The Novelry Blog

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The Closed Circle Mystery by Lucy Foley Jul 18, 2021

The closed circle is a beloved sub-genre of mystery, suspense and thriller fiction.

It refers to a crime, usually a murder, for which there are a limited number of suspects, each with credible means, motive, and opportunity.  The criminal (murderer) is one of the people present at or nearby the scene, and the crime could not have been committed by some outsider. The detective has to solve the crime, figuring out the criminal from this pool (circle) of suspects, rather than searching for a totally unknown perpetrator.

From the Desk of Lucy Foley.

My favourite Agatha Christie novel – and possibly my favourite murder mystery of all time – is And Then There Were None. There’s the tight plotting, the wonderfully awful cast of love-to-hate characters, the sheer astonishing brilliance of the reveal. But first and foremost for me is the closed circle setting. The island is a menacing, deadly presence from the outset. It’s that idea of the...

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