Saturday, August 29, 2020

60-Second Brain Teasers Crime Puzzles Short Forensic Mysteries to Challenge Your Inner Amateur Detective

60-Second Brain Teasers Crime Puzzles is a collection of short vignette brain teaser mysteries by Diane Capri (aka M. Diane Vogt). Due out 15th Sept 2020 from Quarto on their Fair Winds imprint, it's 128 pages and will be available in paperback format.

This is a collection of short vignette style mystery plots for armchair detectives to analyze and answer. They are 1-2 pages in length and set up very simply. There's little "puzzling" or reasoning involved and as such, some readers will be disappointed.  The way the book's puzzles struck me were as very short capsule setups for mystery fiction taken more or less directly from a writer's idea journal for future works.

The author's solutions are listed in the back of the book, so readers won't be left hanging. Rated on a strictly puzzle/brain teaser level, I would give this two and a half stars. It's not a brain teaser book. Looked at as a glimpse at a published mystery writer's idea book, it's a solid 4 stars. This would make a superlative exercise book for creative writing classes and for would-be mystery writers to see the genesis of ideas for fiction. I am certainly not suggesting that writers plaigiarize the included vignettes (for one thing, the author's a lawyer!) but they do provide a good source to see how relatively simple ideas can be built into longer fiction.

Two and a half stars for the puzzle aspect, four for the value as an idea book/writing tool. If the author and publisher had marketed it as such, it might have found a wider audience.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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