Thursday, September 29, 2016

A Game from Liz McCall of the Vintage Toyshop Mysteries

guest: Liz McCall
from: The Vintage Toyshop Mysteries
by: Barbara Early

Liz McCall here. I self-identify as a board game junkie. We have quite a selection of vintage board games at the shop. But today I have a new game for you! It's kind of a cross between a logic puzzle and the board game Clue. And the suspect are eight authors from the Killer Character blog!


Here's how it works:

I'll post one set of clues now, and then again at 10AM (eastern), 12noon, 2PM, 4PM, and 6PM. (Come back or reload the page to see new clues!) 

In addition, every player can make ONE free guess (suspect, weapon, and location) in the comments below at any time in the game. Leave an email in a safe format (ie. MyName AT myhost DOT com), and I'll email back the name of one of your items that's wrong, if any. You only get one guess, so use it wisely!

The weapons are:
  • flax hackle
  • lawn dart
  • soldering iron
  • Snickers bar
  • antique book
  • halberd
  • ghost chili
  • athame
The possible locations are:
  • yarn shop
  • vintage toyshop
  • glass shop
  • bike shop
  • bed & breakfast
  • Wagtail Mountain
  • spice shop
  • farm store
When you think you've figured it out--or have eliminated enough possibilities that you'd like to "take a stab" at it--you can make your final accusation at this Google form. If for some freak techno reason you cannot access the form, you may email me at Barb AT BarbaraEarly DOT com, using the heading "final accusation" and be sure to tell me the suspect, weapon, and location. DO NOT post your final accusations in the comments.

The first person to make a correct accusation will win a vintage toyshop totebag, a signed, hardcover copy of Death of a Toy Soldier, and signed copies of Cheryl Hollon's Pane and Suffering, Leslie Budewitz's Killing Thyme, and Krista Davis's The Diva Serves High Tea. (Cat not included.)

Five runners up will be chosen randomly from correct responses, and will each receive a Scrabble tile necklace.

The prizes as shown are limited to the United States. INTERNATIONAL PLAYERS may enter, but if they win, the prize will be DEATH OF A TOY SOLDIER only. (You don't want to know how much it costs to mail prizes across the globe!) 

You may find this worksheet helpful.

Here are the CLUES:

Clue set 1:

The killer's name doesn't contain a K.
The victim wasn't poisoned.
None of the authors killed anyone in a location around which her series is set.
Cheryl Hollon didn't kill anyone with a lawn dart.
Peg Cochran didn't kill anyone in a yarn shop.
Neither Barbara Early nor Leslie Budewitz killed anybody with a sharp object.

Clue set 2:

Molly MacRae didn't kill anyone with an antique book or in a bike shop.
Nobody died in a farm store.
Barbara Early didn't kill anyone with an antique book or in a yarn shop.
Nobody died on Wagtail Mountain.

Clue set 3:

Leslie Budewitz didn't kill anyone with a soldering iron or in a glass shop.
The only weapons that could be used in the B & B are the book and the lawn dart.
Neither Molly MacRae nor Duffy Brown killed anyone with a flax hackle.
If Peg Cochran killed anyone, it was in the farm store.

Clue set 4:

Cheryl Hollon didn’t kill anyone with an athame or in a spice shop.
If someone was killed in the glass shop, it was with the flax hackle
If the killer used a soldering iron, it was in the yarn shop.
If the killer used a halbard, it was in the spice shop.

Clue set 5:

Duffy Brown didn't kill anyone with a soldering iron or in the yarn shop.
If an antique book was used, it was in the spice shop.
The murder didn't take place in a vintage toyshop.
If the killer used a lawn dart, it was in the bike shop.

Final clue set:

Cheryl Hollon didn't kill anyone with a soldering iron.
If the killer used an athame, it was in a yarn shop.
Neither Molly MacRae nor Leslie Budewitz used a halbard.
Neither Duffy Brown nor Cheryl Hollon killed anyone with an antique book.

Remember, you make make ONE free guess in the comments below (include your email) at any time in the day, you may make one accusation here, and be sure to check back for more cozy clues!

Death of a Toy Soldier, the first of the new Vintage Toyshop Mysteries, releases on October 11th from Crooked Lane.

You can follow Barbara Early on Facebook to learn about more games and prizes in the twelve days leading up to the release!

Don't miss the online release party on October 11th!

