Mystery Man Game Walkthrough

GKCfanGKCfan Wisconsin, United States



By Chris Chan (GKCfan)


Two and a half years ago, right after I closed the case of the Fourth Mystery Man, I received a message from someone purporting to be the Fifth Mystery Man, warning me that he had another puzzle planned.  As the months passed, I started to think that perhaps it was all just a false alarm, but just over two weeks ago I got the following message from him:


Hello GKCfan–

            I know that you and your friends at  were quite successful at tracking down the last four Mystery Men, but I doubt that you’ll find it as easy to track down me.  Are you aware that the props for the recent television production of And Then There Were None were placed on display recently?  I have stolen the ten little soldier boys used in the miniseries, and I have hidden links to finding them through the discussion boards on the official Agatha Christie website:

Over the next two weeks, every day from Monday through Friday (I’ll take the weekend off), I will provide a series of three clues leading you to a discussion thread on the website.  When you’ve figured out what the three clues refer to, search the discussion board, until you find how I’ve altered one of the discussion posts.  You’ll find the stolen soldier boy, some information about And Then There Were None, and a clue to my identity.  Find all ten soldier boys, and you’ll be able to figure out who I am.

Here’s a hint: I’m a thief– but not a murderer– from one of Agatha Christie’s mysteries.  That’s all the help you’ll get for now.  Catch me if you can!


Very sincerely yours,

The Fifth Mystery Man



            As scheduled, on Day One, I received the following three clues:


1)  Dedicated to a dog!

2)  Thanks, James Elroy Flecker!

3)  It’s not nice to mark up books like that, even if you are trying to expose a murderer!

I immediately realized that the book in question was Postern of Fate.  Christie dedicated the novel “To Hannibal and his master,” a reference to the dog in the book, who was based on Christie’s own dog.  James Elroy Flecker wrote the poem Gates of Damascus, from which the phrase “Postern of Fate” is quoted.  And some books in the novel are marked up to spell out clues.  I followed the clues here: (, and tracked down the first little soldier boy.


  • GKCfanGKCfan Wisconsin, United States

    On the second day I received the following clues:



    2) A Capitalization Offense

    3) “Be not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them.”

    The first clue is “Dorothy L. Sayers’s Detective” backwards.  Sayers was a contemporary of Christie’s whose mystery novels starred Lord Peter Wimsey.  Many Christie scholars think that Sad Cypress is Christie’s own take on the themes in Sayers’ Strong Poison, including a falsely accused heroine, a cleverly planned poisoning, and the fate of a massive inheritance.  The character “Peter Lord” from Sad Cypress is “Lord Peter” backwards.  A major clue in the book comes from a capitalized letter, and third clue is a quote from Twelfth Night, which is where the phrase “Sad Cypress” comes from, too.  I went here: ( and found the second little soldier boy.


    Day Three brought these clues:


    1) Didn’t I see this title before in A Murder is Announced? Or something close to it?

    2) Bad dog! No... wait... Smart dog!

    3) Wigs... So many wigs...


    A Murder is Announced featured a play called Elephants Do Forget, and Christie’s novel Elephants Can Remember featured a clever dog who wasn’t misbehaving like people thought, and four wigs that proved to be clues.  The third little soldier boy was found here: (




    Three more clues arrived on Day Four:


    1) Our beloved detective has a cousin with a stutter!

    2) That’s not a real clergyman!

    3) Inspired by Brown’s? 

  • GKCfanGKCfan Wisconsin, United States

    The answer was At Bertram’s Hotel.  We learn in that book that Miss Marple had a cousin who stuttered, a nice old absent-minded clergyman was impersonated, and the titular hotel was based on the famous Brown’s Hotel.  The fourth little soldier boy was found here: (


    Day Five brought these clues:


    1) You used to dance, didn’t you?

    2) “wonderful things on a rubbish heap”

    3) This isn’t the end... we’ll meet again... over an unpleasant cup of tea.

    These refer to “Harlequin’s Lane,” the last story in the collection The Mysterious Mr. Quin.  One major character is a former dancer, the second clue is a quote from the story, and the last clue refers to the Mr. Quin story set years later, “The Harlequin Tea Set.”  As expected, the fifth little soldier boy was recovered here: (



    After a relaxing weekend without any clues to follow, I received these clues on Day Six:


    1) Double trouble!

