A Prize Mystery Transcript

Caroline: What you’re about to hear is a live episode of Shedunnit recorded at the 2022 International Agatha Christie Festival in Torquay. Enjoy.

Welcome to Shedunnit. I’m Caroline Crampton.

Our story today starts on Monday 1st March, 1926. A woman opens a newspaper, and finds herself drawn in by a story published inside. In this edition, the Daily Mirror has printed the first instalment of a new whodunnit, The Wintringham Mystery, by a relatively unknown writer of the name of A.B. Cox.

It starts with a scene that could be straight out of P.G. Wodehouse. A young man named Stephen Munro is telling his confidential valet, Bridger, that the legacy they have lived upon since the end of the first world war is all gone. Consequently, he has taken a position as a footman at a country house named Wintringham Hall — an unthinkable climb down for a public school and varsity man who had received both the DSO and the Military Cross during his service in the trenches.

Already, the woman reading is intrigued. She, like every other middle class housewife in 1926, knows only too well that jobs for demobbed soldiers and experienced country house servants are equally hard to come by. And once Stephen is installed in his new position as footman, the compelling details keep coming. The grumpy and ancient lady of the manor has assembled an oddly mismatched house party, her companion Millicent seems to be utterly crushed by the force of the old lady’s personality, and her ward Stella appears to have a dark secret that she doesn’t want anyone else to know. And then, the big cliffhanger: Stephen the new footman opens the front door of Wintringham Hall to admit a guest and sees before him the girl he loves whose photograph he had burned before starting his new life as a servant.

What could be about to happen next? You’ll have to buy the newspaper tomorrow to find out. And if that wasn’t enough of an incentive, the canny editors have inserted a box into the text just before the end of the story containing the following information:

£500 in prizes will be awarded to readers in connection with this serial. Full particulars will be announced next Thursday. Readers are advised to cut out and retain the instalments for careful perusal again after the terms of the competition are published.

Five hundred pounds! In today’s money, that’s over £20,000 — an awful lot of money, and certainly worth the trouble of following the story daily over the next couple of weeks.

After the fifteenth instalment, published on 18th March 1926, the writer issues his challenge to his readers. There are two questions that must be answered to be in with a chance of securing the prize.

How did Stella disappear?


Who caused her disappearance, and Why?

The five hundred pounds was to be awarded to readers who send in the best

answers to these questions. All you had to do to win is cut out the coupon on page 21 and “send in your solution without delay”.

I don’t know this for sure, because she left us no evidence of this, but I like to imagine that our woman read her newspaper over breakfast each morning. The Wintringham Mystery would go well with toast and eggs, I think, her appetite for the morning meal and the new instalment co-existing.

On that final morning, then, perhaps she pushed the plates and cups out of the way impatiently so that she could scribble down her solution, drinking the dregs of her cold tea while she pondered the exact wording that best expressed her answers. She tore the coupon out of the newspaper, enclosed it with her solution in an envelope and sent it off to the Daily Mirror. After all, somebody had to win. Why shouldn’t it be her?

Why indeed? Because that woman’s name was Agatha Christie, and she was better qualified than most to solve this mystery.

At the time when she sent in her solution to The Wintringham Mystery, Agatha Christie was already a well respected crime writer. Although the events I’ve just described took place three months before her breakthrough novel, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, was published and nine months before the eleven day disappearance that would cause her to hit the headlines, her first five detective novels had been well reviewed and her Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot, had made an impression on readers.

In fact, this wasn’t even the first time that she had entered a competition like this. When she sent in her solution to The Mystery of Norman’s Court by John Chancellor, which had been serialised by the Daily Sketch in 1923, she did so under her own name. But by the time she was entering The Wintringham Mystery competition, the name “Agatha Christie” was a little too well known. It might seem like an inside job if a famous mystery writer tried to scoop the top prize, like a professional cheating by entering an amateur competition. Just to be safe, then, she entered under her husband’s name.

“Colonel A. E. Christie” didn’t win the competition for The Wintringham Mystery, probably to Agatha’s chagrin. In fact, nobody really won. A. B. Cox must have been very pleased with himself, having outsmarted the thousands of readers who entered from all over the world, none of whom provided entirely correct answers to both of the questions posed. The first and second prizes, planned to total £375, were instead divided between five top entries that were of “equal merit”. Agatha did, however, receive one of the five pound consolation prizes, awarded by the editor to commend solutions that came close in an inventive or original way. That would be worth over two hundred pounds today, a sum that would probably have gone some way towards soothing her wounded pride that she hadn’t come out on top. And she got some material out of the experience too — her 1931 novel The Sittaford Mystery includes a newspaper competition as a major element of the plot. Later on in her career, she was also asked to judge similar competitions, a task which would always have carried with it the fond memories of when she was “just” Mrs A. E. Christie and could have some fun with these contests herself.