You can find Death of a Toy Soldier on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and through many other fine retailers.


  1. What fun! I'll have to check all the clues when I get home from work!

  2. Ahhhh!!!!! Clue come true! Love it! Now, to get to jotting.....

  3. What fun. This is much too chaotic a day to play, but it looks great.

    1. :( If I've piqued your interest, follow the link above to my online release day party. We'll be playing this game (and others) on that day, too. May your day become a little less chaotic!

  4. What a fun activity for this rainy day! :-)

    1. I hoped readers would enjoy it. Good luck!

  5. I'm ready for more clues. 🤔😀

  6. I too have an assistant that looks similar to your's.

    1. I didn't think about putting a cat in the shot. She just hopped up there and photobombed my prize picture. I just went with it. :)

  7. I'm going to use my free guess: Barbara Early, soldering iron, spice shop :-)

  8. Spiced chilli in the glass shop

  9. This is great! :) Here's my free guess... Leslie Budewitz in the bike shop with the antique book.
    ekehlet at yahoo dot com

  10. Wow...great fun, but I'm missing some information. But for preliminary guess. I think Duffy Brown with the lawn dart in the glass shop?

  11. My free guess is: Leslie Budewitz in a bed & breakfast, with an antique book.

  12. okay, Leslie Budewitz in the yarn shop with an antique book. dr(dot)oldsmobileaticloud(dot)com

  13. Barbara Early, antique book, spice shop. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  14. Duffy Brown, Spice shop, Halberd. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

  15. Barbara Early, antique book, Bed and Breakfast

    ElaineE246 at msn dot com

    1. Rats! I gave the wrong answer. And it is such a great prize! Well, good luck, everyone else!

  16. Duffy Brown, Halberd,spice shop

  17. my test guess cheryl hollon with fax handle in the yarn shop
    pattymarsh31@gmail (dot)com

  18. Duffy Brown, Antique Book, Spice Shop

    Rlewis11797 (at) yahoo (dot) com

  19. duffy. halberd. bike shop.

  20. Peg Cochran, farm store with ghost chili

  21. This was so much fun! I sent my guess - I had it down to 3 scenarios. I hope you'll post the correct answer later! :-)

    1. Yes please do post the correct answer!

    2. I will post the correct answer and the winners--as soon as every one who wants to has had a chance to play. Besides the grand prize, there are prizes for runners up chosen randomly from correct responses, so I want to give everyone a chance to get their answers in. I'm glad you liked the game!

    3. It was a blast, and I loved the game format of today's blog. I really hope that we can do something similar again. Well done, Barbara! :-)

  22. I'm guessing Duffy Brown, halberd, spice shop. Email is winsomefiddler AT aol DOT com

  23. This was so much fun. Thank you for this chance! I filled out the google form and hoping for the best! :)

  24. Barbara Early antique book spice shop

  25. My free guess - Cheryl Hollon with a flax hackle in the bike shop (I have it narrowed to two so I hope this helps me break it down further)

    1. - hope this one goes through

    2. Got it this time. Check your email!

  26. Cheryl Hollon with a flax hackle in the bike shop

  27. OK, we have a winner! Kathleen Costa was the first to get the correct answer. I'll be emailing runners up individually. If you'd like to check your answers, please go back to the form where you submitted your final answers. It will now provide the correct answers at the end. This way I can leave it up for anyone who'd like to play--just for the brain tease. And if you enjoyed this, look for my online launch party where we will play more games.

  28. I'm down to three scenarios. I must have missed something!

  29. Ok. Since the game was over and I had two locations for one suspect and only one for the other, I submitted the one with only one possible weapon and location, but I don't see how I could eliminate the other person and her two locations.

  30. I'm late joining in and notice someone has already got it, but that's ok. I don't see where the correct answer is posted, so I went ahead and just submitted what I came up with. Thank you so much for the little brain workout! SO much fun! My mom was always doing logic puzzles when I was young, so I am going to send this to her. I think she'll get a kick out of it as she also loves cozies! Thanks again!

    1. Ha! Now I see the correct answer after submitting my guess! I was wrong, wrong, wrong. Maybe I read more into one clue then I should've as I eliminated that weapon option from that particular author. Oh well. Fun nevertheless!

  31. Yes, instead of posting the answer here, I reset the form so that it supplies the correct answer at the end. That way, people could continue to enjoy solving the puzzle. I'm so glad you all enjoyed it!