The best locked room mysteries

Who am I?

I am a huge fan of logic puzzles and can find myself wasting hours on these. A locked room mystery is similar to a logic puzzle. We are presented with a limited number of characters and a setting where no one can arrive or leave. Thus, the killer must be one of these characters, leaving the reader to try and find the guilty person before the end of the book. As Sherlock Holmes said, "Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth." I love to try my hand at being Sherlock both as a reader and a writer.


I wrote...

See Them Run

By Marion Todd,

Book cover of See Them Run

What is my book about?

On the night of a wedding celebration, one guest meets a grisly end when he’s killed in a hit-and-run. A card bearing the number ‘5’ has been placed on the victim’s chest. DI Clare Mackay, who recently moved from Glasgow to join the St Andrews force, leads the investigation. The following night another victim is struck down and a number ‘4’ card is at the scene. Clare and her team realise they’re against the clock to find a killer stalking the streets of the picturesque Scottish town and bent on carrying out three more murders.

If Clare wants to solve the case she must face her own past and discover the deepest secrets of the victims – and the killer.
Shepherd is reader supported.

When you buy books through our website, we may earn an affiliate commission. Please help us make book discovery magical and join our membership program.

The books I picked & why

And Then There Were None

By Agatha Christie,

Book cover of And Then There Were None

Why this book?

The ultimate locked room mystery.

Not only do we have a killer in an isolated situation (a small island) intent on murdering every one of the ten occupants but we soon find out the killer is one of the ten occupants.

As each is picked off, one-by-one those who remain try desperately to stay alive and to unmask the killer.

This book got me through a difficult time at school. I was the school bully’s target and I let it be known I was reading a book where everyone is murdered, one by one.

This appealed to her macabre personality and so I fed her bits of the book each day until she forgot she didn’t like me. Thanks for that, Agatha! 

And Then There Were None

By Agatha Christie,

Why should I read it?

9 authors picked And Then There Were None as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Agatha Christie's world-famous mystery thriller, reissued with a striking new cover designed to appeal to the latest generation of Agatha Christie fans and book lovers.

Ten strangers, apparently with little in common, are lured to an island mansion off the coast of Devon by the mysterious U.N.Owen. Over dinner, a record begins to play, and the voice of an unseen host accuses each person of hiding a guilty secret. That evening, former reckless driver Tony Marston is found murdered by a deadly dose of cyanide.

The tension escalates as the survivors realise the killer is not only among them but…


The Wild Girls

By Phoebe Morgan,

Book cover of The Wild Girls

Why this book?

During lockdown I was invited to take part in an online event with three other authors, one of whom was Phoebe Morgan.

I read all three authors’ books in preparation and was quickly drawn into The Wild Girls. The locked room in this case is a luxury lodge in Botswana, the cast of characters four friends who have avoided each other for the past couple of years.

And then one of the four invites the others to celebrate her birthday with a trip to Africa, all expenses paid. But when the trio arrives the hostess is nowhere to be seen. Nor are there any staff and the lodge itself is isolated.

And then the promised party becomes a nightmarish fight for survival.  

The Wild Girls

By Phoebe Morgan,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Wild Girls as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

FOUR FRIENDS.
A LUXURY RETREAT.
IT'S GOING TO BE MURDER.

'An exhilarating, read-in-one-sitting ride' Louise Candlish
'A deadly cocktail of lies, secrets, obsession' T.M. Logan
'A heart-stopping rollercoaster of a read' B A Paris
'This is great. Kept me gripped!' Jane Fallon
'Hold your breath!' Jane Corry

In a luxury lodge on Botswana's sun-soaked plains, four friends reunite for a birthday celebration...

THE BIRTHDAY GIRL
Has it all, but chose love over her friends...

THE TEACHER
Feels the walls of her flat and classroom closing in...

THE MOTHER
Loves her baby, but desperately needs a break...

