Posted in detectives, life, mysteries

Playing detective: Sherlock Holmes, the board game

Think you’re good at solving puzzles? Always figure out who the murderer is in the book you’re reading before the sleuth does? Then this game is for you.

In the board game Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective, you and your fellow players are part of the Baker Street Irregulars. At the beginning of each case, Holmes briefs you about the situation: the crime, the location, any other information he might know. Then he goes off to solve the case and leaves you to try to do the same. The goal is to see if you can solve it as fast or even faster than Holmes does.

The game is cooperative, which means you’re working with your fellow players to figure out the culprit, their motive, and answers to other case-related questions (the murder weapon, say, or where the stolen object was stashed). The game comes with ten cases, a detailed map of Victorian London, a newspaper for the day the case occurs full of news stories, personal and social notices, and advertisements, and a directory, where you can look up pretty much any person, place, or service you might need to visit to solve the case.

Obviously the brie and crackers are integral components of solving the crime.

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Posted in books, detectives, mysteries, sci-fi

The genre-benders: Three sci-fi detective tales


Mystery books are often divided between contemporary or historical, hard-boiled or cozy. Is it a police procedural, a PI, or an amateur sleuth tale?

But murder and mayhem aren’t confined to a single genre. Even classic sci-fi writers like Isaac Asimov have written whodunnits. Here are three excellent books or series in sci-fi settings that give their protagonists a seriously twisty and thrilling mystery to solve.

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Posted in books, detectives, mysteries

Three Favourite Literary Detectives (Who Aren’t Holmes or Poirot)

For many readers, the detective makes or breaks the mystery. As important as the case is, if we’re not invested in the sleuth, it doesn’t matter how innovative the clues or how gruesome the murder. I watched Castle because I loved watching Nathan Fillion’s facial expressions and the awesome chemistry between him and Stana Katic, not because I was particularly worried about the murder of the week.

Great mysteries happen when you have great characters figuring out the inventive solutions to puzzling crimes. Our classic usual suspects, Sherlock Holmes, Miss Marple, Hercule Poirot, Sam Spade, and their ilk, deserve the homage paid to them. But here are some modern sleuths (written about in the past decade, though appearing  in various historical settings) who make me race to bookstore for their latest outings.

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