Today, when we think of murder mysteries, we think of books. Whether in print, digital or audio form, we’re conditioned to expect that a whodunnit will come to us in one single packaged, to be devoured at a time and pace of our choosing. But in the 1920s, when Agatha Christie was starting out on her long writing career, this format wasn’t nearly so rigid. Books were big business, of course, but so were newspapers, magazines, and radio.

During the golden age of detective fiction, it was relatively common for mystery stories to be serialised in magazines and newspapers either before they appeared as books or at the same time. Crime short stories, too, which we usually encounter in anthologies now, were most often written directly for magazine or newspaper publication.

Writing fiction for the press was a very important part of how writers made a living back then and indeed there were authors — like Margery Allingham’s father Herbert John — who specialised entirely in writing newspaper serials and never really published anything in book form at all. It was especially important for mystery writers who were new to publishing as the genre was finding its feet in the 1920s.

It was therefore very common for a writer of fiction to supplement their income by writing stories for serialisation in the press, or indeed to publish their longer works first in that kind of publication, and then later edit it into a single volume. This is what happened with The Wintringham Mystery and many others at the time. A.B. Cox first wrote it in the fifteen instalments for publication in the Daily Mirror, and then the following year put it together as a book that appeared under the title Cicely Disappears.

Even before her career was taken to a new level by the international popularity of The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, it was the sale of the serial rights to her early novels that enabled Agatha Christie to take writing seriously as more than a hobby. She was astonished to receive £500 from the Evening News for the serial rights to The Man in the Brown Suit, a sum equivalent to about £20,000.

This aspect of publishing, which has all but disappeared today, was a great support to the up and coming crime writers of the 1920s. As I can tell you from personal experience, it can take a long time for the money from book deals, even lucrative ones, to actually appear in your account because publishing moves so slowly. It’s common to be paid a large proportion of your fee only when the book is published, which could be years after you started working on it. With writing for the press, everything happens much faster — you can write a story one day, have it appear the next, and be paid the week after. For writers, then, this type of publication had obvious benefits.

But for the newspapers it had upsides, too. Serials justified the high fees paid to writers because they helped to capture new readers and keep them coming back for new instalments in future editions. At its best, the relationship between editors and crime fiction writers in the 1920s could be mutually beneficial, and both were always on the lookout for new opportunities and innovations to make what they published more interesting for readers and beneficial for themselves.

And that’s where the competition mystery comes in. In once sense, it was just a standard serialisation, with one story strung out over many days, with each part written to end on a cliffhanger so readers would be sure to buy the next edition. This is nothing new: Charles Dickens was doing it with Bleak House in the 1850s. The addition of the prize for the correct solution, though, amped up this effect. Not only did the reader want to keep buying the paper to see what happens in the story, they needed to see what happened so as to have a chance of submitting the right answer and winning the prize. It locked in sales for the duration of the serialisation, ensuring that keen readers weren’t likely to forget or miss a day. And if a proportion of those who bought the Daily Mirror just to get instalments of The Wintringham Mystery found that they liked the publication in general and wanted to keep buying it after the competition was over, so much the better.

There was something about the competition element that gelled with the fundamentals of mystery writing, too. When Agatha Christie was reading The Wintringham Mystery in the spring of 1926, the “rules” of detective fiction that would end up being codified as writers coalesced around the format were still a few years away. But the sense of a good golden age mystery as a contest between writer and reader was already there.

The notion of fair play was crucial in distinguishing detective fiction from other kinds of writing about crime, in thrillers or sensation fiction. In a detective novel, the writer should “play fair” with the reader, revealing clues and suspects as the sleuth discovers them, so that the reader has a reasonable chance of working out the culprit. Final chapter reveals or outlandish late revelations were not considered good sport. The inclusion of maps, floorplans and other diagrams of this sort were also part of this, because they gave the impression of total transparency, and that the reader was being let in on all aspects of the detective’s case.

