Alice Feeney's Favourite Locked Room Mysteries

By Pan Macmillan

Alice Feeney's Favourite Locked Room Mysteries

By Pan Macmillan

'Books are a bit like children for authors, we’re not really allowed to have favourites, but Daisy Darker is mine. It is a dark and twisty tale set on a tiny tidal island just off the Cornish coast. The Darker family haven’t all been in the same place at the same time for years, but they have come together one last time to celebrate Nana’s eightieth birthday. When the tide comes in, they’ll be cut off from the rest of the world for eight hours. When the tide goes back out things will never be the same again, because one of them is a killer. 


I often think of Daisy Darker as my Agatha Christie book. It’s my own little tribute to one of my favourite authors, and my take on the locked room mystery, which is something Christie was well known for and exceedingly good at. A classic locked room mystery is a story where a crime, typically a murder, takes place in a location that has been cut off, or “locked” away from the outside world. They tend to have a traditional crime plot, and there should be enough clues for the reader to play detective alongside the characters. 


Here's a selection of some of my favourite locked room mysteries!'


-Alice Feeney, 2023

Daisy Darker


£8.99 £8.54

In Daisy Darker, our locked room is Seaglass, a crumbling Cornish house perched on its own tiny tidal island near Blacksand Bay. The hallway is filled with eighty clocks, and at the stroke of midnight, as a storm rages outside, Nana is found dead. An hour later, the next family member follows. If you enjoy a locked room mystery, collecting the clues and solving a puzzle as much as I do, then I hope you might enjoy Daisy Darker.

And Then There Were None: The World’s Favourite Agatha Christie Book

Agatha Christie

£9.99 £9.49

My favourite locked room mystery is And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie. It’s actually one of my favourite books (I own several copies) and it inspired parts of Daisy Darker. Ten strangers are invited to an isolated island near the Devon coast, where they are each accused of a terrible crime. One by one, the guests start to die and those remaining realise that one of them might be a murderer. I love what Agatha herself had to say about this book. “It was so difficult to do that the idea fascinated me. I wrote the book after a tremendous amount of planning, and I was pleased with what I had made of it. It was well received and reviewed, but the person who was really pleased with it was myself, for I knew better than any critic how difficult it had been.” Daisy Darker has been my most difficult book to write, but it is also the one I am most proud of.


Stephen King

£10.99 £10.44

Misery is one of my favourite books by one of my favourite authors. Bestselling author Paul Sheldon has just finished his latest novel in a remote location, and after celebrating with some champagne, was happily heading back home. But then he wakes up and finds himself in a locked room in an old house with Annie Wilkes, his number one fan. Paul is badly injured and trapped, and the only way to escape with his life might be to write the book his number one fan wants him to write.

In a Dark, Dark Wood: From the author of The It Girl, discover a gripping modern murder mystery

Ruth Ware

£9.99 £9.49

I loved Ruth Ware’s debut novel In a Dark, Dark Wood. Our locked room in this book is a dark, dark house in a dark, dark wood, and our main character Nora (another writer) is arriving for the hen weekend of an old school friend. I think most have us have experienced murderous thoughts on a hen weekend, especially when we only really know and like the bride-to-be (or is that just me?) This is a dark and suspenseful story where nothing is quite what it seems.

Murder on the Orient Express

Agatha Christie

£9.99 £9.49

If it breaks the rules to include two Agatha Christie novels then I guess I’m a rule breaker. Everyone knows this classic locked room mystery by the Queen of Crime. Murder on the Orient Express has been adapted for screen more than once but, as is often the case, the book is best! Our locked room is in this case is the Orient Express train and our detective is none other than Hercule Poirot. When a passenger on the train is found dead, Poirot must use all of his little grey cells to solve the mystery.

The Hunting Party

Lucy Foley

£9.99 £9.49

I am in love with Scotland and if there is a more beautiful place on earth then I have yet to find it. So when I was sent an early copy of Lucy Foley’s first thriller The Hunting Party – which is a locked room mystery set in Scotland – I couldn’t wait to read it. A group of friends gather to celebrate new year at a hunting lodge and it isn’t long before one of them meets their end. This is a highly enjoyable and addictive whodunnit full of suspense, secrets and surprises.

The Moonstone

Wilkie Collins

£12.99 £12.34

I’m including this book in the list for historical value. Written in 1868 by a pal of Charles Dickens, a lot of people think of The Moonstone as the first detective story. I don’t know whether that is true, but if we imagine for a moment that it is, and that The Moonstone was the first in the genre that’s a pretty nifty achievement. Our locked room in this rather old mystery is a house in the British countryside and the story is told from multiple points of view. We soon learn that Rachel is to inherit a large Indian diamond from her unpopular uncle on her eighteenth birthday. Shock horror, the precious stone is stolen that night and one of the birthday guests must have taken it. But who? It is fascinating reading something written 150 years ago and seeing all the ways in which humans have changed, and all the ways we sadly haven’t. If you have any interest in the evolution of crime novels The Moonstone makes for an entertaining and captivating read.

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