    2) Shame on you, Edith Thompson and Frederick Bywaters! Did George Harry Storrs serve as an inspiration, too?

    3) A temporary goodbye to a good friend.

    The answer was The Murder on the Links.  A pair of twins play a prominent role in the plot.  The true crime cases of Thompson and Bywaters, as well as Storrs, were probably influences on the story, and at the end of the book Hastings temporarily leaves for Argentina.  The sixth little soldier boy was found here: (


    Day Seven brought the following clues:

    1) Pearls Before Swine

    2) That French chalk gets everywhere, doesn’t it?

    3) You are Lucky Len of the Daily Echo and I claim my ten guineas!

    The first and third clues refer to the David Suchet Poirot episode “The Jewel Robbery at the Grand Metropolitan.”  French chalk, used to make cupboards open and shut smoothly, is an important clue.  The seventh little soldier boy was found here: (

  • GKCfanGKCfan Wisconsin, United States

    Day Eight brought these clues:


    1) Dhund

    2) It was MacGregor’s fault!

    3) Novelized by Charles Osborne

    The clues refer to Christie’s play The Unexpected Guest.  The Bollywood adaptation had the title Dhund, MacGregor is a character from the play, and The Unexpected Guest is one of three Christie plays that were turned into novels by Charles Osborne.  The eighth little soldier boy was here: (


    Day Nine brought these clues:


    1) No, he’s not the American golfer.

    2) F.A. and J.W. before T&T.

    3) Some people can take a lot more morphine than others!

    Bobby Jones was a famous American golfer, and that is also the name of the hero of Why Didn’t They Ask Evans?  Francesca Annis and James Warwick started in a television adaptation of Wy Didn’t They Ask Evans?  before they played Tommy and Tuppence on television.  Early in the book, one character is given what ought to be a lethal dose of morphine, but he survives.  The ninth little soldier boy was retrieved here: (



    Finally, I received the following clues on Day Ten:


    1)  Tiglath Pileser 

    2)  Aladdin in the Cave of Jewels 

    3)  Murder near crude colored glass 

    Tiglath Pileser is the name of the cat belonging to the Harmons (friends of Miss Marple), who appears in a couple of mysteries.  “Aladdin in the Cave of Jewels” was a dance routine played by a character referred to in the short story “Sanctuary,” and the crime is committed near a church, where a stained glass window is described as “crude colored glass.”  The tenth and last little soldier boy was here: (

  • GKCfanGKCfan Wisconsin, United States

    Each little soldier boy had something scribbled on it:

    1)    Narracott

    2)    Landor

    3)    Ogilvie

    4)    Taylor

    5)    Lombard

    6)    Issac

    7)    Armstrong

    8)    Thomas

    9)    Marston

    10)  Ethel Rogers


    I took the eleven capital letters (NLOTLIATMER) and rearranged them to spell out “Tim Allerton,” a jewel thief from Death on the Nile.  I immediately telephoned the police, who tracked down Allerton and arrested him.  Since he returned all ten statuettes (albeit in a very roundabout way), the authorities were lenient with him.  Tim Allerton was given a suspended sentence and was released into the supervision of his wife and mother, where he would be under house arrest for three months with no television privileges and no dessert.

    As for me, I had retrieved all ten little soldier boy statuettes, and I had a great time solving the case.  I just hope that all of the other people who joined in the investigation had as much fun as I did.