Before the advent of the newspaper competition, some mystery writers were already formalising this competitive process in the shape of what was called a “challenge to the reader”. The early Ellery Queen mysteries are notable for this. About three quarters of the way through the book, the narrator would pause the story and break the fourth wall to notify readers that they had been given all the relevant facts needed to solve the case.

Towards the end of the 1920s, one publisher took it even further, and started issuing whodunnits in a series titled “Harper Sealed Mystery Stories”. These were sold with a thin, unbroken paper seal around the final third of the pages. The cover said “Read to the seal, and if you can stop, if you can deny yourself the thrill of solving the story, return the book to the bookseller and your money will be refunded.” Like the prize offered by the newspaper for the correct solution to the story, it was a clever gimmick that simultaneously suggested that everything you need to know the ending is present in the first two thirds of the book, and that the plot was so gripping the publisher would stake money on readers having to finish it to find out what really happened. Works by John Dickson Carr, Moray Dalton, Freeman Wills Crofts and others all received this treatment.

We can see this dynamic at work if we go behind the scenes of The Wintringham Mystery for a moment. It is thought that A.B. Cox, which was a pseudonym for Anthony Berkeley, who would go on to co-found the Detection Club with Dorothy L. Sayers in 1930, actually proposed the idea to the Daily Mirror, rather than the other way around.

In article published alongside the first instalment, he declared himself an “eager reader” of mysteries and said that when he was reading he enjoyed being part of a “battle of wits” with the author. He wanted to see if he could devise a story that would puzzle everyone who read it, hence the creation of a competition mystery to put that theory to the test. He said that he had realised that rather than making the puzzle more intricate, it was more likely to deceive readers if it was simple. It took him several months to come up with the idea for the story and then he rewrote it seven times before it was published. He became obsessed with the idea of the mystery story as a game with players, one of whom would triumph in the end. Given that thousands of people from all over the world entered the competition, and nobody got the solution completely correct, I think we can say that Berkeley was successful. He didn’t get to take home the £500 prize, but the honours of the competition went to him.

Berkeley was far from the only writer to experiment with the idea of a competition mystery. As I already mentioned, Agatha Christie had entered at least one other competition mystery that we know of, The Mystery of Norman’s Court by John Chancellor, serialised by the Daily Sketch in 1923. She may never have written a story explicitly for publication as a competition, as Berkeley did with The Wintringham Mystery, but she was certainly involved with this as a publishing practice.

In one case, it actually backfired rather spectacularly. When The ABC Murders was published as a serial in 1935, readers were invited to send in their solutions in the hope of winning a prize — it’s a kind of challenge to the reader, isn’t it, to say ‘we dare you to pit your wits against this great mystery writer and see if you can do better’.

To the consternation of editors and publishers, this competition was won by one reader who got every aspect of the plot correct. So much for Agatha Christie’s baffling new Poirot story. Luckily, that one super sleuth seems to have been an outlier, and millions have enjoyed the unfolding of the novel’s solution since without immediately working out whodunnit.

Christie had a lucky escape: Edgar Wallace, the author of The Four Just Men, published that novel in 1905 as a serialised competition in the Daily Mail as a promotional tool. Unfortunately, he failed to state that only one first, second and third prize would be given, and he ended up legally obliged to pay everyone who sent in a correct solution. He ended up declaring bankruptcy and selling the copyright on the story for £75.

Using the competition as a way to create publicity and sensation around the publication of a new novel seems like an obvious strategy, but sometimes it happened as a standalone event too. In 1937, the Brazilian literary magazine A Novela launched a competition based on a story they titled A Murder on the Istanbul Express, by an author called Sir Ronald MacMunn. After each monthly instalment appeared, readers were invited to send in their ideas about whodunnit the magazine’s editors, with the promise of glory for the first to crack the case. The final question posed to readers was “Who killed Gangster Cassetti?”.

This is a name that will be very familiar to readers of Agatha Christie’s 1934 novel Murder on the Orient Express. But before we accuse this Ronald MacMunn of a terrible act of plagiarism, let’s look a little closer. This story is Murder on the Orient Express. The new title and name was a ploy by the editors of the magazine, who were concerned that if they printed the real title or author of this story alongside their competition, Brazilian readers would look in the original English edition for the solution to the mystery rather than trying to work it out for themselves. And it worked: only nine people got the answer right, which seems to be a small enough number to suggest that there was little or no cheating involved.