THE INTROVERT
Yearns for…


The Guest List

By Lucy Foley,

Book cover of The Guest List

Why this book?

I was lucky enough to win a copy of The Guest List when I attended a book club where Lucy Foley was speaking about her earlier novel, The Hunting Party.

I asked a question which was judged to be the most interesting (I’ve forgotten what it was!) and the prize was an advance copy of Lucy’s next book.

In The Guest List an island off the coast of Ireland is the setting for a celebrity wedding and we learn early in the book that someone has died.

The trick Lucy Foley pulls off is to conceal the identity of the victim until nearly the end of the book, leaving readers to work out the identities of both murderer and victim. I failed spectacularly at both!

The Guest List

By Lucy Foley,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked The Guest List as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

*The brand new thriller from Lucy Foley - THE PARIS APARTMENT - is available to pre-order now*

The No.1 Sunday Times bestseller

*Over 1 million copies sold worldwide*
*One of The Times and Sunday Times Crime Books of the Year*
*Goodreads Choice Awards winner for Crime & Mystery 2020*

A gripping, twisty murder mystery thriller from the No.1 bestselling author of The Hunting Party.

'Lucy Foley is really very clever' Anthony Horowitz
'Thrilling' The Times
'A classic whodunnit' Kate Mosse
'Sharp and atmospheric and addictive' Louise Candlish
'A furiously twisty thriller' Clare Mackintosh

On an island off the windswept Irish…


My Husband's Killer

By Laura Marshall,

Book cover of My Husband's Killer

Why this book?

I first met Laura at Theakston’s Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate not long after reading her debut novel, Friend Request and I’ve been a fan of her writing ever since.

And so, when I was offered an advance copy of My Husband’s Killer, I jumped at the chance. Laura does interpersonal relationships brilliantly and I knew I was in for an intriguing read.

The novel opens as the victim’s widow prepares for his funeral, having learned a shocking secret about her husband who drowned off the Amalfi coast.

What she thought had been an accident now looks very different and so we go back in time, gradually filling in the gaps until the truth emerges.

My Husband's Killer

By Laura Marshall,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked My Husband's Killer as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Gripping . . . the pages actually turned themselves' Holly Willoughby

Three couples. One murder. A holiday to die for . . .

We arrived at a villa on the Amalfi Coast, ready to enjoy a sun-soaked weekend with our oldest friends - and one new face.

By the end of the weekend, my husband is found dead.

But how can I mourn him, when on the day of his funeral I discover he was having an affair?

The only suspects are the women we went on holiday with. My oldest, closest friends.

I really want to dig into my…


The Institution

By Helen Fields,

Book cover of The Institution

Why this book?

The Institution is a secure unit for the criminally insane, unnerving enough but when the two main characters enter its walls under cover, one as a therapist, the other posing as a patient, the stakes are high.

A horrific crime has taken place and the remote location means the perpetrator was either a patient or a    member of staff. The two lead characters have to find the killer while keeping their real identities a secret.

Add to this a race against time to find a newborn baby and the tension is unbearable.

I wrote about an abducted baby in my second book and keeping the race against time uppermost in the reader’s mind was the most difficult part of the process.

The Institution

By Helen Fields,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Institution as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Brilliant! The Institution is a harrowing, nonstop story that will grab you from the first page and not let go. Helen Fields is a master of suspense. You'll consume it in one sitting.' - International bestselling sensation JEFFERY DEAVER

They're locked up for your safety.
Now, you're locked in with them.

Dr Connie Woolwine has five days to catch a killer.

On a locked ward in the world's highest-security prison hospital, a scream shatters the night. The next morning, a nurse's body is found and her daughter has been taken. A ransom must be paid, and the clock is ticking.…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in survival, millionaires, and murder?

8,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about survival, millionaires, and murder.

Survival Explore 141 books about survival
Millionaires Explore 8 books about millionaires
Murder Explore 664 books about murder

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like Rebecca, The Hunger Games, and Get Shorty if you like this list.