A quaint little village in the Cotswolds, or the Lake Country, or somewhere in Oxfordshire. A place where everyone knows your name and what you’ve been up to. The public house is the center of community activity and the place to escape the troubles and worries of daily life. There’s a manor house, the hoary old church, the classic English cottages. But there may be the new development, causing tension in the community. Long-held grudges and long-festering feuds suddenly boiling up in the face of change, with murder the result.
Fertile and deadly ground for thousands of mystery novels, and countless television shows.
It’s also the inspiration for Murder in Little Piddling by White Mountain Puzzles.
The image for the puzzle itself (shown above) is slightly different in a few important details from the box art, which, for instance, shows the murder scene bucolic and corpse-free. Once you complete the puzzle, you read the provided “story” of the murder, and then can read the clues and testimony on the various sections of the puzzle itself to solve the mystery.
Being a jigsaw puzzle, the main fun to be had is with “solving” the actual puzzle, but the murder mystery is a fun coda to that. Compared to escape room-style board game puzzles we’ve tried, like “Box One,” the mystery here is a snap to solve, especially for seasoned mystery readers, but it’s entertaining in the process.
Jigsaw puzzles and murder mysteries go hand-in-hand in my book, since both involve solving sometimes maddeningly challenging puzzles. Murder in Little Piddling combines them for even more fun.
If you are interested, you can find the puzzle here.