There is evidence that Agatha Christie was still thinking about competitions as a way of playing the game with her readers well after the golden age period itself was over. In 1949, she came up with an idea for a competition in which she would write and publish the opening scenario of a mystery short story, and readers would then be invited to finish it and send in their own completions of what she had started. Presumably Christie herself, perhaps together with some other experts, would then choose the best one as the winner. She wasn’t the first to do this, by the way — the Detective Story magazine in the US had been running what it called “Unfinished Contests” for years in which the writer of the best ending to a published partial story would receive $100. But it certainly wasn’t a common format in the UK.

The sketch that Christie started making for this involved a scene that some astute Christie fans might recognise as soon as I describe it. In it, a typist named Nancy arrives at a house for an appointment, lets herself in, and finds to her horror a bizarre collection of clocks, the dead body of a man she has never seen before, and a blind woman. She titled this “The Clock Stops”, and described how the clocks all showed different, wrong times.

For whatever reason, this competition never happened. But twelve years later, Agatha Christie dusted off the scenario she had written and used it as the basis for a new Poirot novel titled The Clocks. She changed some aspects of it, but the idea of a typist arriving at a house to find a corpse and a collection of stopped clocks remained. So the competition did achieve something, even Christie fans never actually got a chance to pit their writing skills against that of the writer herself.

Christie was far from the only writer to dabble in competitions when it came to mystery writing. In March 1927, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle published an article in the Strand magazine in which he finally bid farewell to readers of Sherlock Holmes — making rueful reference to the fact that he had, of course, tried the dispense with the character once already only to resurrect him due to popular demand. But now, as the 1920s were coming to a close, the last collection of Holmes short stories, The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes was about to be published. Holmes was getting on a bit, too — Conan Doyle writes that “He began his adventures in the very heart of the later Victorian Era, carried it through the all-too-short reign of Edward, and has managed to hold his own little niche even in these feverish days”.

So this time, Conan Doyle was serious when he said goodbye to his fans. He wasn’t to know it, but he himself only had another couple of years to live. To mark this moment of farewell, then, he proposed what he called a small competition as “a little test of the opinion of the public”. Conan Doyle wrote his own list of what he considered to be the twelve best Sherlock Holmes stories and left this in a sealed envelope with the editor of the Strand. The reader who wrote in with a list of a dozen titles that mostly closely coincided with the author’s own selection would win £100 and an autographed copy of his autobiography, Memories and Adventures. It’s not quite the solution to a crime, but it is still a contest between writer and reader. Who knew Sherlock Holmes better, his creator or his fans?

Another unusual competition mystery that I’m very fond of was authored by Margot Neville, a pseudonym used by two Australian sisters, Margot Goyder and Anne Neville Goyder. They began publishing crime fiction with Murder in Rockwater in 1943. In 1956, with the Olympics about to begin in Melbourne, the Goyder sisters were commissioned by Australian Women’s Weekly to write a sporting themed mystery that could be published as a competition for their readers, with the winners receiving an all expenses paid trip to the Games.

Margot Neville more than rose the occasion with Murder of Olympia. The story follows protagonist Irene Francis through her final day, and her interactions with her paramour Larry Bannerman, who works for an architect’s practice but is also entering the Olympics as a sprinter. His friends fear that his entanglement with the married Irene will put him off his game for his big race, and their prediction unfortunately comes true when Irene goes missing and her body is eventually found in the river. The sisters’ regular detective, Inspector Grogan, is called into investigate, and considers Larry to be a major suspect.

The upcoming Olympics is used cleverly as a backdrop in the story, meaning that readers were always aware of the prize that awaiting them if they got the solution to the mystery correct and won the competition. As an excellent marriage of competition context and good mystery writing, Murder of Olympia really stands alone.

After the break: hunting for snuffboxes on the Isle of Man.


Let’s zoom out from the competition mystery for a moment, and look at how this phenomenon fits into what else was happening in the world in the mid 1920s, when Agatha Christie was entering them and the form was first gaining prominence with the likes of The Wintringham Mystery. As well as now being referred to as “the golden age of detective fiction”, the period between the two world wars is also sometimes described as the era of the “puzzle craze”, as people mentally and physically exhausted from the traumas of the first world war turned to light hearted activities to divert themselves. At the same time as the classic whodunnit was becoming popular, other kinds of puzzle based entertainment like jigsaws, treasure hunts, crosswords and parlour games were also all the rage.

