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Mystery Man Game Walkthrough

GKCfanGKCfan Wisconsin, United States mod



By Chris Chan (GKCfan)


Two and a half years ago, right after I closed the case of the Fourth Mystery Man, I received a message from someone purporting to be the Fifth Mystery Man, warning me that he had another puzzle planned.  As the months passed, I started to think that perhaps it was all just a false alarm, but just over two weeks ago I got the following message from him:


Hello GKCfan–

            I know that you and your friends at www.agathachristie.com  were quite successful at tracking down the last four Mystery Men, but I doubt that you’ll find it as easy to track down me.  Are you aware that the props for the recent television production of And Then There Were None were placed on display recently?  I have stolen the ten little soldier boys used in the miniseries, and I have hidden links to finding them through the discussion boards on the official Agatha Christie website: http://community.agathachristie.com

Over the next two weeks, every day from Monday through Friday (I’ll take the weekend off), I will provide a series of three clues leading you to a discussion thread on the website.  When you’ve figured out what the three clues refer to, search the discussion board, until you find how I’ve altered one of the discussion posts.  You’ll find the stolen soldier boy, some information about And Then There Were None, and a clue to my identity.  Find all ten soldier boys, and you’ll be able to figure out who I am.

Here’s a hint: I’m a thief– but not a murderer– from one of Agatha Christie’s mysteries.  That’s all the help you’ll get for now.  Catch me if you can!


Very sincerely yours,

The Fifth Mystery Man



            As scheduled, on Day One, I received the following three clues:


1)  Dedicated to a dog!

2)  Thanks, James Elroy Flecker!

3)  It’s not nice to mark up books like that, even if you are trying to expose a murderer!

I immediately realized that the book in question was Postern of Fate.  Christie dedicated the novel “To Hannibal and his master,” a reference to the dog in the book, who was based on Christie’s own dog.  James Elroy Flecker wrote the poem Gates of Damascus, from which the phrase “Postern of Fate” is quoted.  And some books in the novel are marked up to spell out clues.  I followed the clues here: (http://community.agathachristie.com/discussion/70/postern-of-fate/p3), and tracked down the first little soldier boy.



  • GKCfanGKCfan Wisconsin, United States mod

    On the second day I received the following clues:



    2) A Capitalization Offense

    3) “Be not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them.”

    The first clue is “Dorothy L. Sayers’s Detective” backwards.  Sayers was a contemporary of Christie’s whose mystery novels starred Lord Peter Wimsey.  Many Christie scholars think that Sad Cypress is Christie’s own take on the themes in Sayers’ Strong Poison, including a falsely accused heroine, a cleverly planned poisoning, and the fate of a massive inheritance.  The character “Peter Lord” from Sad Cypress is “Lord Peter” backwards.  A major clue in the book comes from a capitalized letter, and third clue is a quote from Twelfth Night, which is where the phrase “Sad Cypress” comes from, too.  I went here: (http://community.agathachristie.com/discussion/212/come-away-come-away-death-and-in-sad-cypress-let-me-be-laid#latest) and found the second little soldier boy.


    Day Three brought these clues:


    1) Didn’t I see this title before in A Murder is Announced? Or something close to it?

    2) Bad dog! No... wait... Smart dog!

    3) Wigs... So many wigs...


    A Murder is Announced featured a play called Elephants Do Forget, and Christie’s novel Elephants Can Remember featured a clever dog who wasn’t misbehaving like people thought, and four wigs that proved to be clues.  The third little soldier boy was found here: (http://community.agathachristie.com/discussion/392/elephants-can-remember#latest)




    Three more clues arrived on Day Four:


    1) Our beloved detective has a cousin with a stutter!

    2) That’s not a real clergyman!

    3) Inspired by Brown’s? 

  • GKCfanGKCfan Wisconsin, United States mod

    The answer was At Bertram’s Hotel.  We learn in that book that Miss Marple had a cousin who stuttered, a nice old absent-minded clergyman was impersonated, and the titular hotel was based on the famous Brown’s Hotel.  The fourth little soldier boy was found here: (http://community.agathachristie.com/discussion/91/at-bertrams-hotel/p1).


    Day Five brought these clues:


    1) You used to dance, didn’t you?

    2) “wonderful things on a rubbish heap”

    3) This isn’t the end... we’ll meet again... over an unpleasant cup of tea.

    These refer to “Harlequin’s Lane,” the last story in the collection The Mysterious Mr. Quin.  One major character is a former dancer, the second clue is a quote from the story, and the last clue refers to the Mr. Quin story set years later, “The Harlequin Tea Set.”  As expected, the fifth little soldier boy was recovered here: (http://community.agathachristie.com/discussion/448/how-do-you-see-the-mysterious-mr-quins-ending-story/p2)



    After a relaxing weekend without any clues to follow, I received these clues on Day Six:


    1) Double trouble!

