Competition Time – The Answers!

Well, both puzzles have been solved, so it’s only fair to give the answers – and I think just the answers (i.e. the names of the books) wouldn’t quite be enough. So, after 1000 posts, it’s time to break the habit of a blog lifetime – SPOILERS AHEAD! So if you want to have a go, don’t read on!

The wordsearch, first of all.

The authors names (all of which have been reviewed at least twice on the blog) were:

Bartram, Beeding, Blake, Bolton, Brand, Brett, Bruce, Bude, Calkins, Carr, Christie, Cleeves, Cornell, Crispin, Deaver, Doherty, Edwards, Ellis, Farjeon, Forsythe, Haynes, Hilary, Innes, Jecks, Jerrold, Lang, Lovesey, Marsh, Mitchell, Queen, Rhode, Sprigg, Tremayne, Tyler, Wade, Wassmer, Wentworth and Winters.

In fact, there’s also Lake and Ward but they’re not necessary to find as they’re hidden in Blake and Edwards – blasted wordsearch-creating program.

Right, so if anyone wants to have a go at the wordsearch, let’s come back to it in a bit and go on to the picture competition.

Well done to those who spotted some or all of the covers but then stumbled as to what to do next. The covers in questions are:

Now you follow the clue I gave “to ignore the…” and ignore the word “The” if the title begins with that word. Then take the initial letters to get this.


Now follow the letters round in a spiral to get “INFACEOFTHEVERDICT” i.e. In Face Of The Verdict by John Rhode.


And the prize of a slightly battered copy of that book goes to Uncle Lucifer as soon as he emails me his (or her) address.

Back to the wordsearch. The words are found here and the important bit is the unused letters.


Reading bottom to top, right to left, they spell out THE MERCHANT’S PARTNER BY M JECKS, the second in the Knights Templar series by friend of the blog Michael Jecks. Congrats to Ben Hakala!

So thanks for playing – maybe there’ll be another competition at some point in the future.

So, back to normal service with the next post, with a review of a John Rhode title. And then, for reasons that will be revealed, a review of a sitcom. Anyone who wants to guess which one, do, but no prizes this time. Never accuse me of being predictable.


  1. Oh it’s The Edwin Drood Murders! I solved the puzzle with 12 of the books, then back solved another 5 based on the initial letters, but I couldn’t find that cover anywhere, even looking through Google’s archive of the site images!

    Is the sitcom The Good Place? I’m kind of enjoying the structure of it, but I’m finding the humour a bit too twee and gentle. I like that Schur’s comedies are all positive in their outlook, but I’m really only hanging around for the mystery at this point. If it was 22 episodes rather than 13 I think I might have given up already.

    Have you been watching Westworld? Lots of interesting stuff going on there, including the question of whether mystery elements actually detract from certain other types of storytelling.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, if it’s not The Good Place, we should have a discussion about that one anyway because I’m still torn. It’s nice to see a sitcom with a story, and last week’s episode moved the story forward in a nice way, with a great “gotcha!” at the end. But some times that “twee” feeling gets in the way. I don’t see, frankly, how this can sustain itself past a season.


      • Never heard of The Good Place, so it’s not that. No, I’m thinking of an older sitcom that I’ve just rewatched all X seasons of and have things to say about it… But I’ll keep an eye out for The Good Place – it’s new, I presume…


      • Yeah, the Good Place is a new US comedy created by Michael Schur (Parks and Rec, Brooklyn Nine-Nine). I’m not sure if it’s being shown on UK TV. I guess you’d call it “high concept”? The closest analogue is probably Lost, given how it uses flashbacks each week. And each episode ends with a cliffhanger or major plot development, rather than resetting to the status quo like most sitcoms.

        I’m been racking my brains about what other sitcom you could mean that has a mystery angle. I remember One Foot in the Grave ended very darkly and strangely, but it wasn’t really a mystery. I’m excited to find out what it is!


  2. I had a feeling I had to do something with first letter after the word ‘the’ in the titles, but I didn’t try doing a spiral, I just attempted left to right and up and down. The picture I didn’t get was The Edwin Drood Murders.


    • I was wary of doing a straight across one as it’s easier to spot one word (like VERDICT) which would give it away. Hence as well the obscurest clue (you’re not the only one to miss that one) in the middle of that word. I’m guessing that’s the only title where I haven’t added the “Featured Image” i.e. where you have to look at the actual post to see the cover. It happened when I switched formats and I’ve been slowly updating the old posts, first by month, then by favourite author. Hence missing out this one so far…


      • Yeah, I was surprised by how fast it was solved. Maybe if I’d dropped everything else and worked steadily on it I would have eventually figured it out, but I didn’t expect it to be over so quickly. I guess next time I’ll know better–assuming there is a next time.


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