  • SandiSandi Santa Clara, CA USA
    Next year I will be better prepared.
  • Oh yes. It was super fun playing this game. I guessed correct and got a congratulatory mail from the team. Thanks @GKCfan for organizing this game. ☺
  • edited March 2016
    Tim Allerton has a wife?? :D
  • GKCfanGKCfan Wisconsin, United States
    @klaurose, the characterization of T.A. is very different in the original novel than it is in the David Suchet adaptation!
  • Yeah, I guess :) I have read the book more than 10 yrs ago, while I watched the film a 100 times :)
  • @klaurose according to the book, in the end he promises to reform himself and asks Rosalie to marry him. Tough i don't remember whether she agrees or not, maybe she does. 
  • This post is not uniquely about the Mystery Man Game, but about more as well. I notice that participants were not always  names which I recognized. It occurred to me that many may be contributors to the FACEBOOK Agatha Christie site. Going on the site, I noticed features which are missing from this forum. Unless, I have made a mistake, there was not , on this website, the giveaway of Mr Quinn books which was announced on Facebook in February. (16th I think) Also, I could not see reference on this website to the online version of something to do with Mr Quinn which is narrated by a well-known actor from Game of Thrones. This was posted on the FACEBOOK page in early February of this year. The Facebook site is regularly added to with items which stimulate and refresh discussion. By comparison, I think that this website is sadly neglected, and this is unfair. There is not the interaction between website staff and posters to enrich knowledge and interests in the novels. In my opinion, we would need frequent Mystery Man games to bring this site to life.  However, it seems to me that it would take a lot of work and time to produce a game every few weeks and months, and skill of course, and, much as it would be wonderful if GKC Fan could produce these regularly, it would seem a tall order. I think this site needs to be energised and made more like FACEBOOK.
  • Thank you, Griselda, for speaking up.  I agree with you totally, with the exception that I don't care so much for the Facebook page.  I'm pretty sure that the admins responsible for both this official website and the Facebook page are the same group. There is no excuse for their disinterestedness and neglect.  They rely on the fans to do all the work of initiating discussions and carrying momentum.  Their preference of Facebook is probably because it is not costly to them to run their fan club through that site rather than here.  They can post updates and announcements on Facebook immediately and for no charge.  This official site doesn't seem to serve much purpose other than occupying the domain name.
  • tudestudes Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
    I don't care about facebook either and it's very sad to read about this lack of interest on this site. This site could be much more interesting!
    @Griselda, I agree with you. And as you said, I didn't recognized lots of the names either. And I visit and write here almost every week. Not as much I would like, I have to say.
    Thanks, Griselda and Madame Doyle to point to some problems of this site.

  • The rum thing is ( 'rum' as Hastings might say)  that they mention the Book of the Month in 'News' on this site, but don't head it up as a thread on this forum. I know where the Book of the Month has gone - Facebook, along with all the handy information about Agatha Christie festivals in Tenerife, balls at Greenaway, or whatever is the Christie home in Devon, and snippets of information which look like someone has actually thought about them, instead of the same old quote about letting evil into the heart which is wallpapered into these forum threads, in an autopilot kind of way. Having said that, I agree entirely that Facebook Agatha Christie isn't that satisfactory, and comments tend to be tossed on to a post in passing, understandably, because posters are probably browsing through many posts by friends and organisation which they like, making a quick comment to them all. 
  • tudestudes Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
    edited March 2016
    @Griselda, once more, thanks to to point to some problems on this website. I was looking for The Book of the Month on this forum and, of course, I couldn't to find it. I thought it was my fault. So, what's the point to announce The Book of the month on this site if we can't discuss it here?
  • GKCfanGKCfan Wisconsin, United States
    Thank you all for your comments.  I'm glad that the Mystery Man Game was enjoyable.  I think that the forums on the Christie website have varied in popularity over the years.  When I first started on the discussion boards when the website first started in 2006, it was slow at first, but then a small but active group of fans started some great discussions.  Then a couple of years later the website received a major revamp, and a lot of old contributors left, but over the course of a couple of years people joined, and from 2009-2012, the boards were quite busy.  Then spammers took over the boards and drove people away.  It got so bad, the spammers made up the vast majority of posts on the boards.  That's why the completely new website and comments section was launched a couple of years ago, but contributions to the forums have been slow for a while, so we're trying to bring people back to the boards.