The critic Alison Light has described the effect of murder mysteries in this inter war period as “the mental equivalent of pottering”, and the same could be said of all sorts of puzzles. Competitions, puzzles and mysteries alike offered a clear cut structure, with rules, a winner, and a loser. There’s no uncomfortable ambiguity to endure. Light expands on this similarity by terming the crime fiction of the time “literature of convalescence”. Whodunnits were “the literature of emotional invalids, shock absorbing and rehabilitating, like playing endless rounds of clock patience,” she says. Anyone who has spent any time being unwell will know exactly the feeling that she’s describing — that itchy period after you’re no longer so ill that you can’t move or sit up, but before you are well enough to get out of bed and resume normal life. Doing a jigsaw or reading a detective story feels soothing, but trying to do or read anything without such a rigid structure can be too much. Repetitive activities like knitting, word puzzles or card games fit this moment perfectly, seeming to use just enough of your brain and no more.

I think W Somerset Maugham had a rather good take on this in his essay “The Decline and Fall of the Detection Story,” in which he describes how he discovered the convalescent power of detective fiction while literally in bed convalescing. He spent part of the first world war receiving treatment in a “sanatorium for the tuberculous” in the north of Scotland and there “learnt how pleasant it is to lie in bed”. He writes: “With aspirin, a hot-water bottle, rum toddy at night and half a dozen detective stories I am prepared to make an ambiguous virtue of an equivocal necessity.”

In the context of the post First World War period, Light calls this “that lack of capacity for concentrated thinking which plagued the returned solider” and suggests that those at home who endured years of waiting and assuming the worst were equally afflicted with it. The cure was “pitting their quits in a struggle that was cerebral without involving strain”, and that’s just what detective novels and the other kinds of puzzle that were gaining popularity in the 1920s provided. They relieve anxiety rather than generating strong emotion. We’ve seen a version of this ourselves, I think, in the last couple of years, as the strain of continued pandemic and repeated lockdowns has pushed us towards these kinds of activities again. It’s not a surprise, I think, that new crime novels with strong ties to the tropes of the golden age — like those by Richard Osman, for instance — have been very popular.

Even the genre’s critics saw the similarities between the classic mystery novel and other types of puzzle games. In his famous 1945 New Yorker essay “Who Cares Who Killed Roger Ackroyd?”, the critic Edmund Wilson says that “the reading of detective stories is simply a kind of vice that, for silliness and minor harmfulness, ranks somewhere be­tween smoking and crossword puzzles”. People love whodunnits and crosswords alike because they’re absorbing and distracting but not disruptive.

A competition mystery seems like an excellent next advance on this idea. It combines the predictable structures and suspense of a mystery story with the “good clean fun” kind of competitiveness that comes with doing a crossword or a treasure hunt. Put in this light, it seems like the perfect golden age activity.

But back to Agatha Christie. As well as entering competition mysteries and coming up with ideas to set her own, she also wrote perhaps the purest expression of this “puzzle craze” phenomenon. In late 1929, the chairman of the tourism committee on the Isle of Man approached Christie with the idea of creating a hybrid mystery story and treasure hunt that would incentivise people to visit the island. She was taken with the idea, and made a research trip to the island in spring 1930 to scope out the landscape before penning her story.

Titled “Manx Gold”, her story revolved around two cousins who return to the Isle of Man for the reading of their eccentric uncle’s will. This document sends them on a treasure hunt around the island, following clues written in verse to find the next location of the next cache. Readers were supposed to follow the clues themselves to discover four snuffboxes that had been buried around the island, and which they could then exchange at the tourism office for a £100 prize, worth over £4000 today. Residents of the Isle of Man were, unfortunately, ineligible for the prize since it was thought that Christie’s clues to different locations on the island would be too easy for them to crack.

The upcoming publication of the story was advertised heavily, and then it began serialisation in five instalments in newspapers in the north west of England, from which the Isle of Man is an easy trip for a day or weekend. It was also made into a booklet titled June in Douglas and distributed at hotels for visitors to pick up. These booklets are now vanishingly rare, and as a result the story remained mostly unknown until the 1990s, when it was rediscovered by Christie expert Tony Medawar and republished with an editorial note in the collection While the Light Lasts.

It seems that as a treasure hunt mystery hybrid, “Manx Gold” was considered to be a success, well worth the investment both in Christie’s £60 fee (about £3000 today) and the £400 prize money. But for whatever reason, the experiment was not repeated, and as far as I know it remains the only major golden age treasure hunt mystery.

