Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Warning Signs

{Photo by rocketlass.}

1 Page 423 (of 765) of The Box from Japan (1932) by Harry Stephen Keeler offers a challenge to the intrepid mystery reader:

THIS IS A CHALLENGE TO YOU. At this point all the characters and clues have been presented. It should now be possible for you to solve the mystery.


Here's your chance to do a little detective work on your own--a chance to test your powers of deduction. Review the mystery and see if you can solve it at this point.

Remember! THIS IS A SPORTING PROPOSITION, made in an effort to make the reading of mystery stories more interesting to you. So--don't read any further. Reach your solution now. Then proceed.

2 Page 248 (of 352) of Julio Cortazar and Carol Dunlop's Autonauts of the Cosmoroute (1983, translated into English in 2007 by Anne McLean) delivers a gentle warning to the reader who may have been too blithely enjoying the pair's tales of their thirty-day sojourn on the Paris-Marseilles freeway:
Reading these pages
has it not occurred to you
at least once, oh complicit
and patient reader, to wonder whether
we haven't been hidden in some
hotel room in la Villette since
the 23rd of May?

In the cases of both books--full of ignorance in the former, trust in the latter--I ignored the warnings and plunged boldly, not to say carelessly, ahead. And was rewarded.


  1. Both look like good reads.

  2. I must get me some Keeler: I remember reading a hilariously bonkers article full of extracts from his books. Thnaks for the reminder!

  3. Keeler is . . . odd. Extremely so. But much fun, at least based on The Box from Japan and the bist of The Riddle of the Traveling Skull that I've read. Before you dive in, it's probably worth investigating the resources that the Harry Stephen Keeler Society offers; there are a surprising number of Keeler fanatics out there willing to help you find your way.