    Bottom line, if we want the Christie discussion forums to be more interesting, insightful, and busy, we fans have to keep contributing more to the discussions.  Also, if you have any suggestions for improvements or new games, please send me a message or tag me in a comment ("@GKCfan"), to let me know.  I'm trying to make the website more fun for everybody, so I appreciate any suggestions people offer.
  • The game was fantastic, as everyone has commented, and your knowledge of the novels and short stories really adds to our enjoyment. Posting offers of free books, as per Facebook, would be nice, but also someone could interview actors from the dramatisations for anecdotes to add into discussions, or find the crew to give some insights. There must be a history advisor who could come up with some interesting background about how they got the shoots to look authentic. It would mean being prepared to give views, but a moderator or helper on behalf of the website could sometimes intervene with a few sentences, extend discussions judiciously by turning them to include an angle posters had been looking at, and found interesting.
  • It would make sense that this web site is run by the marketing group for Agatha Christie and her publishers, so really, it's their job to contribute to the site and keep it interesting.  The fans cannot be expected to be the major contributors.  We are here to help, but there has to be some sign of interest on the side of the people who actually represent Agatha Christie.  This is not a fan run site; its nature as "official" suggests much more news and interaction.  Instead, the fans are blamed for leaving or the spammers for taking more interest than the moderators.  Which members here officially represent Agatha Christie?
  • AgathasmykidAgathasmykid British Columbia, Canada
    Hi, great discussion! I noticed as well that participation on this site is down. I have gone back to school which is my excuse lol, and will often choose to spend what free time I have reading Christie then coming to this site.  That being said, prior to school I felt I was on here a fair bit, and hope to resume posting after school is over.

    @GKCfan - I think more games, like the Mystery Man, as well as more polls and surveys.  Many years ago fans got to vote on their favourite Christie's, perhaps time to revisit that. I would also like to see polls for favourite "Poirot Novel" etc.
  •  It is strange that there are no articles on this site. If it were a Jane Austen site, there would be some of these. A journalist could be commissioned to go to one of the locaations, such as the island where Evil Under the Sun was set, and write about it. They could take photos of the bar, and the Art Deco taps in the bathrooms. There is a hotel there, still running, and styled in the era of Christie's works. The owners there are conscious of the link to the novels. Considering Christie is the most popular novelist after Shakespeare, there must be writers who have a special interest and who could write professionally and knowledgeably about such things. They could write about the real life people who some of the novels' characters are based upon. There is no summing up. One of our fellow posters said a few months ago, words to the effect of, 'So that was the book of the month - is there going to be no tying up of the loose ends, to form a conclusion?'. It is true. There interested administrator, to say. "Wow, you all thought the twist was better than Murder on the Orient Express? Did you know that that twist was used in ____   _____as well, but Agathie Christie said she hadn't been happy with it.' There must be administrators who can do a bit of background research to extend members knowledge and enjoyment, but they don't.  Even linking back, to say 2011, and a similar discussion, to say what people had said then, could on certain occasions stimulate and extend our enjoyment in speculating. We have forum posters who make interesting links with other novelists who have used similar themes and devices. However, no administrator collates all this valuable and interest-provoking information to put it in a little section on the website labelled, 'Christie and other novelists' for instance. I think some forum members do very helpfully post messages providing additional factual information which they have researched and memorised as a result of being blessed with a fine memory, and being very au fait with all the works. But there is a appropriate modesty about their contributions because they probably don't feel they have the authority to sort of be running the site. It might be good if there was a person running the site, who you could put a name to, and could sum up discussions and comment. I think a member said that this happens on the Enid Blyton website, where somebody comments back. I unexpectedly received two emails to my actual email address - not a griselda- type pseudonym address -  to give me helpful clues to the Mystery Man quiz. These two were from an occasional forum poster, who was listed as one of the successful entrants to the competition. (Not the person who organised and devised the game) So this person has access to our email addresses, so must be part of the website management, and yet he entered the competition, and so there must be a cross over between who is a website employee or team member, and who is a forum participant. 
  • Griselda, you bring up some great points.  Especially the book of the month, because it would seem that the admins would at least take the time and trouble to be present and facilitate some discussions about the book.  On the Facebook page, they do try to steer people to this website through advertising the book of the month, yet it is so very disappointing that the discussions are like a black hole.  I appreciate the posts from the fans, but you are so right...the admins could bring in that extra bit of background or just wow us with some insights.  Instead, we get the impression that the people who run this site have not even read the books.  Admins, if you are reading, and if you have read the books, feel free to demonstrate that fact by participating!

