(I am using a murder story as an example but my question is not limited to detective stories.)

If you were to shorten a detective story down to just the facts, the way people died and the places all the suspects were at that time. and you would then post that as a murder mystery.

You won't tell people the book or the author because that would make it way too easy. But you could mention it was from a detective book and people would also have to name the author and the book or you put it in spoiler tags in your question once it has be answered. I do think you will have to give credit to the original writer of the story but not immediately.

Are you allowed to do this (or is this frowned upon by the community)? and would this make for good puzzles?


1 Answer 1


You may be referring to my question A murder in Manchester. If not, this is still a valid example.
In fact, I read this puzzle in a brainteasers book, enjoyed it, then posted here in Puzzling, slightly modified, with the lateral-thinking tag.
I didn't give credits to the author of the book because I was sure that he wasn't the very first inventor of that problem, indeed I was right: the puzzle was solved correctly in 5 minutes, meaning that somebody had already seen that brainteaser somewhere else.

Generally, I suggest to respect what's written in the first pages of the book, the disclaimer about copyright and sharing. If the author of the book specifically asks not to share any content of his work, don't do it! If he allows you to post parts of his book, but only if you give credits to him, do it!

About the quality, it really depends on the puzzle!
Mine, for example, wasn't well-accepted by the community, even though the story was well written (I hope so), probably because of the lateral-thinking tag. In fact, people tend to dislike problems where the solution is "outside the box". I totally disagree with them, but I respect their opinion and taste.
On the contrary, if the problem is a bit more mathematical, with fun elements and an unexpected solution, people are likely to upvote it.
But that's just a matter of personal taste, independent from the fact of being copied from a book.

  • $\begingroup$ No it doesn't refer to any previous question, I was thinking about adapting an Agatha Christy stories, among others, to a murder mystery ;) $\endgroup$
    – Vincent
    May 3, 2015 at 8:38

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