3+1 Best detective stories to read before going to an escape room

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Typewriter with a paper written “INVESTIGATION” on it

Have you ever thought about the relationship between literature and escape rooms? Have you ever heard about C. Auguste Dupin, Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot or Miss Marple? All escape games are based on the chain of mysteries which hide the code for the escape. Your task is to get closer, step by step to the exit through brain-challenges. That was exactly the goal of the upper-mentioned detectives as well: to figure out who had been the perpetrators of the actual crime through the use of their grey matter. That must mean that reading these classics contributes to your success in an escape room. American Escape Rooms have collected the must-to-reads in this relation. Let's taste them!

Book of Edgar Allen Poe on a table

The father of the detective stories: Edgar Allan Poe.

However, we might think of Poe as a poet, he was a multitalent artist in literature: beside poems, he had written novels, articles, critics and  edited newspapers. For us the most important is that he is considered as the creator of the detective stories. C. Auguste Dupin, an amatuer detective, who tries to solve mysteries through three books ("The Murders in the Rue Morgue", "The Mystery of Marie Rogêt", "The Purloined Letter") is the main character in Poe’s detective stories. Dupin is an intelligent, actually with financial problems struggling, slightly snob gentleman living in Paris and being fond of hieroglyphics, enigmas. His motivations to detect the actual felonies are diverse in the three books. His success resulted in his great ability of identifying with the perpetrator, his scientific logic combined with imagination and his detailed observations. 

American Escape Rooms suggests these detective stories to read before coming to play in our escape rooms to achieve greater success through applying Dupin’s methods.

The number one detective: Sherlock Holmes.

You may haven't read any detective stories from Arthur Conan Doyle, you must have heard the name of Sherlock Holmes: the scottish gentleman smoking pipes with his deerstalker cap, typical coat accompanied by his ever adviser and best friend, Mr. Watson. The educated, high-intelligent Holmes works as a full-time detective in Victorian England. He is addicted to IQ-challenges, if there aren’t any problems to solve, he is bored. His tools and methods are similar to Dupin's but a bit more colorful: detailed observation, deduction, psychological identification with the perpetrator, getting dressed as somebody else and asking-asking questions. His supporter, roommate, the narrator of the detective stories of Holmes is Mr. Watson.

The Holmes-stories have been published in the form of 4 books and 56 short stories. However, you can start the reading with any of them, the first story was A Study in Scarlet, followed by The Sign of Four. After that a collection had been published with the title: “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes” containing the 56 short detective stories. Finally, The Hound of Baskervilles and The Valley of Fear.
For guaranteed success at any escape room, American Escape Rooms honestly advise to read at least one of them!

Detective investigating a case at his table

The Queen of the detective stories.

Today, it is more than usual that there are male and female authors, poets. However, two centuries ago, it was not commonplace. At the beginning of the 20th century, female authors had become more accepted in the era of the first waves of feminism. Even with Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller, better-known: Agatha Christie, the majesty of detective stories, the creator of the egoist Hercule Poirot and the immensely nosey old lady, Miss Marple. All the stories of both characters are played in the early years of the 20th Century’s England. They two were never included in the same story. The only common things were the era, their language, and fanaticism for solving mysterious puzzles connected with crimes using the power of their mind.

However, their ways of investigation are similar; they were two distinct personalities.
Mr. Poirot, the retired, Belgian detective was an elegant gentleman, obsessed with tidiness, symmetry, and accuracy. His outfit was always extremely elegant, clean, and well-groomed.
He was the detective of 33 books and 54 short stories, among others: “The Mysterious Affair at Styles,” “Murder on the Orient Express,” “Curtain,” etc. 

Miss Marple, the embodiment of the typical countryside spinster, the omniscient of personality traits which generally supposes the worst about everybody and for whom there are no secrets. Despite her moderate, lovely, Victorian, elderly lady style, she is an extravagant detective with a sharp tongue and mind. The readers can meet with her in the story of "The Tuesday Night Club" for the first time. Besides this, Miss Marple had become the main character of further novels ("The Murder at the Vicarage,” " A Caribbean Mystery") and other short stories.

Dr. House’s portrait

21st century’s Sherlock Holmes: Dr. House.

At first sight, it might be strange; however, having a closer look, we have to admit: the famous medical doctor of the TV series, Dr. House, is the 21st-century version of the greatest detective. Despite their diverse environment and the era of their life history, there are common attributes. Both of them have a suspicious, skeptic, cynical character supplemented with brutal realism. They are doctors with super-high IQ, incredible ability of deduction, and a powerful addiction in the background. Dr. House’s story has been presented in the form of telenovelas throughout eight seasons. His logic, superb observation skill, and open-minded way of thinking could inspire all escape gamers looking for the exit.

Old detective stories, great characters but everlasting truths and laws of life. Dr. House’s example proves that the precious techniques are evergreen. Let’s read the classics and try their methods in The American Escape Rooms