- Continually trying to answer the question...can a man of few words write a successful novel?
I'm a Mystery/Thriller/Suspense writer from small town USA who struggles everyday to balance my passion for prose against the need to be a full-time bread winner. Finding ways to devote more time to my writing is the challenge, but for now all I can do is follow this tug at my heart to wherever it leads. I'm here primarily to soak up all the knowledge I can from the writing-centric blogosphere, but I'll do my best to contribute by thinking of new and innovative ways to churn the writing pot.
Monday, February 21, 2011
Whodunnit - A Murderer (and Winners) Revealed
I sure hope you guys and gals had as much fun with this contest as I did! Yes, it was a lot of work setting it up -- writing the story, crafting the clues, planting those clues around the blogosphere, tracking the participants and logging their guesses. But what you may not understand is that for a brief while I was in my world. The world of investigation, deduction, logical assumptions…mystery!
When I designed this celebration/contest I had two objectives in mind. The first, commemorate this wonderful community I’m lucky enough to be part of by nudging people to explore blogs outside of their normal boundaries. What is a better way to meet your neighbors then to hold a neighborhood scavenger hunt? The second was to not only give you a taste of what I’m all about, but also what great fun mysteries have the potential to be. In these times where the BONES & CSI effect is running rampant, I’m striving to write mysteries that are more human. My dream is that when my first book starts making the rounds and is getting noticed, that one particular quote is heard over and over again is “This is the book that made me want to start reading mysteries again!”
“Enough already! Who friggin killed Grayson Wilbourne?”
How many of you have already skipped to the end to find out the answer to that question? Tsk…tsk…tsk. Like all good mysteries, you just can’t blurt out the answer like that. You have to build up to it. So let us first discuss how you SHOULD have solved this crime.
Your investigation should have taken place in two parts. First, finding the clues. Second, figuring out what the clues were telling you. A proper place to start was my blog post seven days prior to the contest, A CALL FOR VOLUNTEERS. In that post I asked for assistance for an undisclosed nefarious purpose. The 33 bloggers who left comments there (regardless of what they said) would have been my first destination. But not all of the clue hosts came from that one source, the rest of them were specifically chosen by me. How did I choose them, and therefore how would you have known they were clue hosts? Because I selected people whom frequently left comments on my blog. Are you getting the impression that people who follow my blog regularly had an inside track into figuring out where the clues were? There was another way to find the clues, but surprisingly nobody decided to go that route. You might have posted something on your own blog asking other bloggers where they spotted clues, becoming a clue clearinghouse if you will. Vicki Rocho and others found all 37 clues, but Vicki went a step further and offered to give clues away (one per customer). I’d be interested in hearing how you found yours.
Once you have your clues (whatever number that may be), then what? Many of you went the route of trying to figure out who the murderer was by trying to use the clues to determine who was the most likely candidate. In fact, what you should have been doing is use the clues to figure out who couldn’t have killed Grayson. I’ve been telling you all along that with the right clues, someone could figure the puzzle out with less than a dozen clues. In fact, it could have been done with five. Of the 36 clues (one was duplicated), 13 of them (36%) eliminated suspects. With 6 possible murderers, all you needed is 5 of those 13 clues to reduce your suspect pool down to one. On the other hand, you’d still be scratching your head if you found 35 of the 36 clues, missing that one final clue that finally eliminates a suspect. Things would have been much easier with fewer clues, but the numbers helped cause confusion. Here’s is how it finally broke down.
Remember, we were looking for someone with blonde hair, at least six foot tall, Type O blood, right-handed, and left the ship to go into port that morning.
• Every one of Christian’s clues eliminated him.
• Matt had red hair, type AB blood, and it turns out was having an affair with Tez’s wife during the time of the murder.
• Joe has brown hair, Type A blood, and did not leave the ship that day.
• Tez met all of the criteria, but sustained an old injury that left him incapable of grasping a knife in his right hand with the force necessary to stab a person.
• Linda met all of the criteria, but she was also colorblind. She was incapable of specifically picking out the gold dagger to stab Grayson.
• Tim met all of the criteria. TIM WAS THE MURDERER. His motive was that he was in love with Linda and angry at Grayson for cheating her out of the Salesperson of the year award.
Some of the contestants found the clue about Linda’s color blindness, but chose to ignore it or mis-interpreted it. The gold dagger was used as the murder weapon because of the symbolic reference to the sales person of the year contest Grayson stole. Sure, Linda could have accidentally picked the gold dagger…but remember, there were no clues eliminating Tim as a suspect and an iffy one about Linda. Tim had to be the choice. :)
Eleven out of twenty-five contestants picked Tim, and with that choice…selected by the random number generator of 13…the winner of the WHODUNNIT mystery contest is…Vicki Rocho!
And the winner of the general drawing with a random number of 64…is Michael Di Gesu!
Congrats Vicki & Michael!!!!! I’ll be contacting you both shortly to work out award details.
Thanks again for everyone who played along…and especially for my wonderful clue hosts!! Look for this game to make a reappearance in some future celebration.
Have a great week!
Posted by DL Hammons at 7:16 AM