I love a good mystery, and I'm a bit partial to putting together jigsaw puzzles, so when I first saw Mystery Jigsaw puzzles in the 90's I was hooked. These puzzles don't have a picture of the finished puzzle anywhere on the box, and they come with a short story detailing what happened in the minutes leading up to the puzzle image being taken. You read the story, assemble the puzzle, then try and solve the mystery. Actually, I like to put the book away until after I've finished the puzzle, its much more fun that way.
So when I saw one of these puzzles in a second-hand toy store recently, I had to buy it, because it came from the "Author Classic" range. Authors such as Sue Grafton, Nelson DeMille, Carol Higgins Clark and Julie Smith have all written for the range. I bought Jonathon Kellerman's "The things we do for love".
Anyone who does buys secondhand jigsaws knows you can sometimes be in for a surprise when you open the box. Chip crumbs, missing pieces and mangled corners are all possibilities. I opened the box with trepidation. To start with, it all looked good.
But what was that? Could it be? Tucked inside the story book was an immaculate five dollar note. Real, I wondered, or part of the story? It looked real enough and a quick comparison with other notes in my purse comfirmed its authenticity.
So what was it doing there? An additional clue to solve the mystery, left by the previous owner? A hidden gift from grandma, missed when the puzzle was unceremoniously traded in by its young owner without being completed? A clever forger with a new distribution arm?
I've yet to read the story, have only completed the border of the puzzle and can see what looks suspiciously like American money lying on the grass in one corner. My fingers are itching to get it finished.
This is one Mystery Jigsaw Puzzle that is certainly living up to its name.