Mystery Puzzles for Grownups
July 3, 2012 8:01 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for mystery puzzles for adults.

When I was in elementary school, I came across this Five-Minute Mysteries book and really enjoyed solving each case in it. Each case came in the form of a story and it was up to the reader to find the flaws in the suspects' alibis, pick out clues, etc to solve each case.

I was wondering if there are any similar, more challenging, books/websites for adults. It doesn't need to be 5-minute puzzles only (I don't mind if they are very long mysteries/puzzles), I was just using that as an example, but I do enjoy the story format.

I've already seen these sites: - This one is ok, but a little too easy and the mystery only gets updated once a month.

Thank you!
posted by joyeuxamelie to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (9 answers total) 38 users marked this as a favorite
Googling "Encyclopedia Brown for adults" turned up Coffee Break Mysteries, which looks spot on, plus a lot of recommendations for Ellery Queen and Nero Wolfe mysteries, which aren't, though you might enjoy them.
posted by Monsieur Caution at 9:18 PM on July 3, 2012

Isaac Asimov's Black Widowers series? Christie's The Tuesday Club Murders/The Thirteen Problems uses a similar format.
posted by juv3nal at 11:31 PM on July 3, 2012

Another Encyclopedia Brown for adults kind of thing: Kenneth J. Weber's Five Minute Mysteries: 37 Challenging Cases of Murder and Mayhem for You to Solve. I found myself wishing the writing was more lively, but it wasn't bad. There's also some sequels.

Agatha Christie wrote a bunch of short mystery stories that might fit the bill.
posted by Georgina at 4:17 AM on July 4, 2012

One key phrase that might help your searching is "fair play mysteries". Mysteries that "play fair" give the reader all the clues they need to solve the puzzle - like good ole Encyclopedia Brown.
posted by itsamermaid at 7:06 AM on July 4, 2012

A friend was doing this recently and thought it was great:

It's a two-part jigsaw puzzle, one panel showing the crime scene before the crime takes place, the other after. There's no picture to work from--only a short story relating the lead-up to the crime, containing enough detail for you to start assembling the two pictures. When you complete the second picture, you're able to work out who committed the crime.

Apparently they started making them a bit easier later in the alphabet.
posted by lapsangsouchong at 1:58 PM on July 4, 2012

Do you have access to a Nintendo DS? The "Professor Layton" series is good fun. Some of the puzzles are logic, some are moving pieces around, some are maths etc.

Also maybe the "Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney" series where you identify flaws in witnesses statement etc...

Anyways something different given that you didn't say it had to be a book.
posted by trialex at 4:07 PM on July 4, 2012

Response by poster: Trialex: I don't have a DS but I've played Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney on the iPhone. I really enjoyed it and wish Capcom would port the other titles over already! I really want to play the prof. Layton series too-- I saw a bunch of trailers and it looks very cool.

Thanks everyone for the suggestions! I will check them out soon :)
posted by joyeuxamelie at 7:18 PM on July 4, 2012

The Professor Layton series is wonderful, especially the first one, but although the games have an over-reaching mystery story, the player interaction is almost entirely in the form of puzzles. If you can pick up a DS for cheap somewhere, I'd highly recommend them, but let me make it clear that they're not mysteries in the way you're asking.

There was a iPhone game that was clearly inspired by Professor Layton called The Jim and Frank Mysteries. It wasn't as polished as Layton, and the puzzles weren't as good, but for a couple of dollars, it was a bargain. I'm not sure why it's no longer available on iOS, but there's a version available in the Mac App Store now.

There's a couple of other Laytonesque games for iOS:
Puzzle Agent and Puzzle Agent 2, and Simon Graham and the Extraordinary Timepiece.

Lastly, Level 5 are bringing a new Professor Layton game to iOS. Judging by the trailer, the gameplay looks very different to the DS games and may in fact be more mystery-like.
posted by Georgina at 11:44 PM on July 4, 2012

oh, I cannot believe I am such a space cadet, you may have been interested in the (now completed, unfortunately) CYOABC part III. Which is still a worthwhile read, but downright amazing if you'd had to opportunity to actively participate.
posted by juv3nal at 5:19 PM on July 5, 2012

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