    2) Shame on you, Edith Thompson and Frederick Bywaters! Did George Harry Storrs serve as an inspiration, too?

    3) A temporary goodbye to a good friend.

    The answer was The Murder on the Links.  A pair of twins play a prominent role in the plot.  The true crime cases of Thompson and Bywaters, as well as Storrs, were probably influences on the story, and at the end of the book Hastings temporarily leaves for Argentina.  The sixth little soldier boy was found here: (http://community.agathachristie.com/discussion/71/the-murder-on-the-links/p1).


    Day Seven brought the following clues:

    1) Pearls Before Swine

    2) That French chalk gets everywhere, doesn’t it?

    3) You are Lucky Len of the Daily Echo and I claim my ten guineas!

    The first and third clues refer to the David Suchet Poirot episode “The Jewel Robbery at the Grand Metropolitan.”  French chalk, used to make cupboards open and shut smoothly, is an important clue.  The seventh little soldier boy was found here: (http://community.agathachristie.com/discussion/255/which-adaptation-of-the-jewel-robbery-at-the-grand-metropolitan-do-you-prefer#latest).

  • GKCfanGKCfan Wisconsin, United States mod

    Day Eight brought these clues:


    1) Dhund

    2) It was MacGregor’s fault!

    3) Novelized by Charles Osborne

    The clues refer to Christie’s play The Unexpected Guest.  The Bollywood adaptation had the title Dhund, MacGregor is a character from the play, and The Unexpected Guest is one of three Christie plays that were turned into novels by Charles Osborne.  The eighth little soldier boy was here: (http://community.agathachristie.com/discussion/219/unexpected-guest#latest).


    Day Nine brought these clues:


    1) No, he’s not the American golfer.

    2) F.A. and J.W. before T&T.

    3) Some people can take a lot more morphine than others!

    Bobby Jones was a famous American golfer, and that is also the name of the hero of Why Didn’t They Ask Evans?  Francesca Annis and James Warwick started in a television adaptation of Wy Didn’t They Ask Evans?  before they played Tommy and Tuppence on television.  Early in the book, one character is given what ought to be a lethal dose of morphine, but he survives.  The ninth little soldier boy was retrieved here: (http://community.agathachristie.com/discussion/209/why-didnt-they-ask-evans#latest).



    Finally, I received the following clues on Day Ten:


    1)  Tiglath Pileser 

    2)  Aladdin in the Cave of Jewels 

    3)  Murder near crude colored glass 

    Tiglath Pileser is the name of the cat belonging to the Harmons (friends of Miss Marple), who appears in a couple of mysteries.  “Aladdin in the Cave of Jewels” was a dance routine played by a character referred to in the short story “Sanctuary,” and the crime is committed near a church, where a stained glass window is described as “crude colored glass.”  The tenth and last little soldier boy was here: (http://community.agathachristie.com/discussion/103/sanctuary#latest).

  • GKCfanGKCfan Wisconsin, United States mod

    Each little soldier boy had something scribbled on it:

    1)    Narracott

    2)    Landor

    3)    Ogilvie

    4)    Taylor

    5)    Lombard

    6)    Issac

    7)    Armstrong

    8)    Thomas

    9)    Marston

    10)  Ethel Rogers


    I took the eleven capital letters (NLOTLIATMER) and rearranged them to spell out “Tim Allerton,” a jewel thief from Death on the Nile.  I immediately telephoned the police, who tracked down Allerton and arrested him.  Since he returned all ten statuettes (albeit in a very roundabout way), the authorities were lenient with him.  Tim Allerton was given a suspended sentence and was released into the supervision of his wife and mother, where he would be under house arrest for three months with no television privileges and no dessert.

    As for me, I had retrieved all ten little soldier boy statuettes, and I had a great time solving the case.  I just hope that all of the other people who joined in the investigation had as much fun as I did.



  • SandiSandi Santa Clara, CA USA Investigator
    Next year I will be better prepared.

  • rekha.srivallirekha.srivalli India Investigator
    Oh yes. It was super fun playing this game. I guessed correct and got a congratulatory mail from the team. Thanks @GKCfan for organizing this game. ☺
  • klauroseklaurose Investigator
    edited March 2016
    Tim Allerton has a wife?? :D
  • GKCfanGKCfan Wisconsin, United States mod
    @klaurose, the characterization of T.A. is very different in the original novel than it is in the David Suchet adaptation!
  • klauroseklaurose Investigator
    Yeah, I guess :) I have read the book more than 10 yrs ago, while I watched the film a 100 times :)
  • rekha.srivallirekha.srivalli India Investigator
    @klaurose according to the book, in the end he promises to reform himself and asks Rosalie to marry him. Tough i don't remember whether she agrees or not, maybe she does. 
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