Death of the Reader

Death of the Reader

Join Flex and Herds as they take you on a Murder Mystery World Tour in Death of the Reader. From classic British puzzles in the Golden Age of Detective Fiction to the weirdest of foreign detective fiction, explore everything in the grizzly world of the 'locked room'. Each week we'll feature academics, authors and more as we trace the influences of the genre around the world.

Episodes

July 19, 2021 30 min
We discuss chapters 64-115 of Richard Osman's 'The Thursday Murder Club'. This sprightly novel comes to a surprisingly sombre end. The balancing act of Richard Osman's bouncy characters and delivery against the heavy implications of each crime helps this novel sing. The club solves the case, Donna solves hers, and the most underestimated character of all manages to win our grizzled hearts in the end.
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We discuss chapters 33-63 of Richard Osman's 'The Thursday Murder Club'. As the club continues to get ahead of the police investigation, Tony Curran continues his plans to excavate the graveyard, at least until he is rudely interrupted by becoming deceased. Two deaths are now on the cards, and the residents of Cooper's Chase are only drawn in closer as they themselves become suspects. We're also joined by Ajay C...
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We discuss chapters 1-32 of Richard Osman's 'The Thursday Murder Club'. Joyce is the newest member of the titular club, a group of crime enthusiasts at Coopers' Chase. When one of the retirement home's purveyors winds up dead in his own home, the club springs into action to ensure things are solved, and also just because it's good fun. Whether it's getting the local police detective drunk or making a sce...
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We discuss episodes 7-8 of Rooster Teeth's 'Dead Little Roosters', directed by Josh Flanagan and Fiona Nova. Most of the cast is dead, the end of the Dead Little Roosters Addendum approaches, the truth becomes increasingly apparent, but the game is not yet done. The killer still has their justice fated, and someone supposedly survives. How many steps of the riddle did you get right? We're also joined by Josh Flanaga...
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June 25, 2021 35 min
We sat down with Inkle Studios' Narrative Designer, Jon Ingold, to talk about their new surprise-release mystery game Overboard! On a trip from London to New York, you get sick of your husband and throw him overboard, and now you've got to get away with it. Set in the 1930s, this youdunnit takes the ideas we explored in The Last Express, flips them on their head and dials up the urgency. From hiding goals from the player, t...
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We discuss episodes 1-6 of Rooster Teeth's 'Dead Little Roosters', directed by Josh Flanagan and Fiona Nova. Ten of Rooster Teeth's staff arrive for a party at the estate of the wealthy Nicodemus, only for the old man to turn up dead. The ten are then locked in their rooms, and as the gang keep themselves entertained, the body count starts to rise in rhythm with a mysterious poem, the 'Dead Little Roosters Adden...
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We discuss all the way to the true ending of Lucas Pope's 'Return of the Obra Dinn'. A year after finishing your work aboard the ghost ship, a package arrives that promises to answer your remaining questions, but it seems only more ambiguity is abound. We're super excited to be joined by Lucas Pope himself to talk about what went into making the game, the tough journey that nearly sank the game, and the lasting impa...
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We discuss up to the incomplete end of Lucas Pope's modern classic mystery game 'Return of the Obra Dinn'. The highest body-count we've ever encountered is a vast challenge as Herds takes the wheel for our second step into interactive fiction. After the titular ship appears, unmanned, off the coast of Falmouth in the UK, you're sent on as an insurance assessor to find out why the good ship never made it around t...
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We discuss from Munich to the end of the game from Jordan Mechner's 'The Last Express'. After a bit more success in navigating the social charades aboard the Orient Express, Robert Cath finds himself with new friends, plenty more new foes, and the train now hijacked by the Serbians. As the end of the line approaches, your actions controlling Cath will decide the fate of the journey, culminating with the start of World W...
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We discuss from the beginning to Vienna's bad ending in Jordan Mechner's 1997 game 'The Last Express'. After years of pestering, Herds finally gets his way as we begin our detour into interactive mystery fiction with his favourite classic adventure game. We board the Orient Express alongside Robert Cath, who finds his acquaintance Tyler Whitney dead on the floor of his carriage. With no ticket, no plan and the polic...