The publishing of competition mysteries continued throughout the golden age period. While the classic whodunnit was in its heyday and newspaper serialisation was a common publishing route, it was a popular way of entertaining readers and generating sales. Anthony Berkeley, author of The Wintringham Mystery under his A.B. Cox pseudonym and a co-found of the Detection Club in 1930, seems to have been especially fond of it as a form. Several of his other novels received this treatment in the press, right up to his final detective fiction in the late 1930s. Both his novels Not To Be Taken and Death in the House appeared as competitions in John O’London’s Weekly, in 1938 and 1939, even though the second world war was on the horizon and the convalescent power of the mystery novel and the puzzle craze was on the wane. Berkeley himself would remain very engaged with detective fiction for the rest of his life as a critic, but he didn’t publish any more of his own work after 1939.

But although we officially deem the golden age of detective fiction to have concluded in 1939, the style and structures that enjoyed such popularity in that period have endured, and so has the competition mystery, albeit in some less high profile ways. There are some nice examples from the 1940s and 1950s, such as Macdonald Hastings’ “Mr Cork’s Secret”, which appeared in two parts in Lilliput magazine in 1952 with a prize of £150 offered for the best solution sent in before the second instalment appeared. In a nice touch, when this story was republished in the British Library Crime Classics anthology Crimson Snow, the two parts were kept separate in the book so that today’s readers have the same experience as Hastings intended, and a chance to try and solve the mystery before reading the solution.

There’s also more recent examples, such as The Crime of the Century by Kingsley Amis, which appeared as a six part serial in the Sunday Times in 1975 intended for summer holiday reading. Although entirely modern in setting and style, the rules of the competition remain very familiar from the golden age, with readers invited to send in their solutions after the fifth instalment. The winning entry, by one Howard Martin, was printed alongside Amis’s own ending to the story. When the story was published in book form in 1987, Amis wrote that he found the serialised competition form very restrictive, since to fit the word count and create the desired cliffhanger at the end of each part he had to cut back his manuscript brutally. He wrote that he pared the whole thing right down, getting rid of anything that wasn’t plot, including “characterisations, descriptions of places and journeys, inner thoughts, any kind of feeling, whatever might be called extra”.

Today, the most common kinds of competition for crime fiction are for writers, not readers. This transition happened slowly over the 20th century — Agatha Christie, for instance, was a judge for a don’s detective novel writing competition that the Collins Crime Club ran in the 1960s, looking for the next Michael Innes. Today, you’re far more likely to be invited to submit your ideas about mysteries with a view to becoming a publisher writer than just because you’re a reader who likes to solve puzzles.

But there are traces of the competition mystery out there still, and signs that the difficulties of the last few years have brought it attention just like the classic whodunnit form. Which brings me to Cain’s Jawbone, perhaps the best ongoing combination of the puzzle craze, the golden age and the competition mystery. Edward Powys Mathers, a crossword setter known as Torquemada, created this literary puzzle in 1934, and it takes the form of a hundred pages of a mystery story arranged in the wrong order. To solve the puzzle, the player must get the pages in the right order. Two people solved it in 1935, and received the prize of £25 each. The solution has never been made public, and versions of the puzzle became scarce until it was republished in a new edition in 2019. Four people are now known to have solved Cain’s Jawbone, including the comedian John Finnemore who took six months at the start of the Covid pandemic to do it. It also became a viral sensation on TikTok last year, with hundreds of people documenting their attempts to solve it.

It isn’t quite the same as Agatha Christie writing in to the Daily Mirror with her solution to The Wintringham Mystery in 1926, but the spirit and excitement of the competition mystery seems to be very much still alive today.


This episode of Shedunnit was written and narrated by me, Caroline Crampton. Find links to all the books mentioned and other information about this episode at shedunnitshow.com/aprizemystery. I publish transcripts of every episode including this one; find them all at shedunnitshow.com/transcripts.

If you’d like more Shedunnit, consider joining the Shedunnit Book Club — I make two bonus episodes a month for members, or three if you join at the higher level. You can find out more and sign up at shedunnitbookclub.com/join.

Shedunnit is edited by Euan MacAleece. Production assistance from Leandra Griffith. Member support for the Shedunnit Book Club from Connor McLoughlin. The podcast’s advertising partner is Multitude.

Thanks for listening. I’ll be back in two weeks with a new episode.

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