This week’s challenge to the reader has a decidedly numerical twist. Below labelled A-P, are a list of questions focusing on various mystery novels and writers. Each of the answers for these questions is a number between 0-15. Each number between 0-15 is only used once. As always answers will be put up next Friday and do share your answers in the comments section below.

Good Luck!

**A. How many P. D. James novels feature Adam Dalgliesh?**

B. How many years did Clyde B. Clason write detective novels for?

**C. How many times is the victim stabbed in Murder on the Orient Express?**

D. How many mystery novels did A. A. Milne write?

**E. Solve this sum: The number of novels featuring Gladys Mitchell’s Mrs Bradley – The number of Sherlock Holmes short stories = ?**

F. Solve this sum: 4 x The Number of novels featuring Torrey Chanslor’s beagle sisters = ?

**G. What number is shared by a J. Jefferson Farjeon novel and an alternative title for an Agatha Christie novel?**

H. How many people are against the “Yard” in a collaborative work published in 1936?

**I. This novel was published in 1965 by an author who shares the same surname as the author of the James Bond novels and whose first name is shared by the creator of the amateur sleuth Lady Lupin. But what number is included in the title of this novel?**

J. How many pipes are needed in the title of Julian Symon’s Holmesian themed novel?

**K. How many novels did Anthony Berkeley write under the name of Frances Iles?**

L. Solve this: The number of novels featuring Miss Marple ÷ The number of Napoleons featuring in Sherlock Holmes short story = ?

**M. Solve this: (The number of novels featuring Josephine Tey’s Inspector Grant x The number of completed Lord Peter Wimsey novels written by Dorothy L. Sayers + The total number of mystery novels Harriet Rutland wrote) ÷ The number of texts Christie wrote featuring Tommy and Tuppence = ?**

N. What is the number of wrong answers in John Dickson Carr’s 1952 novel?

**O. Solve this: The number of men found in the title of Gladys Mitchell novel published in 1957 – The number of people mentioned in Raymond Postgate’s famous novel published in 1940 = ?**

P. Solve this: The number of paces required to reach Baker Street in the 1956 film featuring Van Johnson – The number of novels featuring Nicholas Blake’s Nigel Strangeways = ?

Fancy trying a different challenge? Check out my Challenges to the Reader Page.

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A A Milne, surely?

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Unless that’s the one with zero as the answer…

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Thanks for spotting the typo. It was meant to be Milne. I’ve corrected the question now. To busy trying to get my maths right…

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Here’s what I get with my morning math skills

A: 14

B: 5 (1936-1941)

C: 12

D: 1 (if it really is Milne)

E: 10

F: 8

G: 13

H: Six

I: 0 (nothing)

J: 3

K: 3

L: 2

M: no matter how many times I do it, I get 12.6 if we only count Sayers’ novels with LPW and 16.6 if we throw in Jill Paton Walsh’s efforts [since it says “Sayers’ Wimsey” but not specifically written by Sayers] BUT I’m really wondering if you’re looking for an answer with a decimal point and if this means I’m not awake enough to play with numbers…

N: 9

O: 11

P: 7

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Yes I did mean Milnes (perhaps Miles was his alter ego!). I’ve double checked question M and have checked the maths and I get the whole number I was expecting. I’ve added a couple of clarifications though to the question to help people out.

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I presume 1) In D it is A.A. Milne 2) in O you refer to Raymond Postage’s Verdict Of Twelve which was however published in 1940 3) in M, you are excluding the 3 novels written wholly by Jill Paton Walsh

My answers are

A 14

B 5

C 12

D 1

E 10

F 8

G 13

H 6

I 0

J 3

K 4

L 2

M 15

N 9

O 11

P 7

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Thanks for the publication date clarification. I think I must have looked at the wrong date at the start of my own copy of the book. Wonder how many nanoseconds it took you to complete the challenge?

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I answered seven of these without resorting to the internet searches. But I’m not interested in doing any of the arithmetic on the involved questions. By the way, how many who answered all these DID NOT end up doing multiple internet searches? Come on, ‘fess up!

It was nice to see Joan Fleming show up in this quiz. (But Torrey Chanslor? Really?) Have you read any of Fleming’s books? Highly underrated and thoroughly neglected on the crime fiction book blogs. I’m the only one who seems to be interested in her fascinating books.

