Patricia A. Bremmer

Detective Karst

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"What is the Elusive Clue?"

 I’m asked this question at every stop during my tours and book talks.  I receive emails asking what the clue is.  Some readers think they may have found the clue only to be in error.  Others I’m sure have found it. 

 Each book contains a hidden “Elusive Clue” that is different from the rest. 

 The “Elusive Clue” is a word puzzle or scramble that can be made from either letters, words, or numbers.

 It is very difficult to explain so here's an example.  The following passage comes from “Crystal Widow”.  The text is the same but the clue I’m about to work through with you is fake.

“Hi Paula.  This is Glen Karst.  Jennifer Parker told me to give you a call.”

“Yes, Detective, I’m so glad you called.  I would love to help you out if you would like to help me with some work in the house.”

“I’d be more than happy to help out if you don’t think having me underfoot would be an inconvenience?”

“No, not at all.  I’d love the company.”

“I would like to meet you in a public place before I come by your house.  A precaution you should always take, young lady, when you’re meeting a strange man,” he scolded.

“I figured since you were a friend of Jennifer’s and a detective I’d be safe.”

“Name a restaurant and I’ll take you to lunch.”

“How about Lola’s Deli?”

“Great, where is it?”

“One hundred fourteenth and Dodge. Do you want directions?”

“Nope, I’ll find it.  When would you like to meet?”

“How about in an hour,” she said.

“See ya there.”

     Glen left the hospital to check out of his room at the motel and gather his belongings.  He put them into the back of his pick-up then locked the camper top.  With his dark tinted windows Paula would not know he had his things with him in case she changed her mind; he did not want her to feel badly.  Checking out before lunch would save him a day’s rate. 

He checked on the girls one last time, told the nurses where he could be reached then drove to Lola’s Deli.  Paula’s instructions were easy to follow.  When he parked his pick-up he realized he neglected to tell Paula what he looked like, she knew nothing of his appearance.  He was not sure what she expected.  Dressed in jeans, and cowboy boots, with a short haircut and facial hair she might not think of him as a cop.

Now, if you had already finished the book you would have discovered that Lois Adell was our killer (remember, there is no such character in the book; I made up a false clue and a false character as an example).  How would you go about finding a puzzle to match the facts?  Go back through this passage of the book above and re-read it.  Does anything stand out?

I mentioned Paula’s name, Glen’s name and Jennifer Parker…..could they be clues?  Good guess but no.  How about Lola’s Deli?  Bingo!  Take the letters from Lola’s Deli……L-O-L-A-S-D-E-L-I…….rearrange them and now you have Lois Adell.   

This is one example of how the “Elusive Clue” works.

Let’s see how clever a detective you can be with this and the other titles in the “Elusive Clue” series!

Patricia A. Bremmer