diagnosis impossible
I’ve been a fan of Edward D. Hoch’s work for decades. Some of his best work can be found in this Crippen & Landru collection, Diagnosis: Impossible (The Problems of Dr. Sam Hawthorne). Hoch specialized in locked room mysteries and other “impossible” crimes. With the Sam Hawthorne stories, Hoch features a lead character who is a physician which comes in handy when solving some of these conundrums. The settings are in New England in the 1920s. The bonus in this volume is Marv Lachman’s useful chronology. If you enjoy great story-telling and puzzle mystery stories, Diagnosis Murder is the book for you.
The problem of the covered bridge
The problem of the old gristmill
The problem of the lobster shack
The problem of the haunted bandstand
The problem of the locked caboose
The problem of the little red schoolhouse
The problem of the Christmas steeple
The problem of cell 16
The problem of the country inn
The problem of the voting booth
The problem of the county fair
The problem of the old oak tree
A Dr. Sam Hawthorne chronology / Marvin Lachman.

10 thoughts on “FORGOTTEN BOOKS #289: DIAGNOSIS: IMPOSSIBLE By Edward D. Hoch

    1. george Post author

      Prashant, Edward D. Hoch was a master of locked-room and “impossible” mystery short stories. I highly recommend all his collections.

  1. Jeff Meyerson

    Well, of course I’ve read the three collections (Diagnosis: Impossible [1996]; More Things Impossible [2006]; and Nothing is Impossible [2014]) as Dr. Sam’s historical tales – the latest collection goes to 1936 – are probably my favorite Hoch stories. Impossible crimes, small town setting, historical perspective – how can you go wrong in the hands of a master?

  2. George Kelley

    Jeff, well said! I love these Hoch stories. They are always clever and entertaining. I’ll be reviewing MORE THINGS IMPOSSIBLE and NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE in the weeks ahead.

    1. george Post author

      Sergio, I have all three Sam Hawthorne collections. I’ve read many of stories over the years, but it’s great to have them all in such attractive books!


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