Impossible murders: one of crime fiction's oldest tropes and it's one of the best. A group of people are together in a remote location having a beautiful time, until they're not. We find there's a murderer in their midst. A killer on the prowl. With plenty of motive and several suspects to choose from, we are flung into a whodunnit. With clues dropped like breadcrumbs we are kept guessing by masters of deception, armchair detectives glued to the page to find out if our deductions are correct. Will we outsmart the murderer?

Let's start with Agatha, Queen of them all. Outsold only by the Bible and William Shakespeare, Agatha Christie is the best-selling novelist of all time and fully deserving of her crown. She is best known for her 66 detective novels and 14 short story collections, featuring two of the most loved crime characters of all time: Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple.

We couldn't create this collection without mentioning Murder on the Orient Express, the best of the best. It has it all. Christie’s most famous murder mystery. Just after midnight, a snowdrift stops the Orient Express in its tracks. The luxurious train is surprisingly full for the time of the year, but by the morning it is one passenger fewer. An American tycoon lies dead in his compartment, stabbed a dozen times, his door locked from the inside. Isolated and with a killer in their midst, detective Hercule Poirot must identify the murderer – in case he or she decides to strike again.

Another one of most famous of all locked-room mysteries is The Hollow Man by John Dickson Carr. The murderer of Dr Grimauld walked through a locked door, shot his victim and vanished. He killed his second victim in the middle of an empty street, with watchers at each end, yet nobody saw him, and he left no footprints in the snow. And so it is up to the irrepressible, larger-than-life Dr Gideon Fell to solve this most famous and taxing of locked-room mysteries.

The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins was called "the first and greatest of English detective novels" by T S Eliot. A priceless yellow diamond looted from an Indian temple and maliciously bequeathed to Rachel Verider is at the heart of this mystery. On Verider's eighteenth birthday, her friend and suitor Franklin Blake brings the gift to her and that very night it is stolen again. No one is what they seem and nothing can be taken for granted in this masterpiece of suspense that has entertained mystery readers for centuries. 

Recently released, Karin Slaughter delivers another addictive Will Trent and Sara Linton investigation, this time taking place on their Honeymoon at the McAlpine Lodge. One toxic family. Eight suspicious guests. Everyone is guilty. But who is a killer? This is Why We Lied is beautifully nuanced and hugely entertaining locked-room mystery that unsurprisingly joins our LoveReading Star Books. 

While we're focusing on series, The Botanist by M. W. Craven is described by Liz Robinson as "an addictively perfect example of a locked room mystery (or two". In this instalment Detective Sergeant Washington Poe investigates a locked room mystery and given that he hates them, this is going to be the longest week of his life. 

Lucy Foley is one of our go-tos for a cracking locked-room mystery. She grabbed us with her debut crime novel The Hunting Party and hasn't let go since. It is New Year's Eve in the Scottish Highlands, nine friends gather for a celebration, one is victim of murder, deep snow prevents the police from arriving and the killer from leaving. Skating between ‘now,’ set after and ‘earlier’ set before the murder, the two time frames hurtle towards each other until they implode in quite spectacular style.  

The Guest List is another brilliant read: an island with no escape, old friends and family reuniting, emotions running high. What could possibly go wrong? Liz Robinson described this as "a masterful murder mystery set on a remote island with a celebrity wedding taking centre stage… this has star quality stamped all over it."

"I was dreading the Cunningham family reunion even before the first murder. Before the storm stranded us at the mountain resort." If that isn't a line that entices you to start reading we're not sure what is! Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone by Benjamin Stevenson introduces “reliable narrator” Ern, but nothing is what it seems in this brilliant crime caper. When a man is found dead in the middle of a snow-covered golf course, the murder mystery begins and I didn't want it to end. Which Cunningham did the deed? Will Ern find his murderer? It's a fresh, clever, funny take on the murder mystery and I loved it. Highly recommended.

Another LoveReading Star Book is The Devil and the Dark Water by Stuart Turton. After skyrocketing into popularity with The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, Turton's second book focuses on an impossible murder, a remarkable detective duo and a demon who may or may not exist. It's 1634 and the world's greatest detective Samuel Pipps is being transported from the Dutch East Indies to Amsterdam to face trial for a crime he may or may not have committed. But no sooner is the ship out to sea that devilry begins. Be prepared for a reading maelstrom in this outstanding historical mystery. 

Everyone has moments of feeling a little bit murder-y during the busy Christmas period but if you're wanting to indulge your reading habits while still enjoying the compliments of the season Andreina Cordani's The Twelve Days of Murder sees a murder mystery game in a remote snowed-in hunting lodge turn deadly. It's the perfect gift for any armchair sleuth looking for a seasonal case to dissect.

Keep scrolling for even more locked-room mystery suggestions, add the cases you want to solve next to your wishlist or share the collection with a fellow armchair sleuth and compare notes. 

If you love a murder mystery, check out some of our other Crime Collections:

50 of the Best Murder Mysteries