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Puzzles of Mystery
by Jeanne M. Jacobson & Jennie G. Jacobson

Detecta-Crostics introduces a new kind of puzzle: a unique hybrid of mystery quiz, acrostics, anagrams, and wordgames.

Detecta-Crostics are two-part challenges solved through wordplay and knowledge of detective fiction. The title of each puzzle is an anagram to solve, and the acrostic solution is reached by answering intriguing questions that cover the whole spectrum of the mystery genre.

Test your knowledge of mystery fiction and wordplay skills. Enjoy the opportunity to play word detective, finding and interpreting the clues hidden throughout the puzzles.

Detecta-Crostics is also a book of answers – each puzzle’s solutions are thoroughly annotated and indexed, providing the story behind the answer, not just the answer itself. You’ll learn more about mysteries, writers, and characters. Long after you’ve solved the puzzles, Detecta-Crostics will serve as a reference book, an invaluable guide to the world of crime fiction.

Intense and captivating, for mystery fans and puzzle enthusiasts alike, Detecta-Crostics will provide hours of exercise for your "little grey cells."

Paperback | ISBN: 978-0-9625804-8-2 | 2003 | $18.00

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Praise for Detecta-Crostics

Maddening! Diabolical! Addictive! (And instructive, when I look up the answers I couldn't figure out.) This is a demanding puzzle book for the intelligent, informed mystery reader, and trying to solve just one puzzle is exactly like trying to read just one mystery.

– Jeanne M. Dams

When my copy of Detecta-Crostics came in the mail I immediately sat down and started working puzzles, and didn’t move from my chair for the next three hours. What a treat: a whole book of puzzles featuring my favorite fiction genre.

Each puzzle has a theme and the themes cover the whole spectrum of mystery fiction, making for a variety of challenge levels depending on how familiar the solver is with the particular sub-genre. For instance, I sped through the puzzles with Agatha Christie, spy, and horse themes, but slowed to a walk in those featuring medieval settings and other vintage writers. Even these were partly doable, however, given the auxiliary hints and Sum clues that are included, and the application of logic and my own jumbled store of general knowledge.

A great deal of thought obviously went into the puzzles’ creation. They are termed ‘crostics’ but are a hybrid form of puzzles on many levels: mystery quiz, acrostic, anagram, and generic ‘wordgame’.

A bonus of the book is that instead of the answer page just revealing words that will fill in blanks, it also gives explanations for them. Each two pages of a puzzle is followed by two more pages full of interesting trivia and charming vignettes connected with the authors and the books referenced in the puzzle. As I filled in the blanks I had left empty, I was educated about unfamiliar writers and their books.

Suffice it to say I loved this book. Detecta-Crostics would make a wonderful gift for anyone who likes both puzzles and mysteries; and if you’re that person, it’s a delightful indulgence for yourself.

– Verna Suit, a puzzlemaker