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Well the authors and titles weren’t included due to their literary merit but more because they fitted the numbers I needed. I have read one of Fleming’s books, which features in this quiz, which I enjoyed. It was one of my charity shop finds. Not really aware of her other novels. Do you have a particular favourite?

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The other Joan Fleming book set in Turkey, WHEN I GROW RICH (the prequel to the one you allude to in question I), is very good as well as her only foray into the supernatural crime novel (THE CHILL AND THE KILL) . I haven’t found a clunker yet, though I have read that some of her books from the end of career in the late 1970s were less than stellar. Most of what I’ve read has come from her early career (1952-1964). Some rate higher than others, but all have something wholly original in them. She tends to have a lot of wife killer plots and stories of marriages gone bad so it’s best not to read a whole lot of her books in a row lest you tire of the recurring plot motifs. She’s not really a detective novelist. POLLY PUT THE KETTLE ON is the closest I’ve encountered to a true detective novel. For that reason purists may not like most of her books which lean more towards the suspense category and focus on criminal psychology.

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Based on the one book I have read I agree that her style leans more towards suspense than pure detection. I didn’t realise she had written other books set in Turkey. I’ll have to keep an eye out for her when I next go book hunting.

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You give me math problems? Seriously?!? MATH problems?!?!?!?

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See it as opportunity to operate outside your comfort zone! Doing this challenge reminded me of my teaching training when I had to embed numeracy into my ESOL teaching. Have you made it to the end of The Hollow Man yet?

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Brad, you’ve just been trolled…

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Good grief, that’s definitely a challenge to this reader…

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A. How many P. D. James novels feature Adam Dalgliesh? 14

B. How many years did Clyde B. Clason write detective novels for? Six years (1936 – 41)

C. How many times is the victim stabbed in Murder on the Orient Express? Twelve

D. How many mystery novels did A. A. Miles write? None. A.A. Milne wrote one. (Smart ass!)

E. Solve this sum: The number of novels featuring Gladys Mitchell’s Mrs Bradley – The number of Sherlock Holmes short stories = ? 66 – 56 = 10

F. Solve this sum: 4 x The Number of novels featuring Torrey Chanslor’s beagle sisters = ? Eight

G. What number is shared by a J. Jefferson Farjeon novel and an alternative title for an Agatha Christie novel? Thirteen

H. How many people are against the “Yard” in a collaborative work published in 1936? Six

I. This novel was published in 1965 by an author who shares the same surname as the author of the James Bond novels and whose first name is shared by the creator of the amateur sleuth Lady Lupin. But what number is included in the title of this novel? Two

J. How many pipes are needed in the title of Julian Symon’s Holmesian themed novel? Three

K. How many novels did Anthony Berkeley write under the name of Frances Iles? Three

L. Solve this: The number of novels featuring Miss Marple ÷ The number of Napoleons featuring in Sherlock Holmes short story = ? Twelve – six = six

M. Solve this: The number of novels featuring Josephine Tey’s Inspector Grant x The number of novels featuring Sayers’ Lord Peter Wimsey + The total number of mystery novels Harriet Rutland wrote ÷ The number of texts Christie wrote featuring Tommy and Tuppence = ?

Six x 11 = 66 + 3 = 69 + 5 = 74

N. What is the number of wrong answers in John Dickson Carr’s 1952 novel? Nine

O. Solve this: The number of men found in the title of Gladys Mitchell novel published in 1957 – The number of people mentioned in Raymond Postgate’s famous novel published in 1955 = ?

23 – 12 = 11

P. Solve this: The number of paces required to reach Baker Street in the 1956 film featuring Van Johnson – The number of novels featuring Nicholas Blake’s Nigel Strangeways = ?

23 – 16 = 7

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“By the way, how many who answered all these DID NOT end up doing multiple internet searches? Come on, ‘fess up!”

John, don’t project your own limitations onto me. I DID NOT end up doing multiple internet searches.

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Wow! I didn’t realize using the internet to confirm the number of titles in a book series was a limitation. It was a joke, for crying out loud! How’s the view up there on Mt Olympus, by the way?

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[…] Last week I asked readers to some numerically themed questions concerning mystery novels and their writers, with the 16 questions corresponding with one number between 0-15. If you haven’t had a go already click here. […]

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