78,331 / 235 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 76.8
LoC Category: PS
Downloads: 56,221
Added to site: 2004.06.30 8030

The mystery of a secret room, scene of many murders, is unraveled by Carlos Paredes, the Panamanian Sherlock Holmes.

Show Excerpt

pany them upstairs while he questioned her. In the absence of the coroner he wouldn't let the doctor touch the body.

"I must repair this lock," he said, "the first thing, so nothing can be disturbed."

Doctor Groom, a grim and dark man, had grown silent on entering the room. For a long time he stared at the body in the candle light, making as much of an examination as he could, evidently, without physical contact.

"Why did he ever come here to sleep?" he asked in his rumbling bass voice. "Nasty room! Unhealthy room! Ten to one you're a formality, policeman. Coroner's a formality."

He sneered a little.

"I daresay he died what the hard-headed world will call a natural death. Wonder what the coroner'll say."

The detective didn't answer. He shot rapid, uneasy glances about the room in which a single candle burned. After a time he said with an accent of complete conviction:

"That man was murdered."

Perhaps the doctor's significant words, added to her earlier d

Reader Reviews

Average Rating of 4 from 22 reviews: ****

A murder in a locked room but not just another murder in a locked room.
The story begins slowly but some twenty pages later I couldn't put the
book down.
The plot is complexe, fast-moving, with plenty of impressive twists and
turns, maintains an interesting equilibrium between a rational detective mystery and an assortiment of paranormal solutions, and explores a good variety of hypotheses in both directions.
One result of this construction is that the mysterious scenes are really
scary (I don't scare easily), and there is plenty of them.
Also, the most supranatural (apparently) twist of the story is a very possible paranormal occurence.
A great read that keeps your emotions going and leaves you with a good

this is utterly dire! Stupid protagonist, unending and rambling descriptions of not very much of anything, tedious storyline and a supernatural edge halfway through that is just ridiculous. This really is just awful. If you know your supernatural literature and are in ANY WAY familiar with EF Benson / MR James et al, don't waste your time. This is SO bad that I was moved to come on here and feed back. Please. Just don't!!!


This is an entertaining mystery that presents the reader with some bizarre situations. It will keep you guessing as to what can possibly happen next.


While this book is admittedly a page turner, I must say I was generally unimpressed by it. It is too long and drawn out, the characters are not very well developed, and a lot of vital information is withheld until the \"resolution\", which left me feeling cheated. While many murder mystery novels give the reader a chance to play detective and try to figure out \"who did it\" based on the facts, this one doesn\'t even attempt to let you try.


Awesome story..well plotted and real mystery throughout...excellent...

I have just finished reading this book and I would like to begin again to see how exactly the loose piedes fit at the end.I think there are some details that could have been changed in order to attain verosimilitude, but anyway this is a great book.

Martyn Chandley

I give this a rating of 5 stars because it\\\'s a real page-turner right until the end. The suspicion of who the murderer is shifts through the story, and the supernatural element just adds to the mystery.

I tried to solve the mystery but got it totally wrong as my chief suspect was in fact innocent.

This is not the sort of book I normally read, but I recommend this book to anyone.

M More

Excellent book, a real page turner. There are twists,turns and scenes that would rival some of the best suspense films.


This was interesting enough to keep me turning pages. I liked the supernatural angle.


A real page turner.

Who killed Silas Blackburn?

On the eve of the day that he planned on removing his grandson from his will, Silas Blackburn goes to bed in the abandoned room where many of his family have died in agony. In the middle of the night he is found dead in this locked room.

How did someone get into the room? And who?

Bobby, the grandson, has the motive and due to drinking can't remember his actions on that night...

I ended up suspecting each of the characters as well as ghosts or some paranormal activity. fun read!


This is an enjoyable old Locked Room mystery puzzle. The story becomes increasingly puzzling as it moves along. There are two locked room murders, a main suspect (who is also the main character) who cannot remember what he was doing the night of the murder, and suggestions of supernatural activity. I'd tell more, but I don't want to spoil it. Everything is explained in the last chapter. Recommended.


I had to keep reminding myself that this was wriiten in 1917! Very good book. It did keep me up late and guessing. It was spooky at times but towards the end I just wanted to know what happened. Nice twist.

Linda Otto

I agree! This is a fun read. It kept me up way too late, but am I complaining? No! It was worth it. Twists and turns abound. The author has a very good feeling for giving you a sense of place. You really hear and feel the wind keening through the dry, rustling leaves of the winter-dead trees. Spooky. Yes. Fun. Definitely. Go for it. You won't be sorry.

Rebecca Brown

This is such a fun read I don't even care how it ends! Just about 2/3 the way through and can't put it down.


very good. It keeps you wondering.


A reading that clings onto you with a very nice twist.


this book is truly remarkable! i can't seem to take my hands off whenever i start reading it...i highly recommend especially if you want to explore the detective in you and above all be prepared to be mystified...enjoy!


i give this book three stars because although i thought it was a good mystery/ suspense it is very slow moving as far as the story goes. but i guarantee readers will not guess the ending!


Lying somewhere between a mystery and a ghost-story, this is worth a look, though not in any way a great novel. I enjoyed it well enough, despite the author's rather ham-fisted handling of the supernatural elements of the narrative and his inconsistent approach to characters.

R Stephan

While this is a cleverly written immersive mystery (don't stop when it gets esoteric, there will be a rational explanation), I think it's a bit too much constructed to scare, and, naturally, you won't guess the solution because important info is withheld until the end, which I think is a too cheap method for mystery writing.


A good book! Very well-written and holds you while you read through. You are eager to know who was the one. Turns pretty spooky at a time ...and a very unexpected end. Find out yourself! :)

Richard Bohan

I do not know anything about this author or any other books he may have written. I wish I did, because this is ALMOST a very good book. I wonder if the author ever realized his full potential.

Bobby Blackburn can remeber the first part of the evening when his grandfather was murdered. The problem is, he cannot remember what happened the rest of the night, or how he ended up in the neighborhood of his grandfather's house the next morning.

This is a good locked room mystery , for the most part. The cast includes Bobby, his extremely unpleasant grandfather, his beautiful cousin, a lawyer who gives bad advice, a superstitious doctor who gives the mystery its properly eerie overtones, a somewhat shady Panamanian friend of Bobby's, and a mysteriuous woman in black, along with with two cocksure but not very competent detectives and the District Attorney.

The are some things which detract from the story. That the protagonist is egregiously stupid is part of it, since he never thinks to ask who would benefit if he is successfully framed for the murder. A second problem is that the author suddenly changes the relationships between all of the characters three-quarters of the way through the book. A third is that, in the final pages the author suddenly adds a new supernatural aspect to the story, which is just too much. The final complaint might be that the solution to the locked room problem is somewhat of a let-down, but I have found that this is almost always true in this type of mystery, even those written by masters of the form.

Despite my complaints, I think this is enjoyable light reading. I hope that anyone who knows of more works by this author will let me know.



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