Monday, May 5, 2014

Holiday Puzzle: A Locked Room Mystery by Mosomoso

An elderly woman is found dead in a locked apartment, with little to indicate the possibility of foul play...

I wasn't able to find too much information about this story or its author, however enjoyed the tale and thought I'd include it here. The narrative is told from the perspective of Gavin, an investigator for an insurance company. While on holiday Gavin challenges his friends to solve the case behind an insurance claim that he had previously worked on.

Holiday Puzzle: A Locked Room Mystery

The short story is available in its entirety for free at With A Twist.

Author: Mosomoso
Date: 2012
Word Count: 4,300 (about 17 pages)
With A Twist Homepage


Holiday Puzzle... is a well written short story that works its way through the events leading up to a life insurance claim. Told in retrospect by the insurance claim assessor (Gavin), it provides a unique viewpoint from which to analyse the crime.

Reciting the details to his friends, our narrator does tend to progress the story with exposition filled monologues, however this is not necessarily to its detriment. We are told what we need to know, and only what we need to know. There is little in the way of unnecessary tangents, which keeps the story driving steadily towards the eventual reveal.

The solution itself is fairly novel, with enough ingenuity to provide a satisfactory close. The motive falls in to the familiar trope of "victim is worth more than originally thought", however viewing this from the perspective of the insurance company trying to avoid payment is both unique and intriguing.

From what I can find online both the story and its scribe are fairly obscure, which is a shame as the writing stands up well against the more established authors in the genre.

7/10 - A unique perspective adds intrigue to a rewarding if exposition-y story.

1 comment:

  1. Hi again

    I'm the author of the above. It was good of you to review my piece. In line with what you said of the first effort, I have been wrestling with a plot which has less exposition and more current action, though I'm sure I haven't avoided all the cliches and pitfalls. I've taken your point about the standard motive, but I've found it hard to avoid this time around. I'll work on that next time - if there is a next time - since it really is a solid criticism.

    It's a short story in several brief chapters, the first three of which have been written. Please don't feel in a hurry to read or review, since I have no idea of the quality or novelty of the plot and I'm sure you have much else to do and read. Nonetheless, I thought I'd let you know.

    The first chapter may be extraneous for non-Australians, but I felt like some mood-setting for some reason. Second chapter begins the locked room plot.

    All the best

    Rob Townshend