My friends over at the ever-excellent Londonist are adept at finding things I didn’t know about right on my doorstep. This time it’s Hinthunt, a pop-up live game service that locks you in a room and defies you to escape within an hour, following clues and puzzles before the countdown is over. Up to five people can play it at one time, and I imagine that the more of you there are the easier it is to escape, although given the fact that most of my friends are argumentative or barking mad a group is not necessarily desirable.
I imagine it would be best to be armed with a copy of this. Robert Adey’s Locked Room Murders are just that, the answers to almost every single locked room puzzle written in the Golden Age of crime fiction. It’s not especially useful to writers (there’s no detail) but certainly it sparks ideas when you’re stuck. And the sheer effort of producing such a volume is amazing.
I’m a bit addicted to locked room puzzles, and have included elements of them throughout my writing – even Calabash has one tucked in it somewhere, and there are several in the Bryant & May books – but it’s surprising that so few are really satisfying, as they often involve insanely complex mechanical arrangements that make me think ‘For God’s sake just bludgeon him/her to death!’.
I was thinking of trying the Hinthunt game by myself – but what if the company suddenly closed down and whoever is meant to let you out fails to do so? Then you’d have a real locked room mystery.