    I am different from many fans in that I don't really care for the filmed or televised versions of the books.  I would love a forum that sticks strictly to the books and does not bring in the adaptations.  It seems that "book of the month" should imply just that...the text...but invariably the thread runs amok.  Where are the moderators?  We never did see them step up and identify themselves.
  • Yes, precisely true, Madame Doyle, I agree with all you say regarding the admins. One poster once commented on the interesting fact that one of the admins was coming up with an interesting place - Angola, I think - against their name. You'd expect the admin to write back, "Yes, this is where I'm based - I'll tell you a bit about it!", but they didn't. And we had quite a wide and repeated discussion on the boards about where had the Book of the Month gone, which was met with no response! It has been, as I said at the time, just like being in And Then There Were None, where there is a mystery voice which sometimes talks to you, but doesn't answer you when you want it to, or tell you what is going to be happening next. For me, the scope of the moderator/admin role can be to add interest and to promote an inclusive and deepening discussion. I've noticed from a college course I did recently that there are different styles of engaging with a topic, and an admin can skillfully bring together different opinions and comments and suggest how to move forward to include another pet interest of some: eg, for instance, a link to another author who we often discuss who uses a similar ploy: eg, a pairing of an expert detective and a duller sidekick. Some fans like the thrill of the whodunnit. The fans who got to grips with the Mystery Man Game and solved it, were not necessarily those who, usually on the posts, like to mull over the characterisations, (but they're not mutually exclusive, of course) and then,  some posters like to respond to TV adaptations, and some not so much, as you say. Particularly bringing forth comments made in earlier years is a useful means of pushing that discussion on a bit and bringing in one of the other angles.
  • GKCfanGKCfan Wisconsin, United States
    Well, I think that I should take this opportunity to reintroduce myself.  I go by the name GKCfan, I live in Wisconsin, in the USA, and I am one of the moderators for this board.  I joined this site as a user when it first started in 2006, and over the last decade I've written a lot for the website and I was recently made a moderator.  

    This is not a full-time job for me.  I have to juggle work and family obligations, but I try to post on this board often and read as many posts as I can.  I realize that I haven't posted much on the Book of the Month threads, but I will start increasing my presence on the boards.

    If you have any specific suggestions for things I can do to improve these discussions, please let me know.  I look forward to getting to know all of you better!  Thank you all for coming here and contributing!
  • Hi GKCFan, I had not realised until the mystery man game that you are a moderator, but I have, of course, noticed your very prompt replies to any queries posted, and I have thought, as every member must, what added value your knowledge brings to the site. What great luck that someone with your talents happens to be a Christie fan. More salaried moderators and article writers would improve the site further.
  • GKCfanGKCfan Wisconsin, United States
    Thank you so much!  I really enjoy interacting with other Agatha Christie fans, and I want to make the discussions as fun and informative as possible.
  • Tommy_A_JonesTommy_A_Jones Gloucestershire, United Kingdom

    Griselda when I read your idea of the Administrator winding up the conversation my 1st thought was that is what Jerry Springer does on his show and then I thought that also happens in Essays, just by looking at the whole conversation we can see what people thought of it who liked it and who didn't who preferred one character to another without it being pointed out to us, It would in my view make a discussion tedious.

    A few years ago I watched a Documentary about Burgh Isand and although it wasn't as extensive as you might like, it told a lot, but I agree a Documentary about the Island and Hotel would be nice.


  • Yes, I remember you voicing similar sentiments before, Tommy. I understand it, correctly, I hope, that, for you, administrators aren't really necessary to direct discussions. Titbits of research would be ok by you? GKCFan always gives us the accurate facts from the AC works, when posters are asking for them, so we're lucky there. 
  • GKCfanGKCfan Wisconsin, United States
    I just want everybody to know that I have no intention of wrapping up discussion conversations with a GIF of a "mic drop."  (Take a look at Gmail's April Fool's Day prank from yesterday:
  • Linnet RidgewayLinnet Ridgeway Davao City, Philippines
    Yes, it was enjoyable, I admit, the story and  how they build the climax, was just  wonderful. I just hope that they made it a bit longer,  it was a thrill that left me hanging. Can't wait for the next mystery game. 
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