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Listen to our full chat with Dr. Catherine Noske for her novel 'The Salt Madonna'! We discuss why stories with such tight confines take so long to put together, why twisting well-worn narratives can be so important, and why horses are wiser than we can ever know.Get yourself a copy of The Salt Madonna: Pan Macmillan AU || Booktopia || Goodreads
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We discuss chapters 14 to the end of Agatha Christie's 'And Then There Were None'. Sean Britten's valiant attempts to solve the novel have concluded, and it's time for the post-mortem. Soldier Island's unwitting residents grow increasingly distrusting, a bear manages to kill someone, and the final showdown creates only a temporary truth. Did you manage to solve it?We're also joined by Dr. Catherine Noske...
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We discuss chapters 7-13 of Agatha Christie's 'And Then There Were None', with Sean Britten in the hotseat. As the deaths to the tune of the poem continue, the list of suspects shrinks, and so does the distrust of everyone on the island. With the only firearm missing, the death starting to abandon the poison-driven method that had everyone distrusting the doctor, and no help in sight, what happens next? It's all-out...
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We discuss chapters 1-6 of Agatha Christie's iconic 'And Then There Were None'. Ten people arrive on Soldier Island, invited at the behest of one U.N. Owen, only to find no host, no answers and only almost perfect strangers to keep them company. A record player recounts their sins, and then the death of Anthony Marston begins the recitation of a poem fixed to the walls, threatening that none shall be left alive. With Fl...
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We discuss chapters 10-12, the sixth through eighth days of Yukito Ayatsuji's 'The Decagon House Murders'. When the Police see the island of Tsunojima light yet again, they set about trying to unravel the Decagon House Murders, recovering the six bodies of the K University Mystery Club, and the missing corpse from the earlier Blue Mansion Murders. Will they ever find out there's one too few bodies on the island, or ...
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We discuss chapters 7-9, the fourth and fifth days of Yukito Ayatsuji's 'The Decagon House Murders'. With the number of survivors on the island continuing to thin, so too does the list of culprits. A suspicious set of footprints found alongside a body on the island affirms Ellery's theory that Seiji is alive and out for vengeance, whilst on the mainland, Kojiro tells Conan quite the opposite. The true face of Ayatsu...
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Today on the podcast, we have the extended cut of our discussion with Dr. Satomi Saito, including more about the social contexts that helped murder mystery fiction blossom in Japan, from its post-war spiritual contexts, to the inexplicable audience Soji Shimada found with a younger audience, and Dr. Saito's research into Online Novels and the way they continue the social discourse that spurred detective fiction on. We also got ...
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We discuss chapters 1-6, the first three days, of Yukito Ayatsuji's The Decagon House Murders. A team of students from the K University Mystery Club take a week away to Tsunojima to work on the next issue of their club magazine. Tsunojima, a few months before, was the site of a gruesome series of murders that the police have called a murder-suicide, and soon after arriving on the island, the group finds a series of plates that ...
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We discuss chapter 8 and the epilogue of Masako Togawa's 'The Master Key'. This back-loaded mystery closes out with spectacular fashion, the culprit revealed, the various sub-plots untangled and almost all your questions answered. How well does this approach suit the work, and does it fit in to our normal cat-and-mouse game? With such a heavy focus on motherhood and the expectations placed on women, it's undoubtedly...
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In need of a new murder mystery podcast? We were too when we found Caroline Crampton's incredible Shedunnit, a series of essay-like journeys through the mystique and history of the mystery genre. Coincidentally, Caroline's own journey took her to Japan and the Honkaku, or 'traditional' school of murder mystery at the same time we were, and we are super excited to present to you this engaging episode about it here on...
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