The above illustration, "Blowing Bubbles," has been adapted for use here by generous permission from the artist, Cyril Rolando.

April 12, 2010

The Mystery Detective Contest

Welcome to the The Drowning Machine edition of Detectives Around the World Week, sponsored by Jen's Book Thoughts.

Jen gave us our choice of fictional detectives to celebrate for this fun week and Corey chose -- wait. This is about detectives and detecting, right? How about if I let you puzzle out the identity of our chosen detective? (Stay tuned, I promise to make the game worth the candle.)

Below is a photo of the building in which our PI has his office. Here is the description by the author: "It was a stone-faced, flat-roofed, narrow building four stories tall, lacking spatial separations from the buildings on either side. A set of worn steps led up to the front doors."

Hm, looks to me like this building really has six floors (or did at the time it was built), but our PI only cares about the fourth floor, where his office is located. Not ready to take a guess yet? Let's see if the next photo helps any. This one should help you pin down the city, or at least the region, in which our mystery detective lives and works.

Too general? Still can't quite pinpoint the city? Maybe this link will help you figure out the location.

All righty, then! You know the city now, right? But, wow, there sure are a lot of fictional detectives in this region. Still not ready to guess? How about if I clue you in on an activity this detective really enjoys?

Are you kidding me? You still don't know? What if I tell you what his girlfriend-later-wife's occupation is:

Okay, the only possible reason that you cannot identify this mystery detective by now is because you haven't read the books. Let's remedy that. Every day this week, through Friday, you'll have the opportunity to become acquainted with --. Nope. Not gonna tell you. Not right here, where you could have just glanced down the screen, seen the name, and then pretended like you knew all along. You have to solve the puzzle. I promise, this will be easy. First and last name of our PI is:

Ah, now you have it! Easy, wasn't it? Now what you need to do is just post your answer in the comments. Then come back every day this week to find a new puzzle and post your answer. Everyone who posts a correct solution to each day's mystery will be entered into a drawing for a wonderful prize. The more puzzles you solve, the more chances you get to win. For example, if you post the correct answer to three out of the five puzzles this week, you will have three chances at the prize. And naturally, you must post your correct solution before the answer is revealed in the following day's post, or it won't count.

And what does the winner get for all of his/her detective work? The winner will receive a copy of the most recent book featuring our mystery detective and a $35 gift certificate courtesy of our Aunt Agatha's New & Used Mysteries, Detection and True Crime Books, in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Aunt Agatha's just happens to also be the Indie Store of the Month, It's a terrific store, and Robin & Jamie are even better people. You don't want to miss out on these luscious freebies, so remember to come back every day.

Also, be sure to check Jen's blog for a full schedule of events honoring Detectives Around the World Week all over the crime fiction blogosphere this week.  I bet somebody else is giving away freebies, too!

TOMORROW: Look for my review of one of the funniest mysteries featuring You-Know-Who. And a brand new puzzle to help you gain another chance at a wonderful prize.


  1. I know! I know! It's Earl Emerson's character, Thomas Black.

    This is going to be fun, Naomi!

  2. Oh this is fun, Naomi and Corey!!! I had no idea, so had to go by your clues: Earl W. Emerson's Thomas Black?

  3. The city is Seattle, and the detective has to be Thomas Black, the creation of Earl Emerson.

    -- Jeff

  4. Hmm. So hard...Engine Black Square? Is he a Native American detective?

    OK, seriously, it's Thomas Black.

  5. Seattle of course! And Thomas Black! What fun!!!!

  6. It's Thomas "the train engine" Black. Looking forward to the rest of the week!! I'm loving this event that Jen thought up!

  7. Wow, even I could get that puzzle, LOL!

    Thomas Black

    lahlstedt (at) gmail (dot) com