I’ve always been a huge fan of puzzles and brain teasers. My curiosity was piqued when I came across Crime Puzzles: Short Forensic Mysteries to Challenge Your Inner Amateur Detective. Part of a series of 60-Second Brain Teasers by M. Diane Vogt, this was certainly an intriguing collection, though I think 60 seconds is a bit of an exaggeration. Whether because the answer is too simple you find yourself second-guessing whether it could possibly be correct or you’re just not picking up on something, these puzzles will probably take more than 60 seconds.

What can you deduce?

As much as I adore puzzles, I don’t personally feel like these were very puzzle-esque. Sure, you have to figure out the answer to the question and determine based on minimal knowledge what occurred. But, at the same time, much of it relies on outside background information that not everyone may have. Not only that, but there’s not really much puzzling going on, at least in the way I would like. You’re really just presented with a scenario and prompted to answer a question. It’s not like the kind of puzzle you have to work at.

Frankly, I kind of just felt like any time I was able to determine the answer it was either because the answer was quite obvious or because I’d gotten lucky. Few of the puzzles actually left me feeling impressed. I also found myself second-guessing answers often, thinking that the simple solution was too simple. Other times, the answers were so obscure it just seemed silly.

the entertainment factor

Okay, so despite my complaints, this book was actually a lot of fun? I was definitely looking for something else when I picked it up, but I did genuinely find several of the puzzles engaging and entertaining. Plus, there are some pretty cool pieces of artwork decorating each scenario that I enjoyed well enough.

I feel like these puzzles could be enjoyed in a number of circumstances from long car trips and bedtime reading to a party with friends. It’s fun, just not quite as fun as I’d hoped.

I was provided a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


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