1. Choose a crime
A: Dozens of teenaged girls are going missing around the country. The authorities think they are runaways but then one is found murdered.
B: Ten people are lured to an island under different pretexts. One by one they are bumped off.
C: A male corpse, the victim of poisoning, is found in a room in an abandoned house.
2. Who investigates?
A: Two police profilers.
B: Two Scotland Yard officials.
C: A consulting detective with some odd personal habits.
3. Who is the murderer?
A: A man with a pronounced similarity to a popular presenter recently convicted of paedophilia, necrophilia and other unsavoury habits.
B: A retired judge with a lust for blood.
C: A Protestant hunter.
4. What are your clues?
A: The murderer’s identity is initially an outrageous theory by a police officer. As his background is investigated, the murder’s guilt becomes clear.
B: A bottle containing a letter written by the killer.
C: The German word for ‘revenge’ is scrawled on the wall where the victim is discovered.
5. And the ending?
A: Will make you question the justice system, the establishment and your own safety.
B: Will make you sigh with relief that the killer only chose victims who were themselves morally reprehensible.
C: Will make you roll your eyes when the wrong people get the credit for solving the murder.
Select below to reveal your perfect whodunit...
Your whodunit resembles Val McDermid’s 1997 novel, Wire in the Blood, her story of the murderous activities of a famous charity worker and media darling. Val had cut her teeth as a journalist and dramatist before turning her hand to novel writing. Her first successful novel was Report for Murder: The First Lindsay Gordon Mystery in 1987.
Your whodunit has a lot in common with Agatha Christie’s And then there were None. This was originally serialised in The Daily Express in 1939. The book was originally called Ten Little Niggers after the American rhyme of the same name – a copy of which hangs in the bedroom of each of the victims. This was amended variously to Indians or Soldiers until it was given its current title in the eighties.
Your whodunit shares its themes with A Study in Scarlett by Arthur Conan Doyle. Written when Doyle was a stripling of twenty-seven, this was Sherlock’s first introduction to the public. The author received only £25 for publication in Beeton’s Christmas Annual 1887.