SRC Week 5: Notable People and Biographies

Hello everyone! We hope you’re all doing well and enjoying the summer- welcome to week 5 of Summer Reading Club! 

This week our theme centers on notable people in the vast world of mystery. With this in mind, we have some super fun activities to share! 

  • Read each of the biographies of famous detective characters below. Let us know who your favorite detective is and why at!
  • Consider each of the riddles, and see if you can solve each one! 

World Famous Detectives

Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock Holmes is an infamous fictional detective brought to life by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in the late 1800s.

At the time of his creation, he was somewhat of an investigative expert, and used cutting-edge forensic techniques, had extensive medical knowledge, and often behaved as a full-fledged CSI, going over crime scenes with his magnifying glass to look for evidence.

His character has been readapted countless times, and continues to be popular to this day!

Image from Sidney Paget (1893),, accessed June 10th, 2021.
Image from Robert Hadnagy (2016),, accessed June 4th, 2021.

Hercule Poirot

In contrast to Holmes’ ‘active’ techniques, Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot has often been described as taking a more ‘passive’ approach.

According to Publisher’s Weekly, Poirot’s character would likely have been more inflicted with pain by a speck of dust on his jacket than a bullet wound. On this note, an era of mystery and crime-fighting free of violence was born. 

Mrs. Paschal

Regarded as one of the very first female detectives, William Stephens Hayward’s Mrs. Paschal was an independent businesswoman who always collected payment for her services.

Though she worked on her own, in her stories she is described as a widower to avoid the possibly “racey” notion of a woman fighting crime all by herself in the mid 1800s.

Above all else, Paschal was known to take great pride in her work, and not be afraid to do what needed to be done!

Image from Revelations of a Lady Detective by William Stephens Hayward,, accessed June 12th, 2021.

Who is your favorite detective? Let us know at

Detective Riddles

Riddle #1: The Empty Cell Mystery

Sherlock Holmes is inside a cell with a dirt floor and one window. He can’t reach the window because it’s too high, and the only other object/thing in the cell with him is a shovel. He does not have access to any food or water, so if he doesn’t escape within two days he will die. He cannot dig a tunnel underneath the walls because that will take him much longer than two days. How can Sherlock escape? 

Image by Tatiana Ayazo,,, accessed June 8th, 2021.
Image by Tatiana Ayazo,,, accessed June 8th, 2021.


Riddle #2: The Poisonous Drinks Mystery

Hercule and Agatha go out for drinks together. Both of them order the same drink, but Hercule is really thirsty and finishes five of them in the time Agatha spends finishing her first. All of the drinks were poisoned, but only Agatha died. How?

Riddle #3: The Stolen Ring

Dr. Watson went to the police to make a report that thieves had broken into his house and stolen his vintage ring. After an investigation of the crime scene, the police found that there was a broken window, dirty footprints on the carpet, and a total mess inside. However, they arrested Dr. Watson for fraud. How did they know he had staged the break-in? 

Image by Tatiana Ayazo,,, accessed June 8th, 2021.
Image by Tatiana Ayazo,,, accessed June 8th, 2021.

Riddle #4: Thief at Sea

A Japanese ship was leaving its port on its way out to sea. The captain went to oil some components of the ship, and took off his ring so it wouldn’t get damaged. He had left it on the table next to his bed, but when he returned, it was missing! He had suspected three crew members could be guilty, and so he asked   them what they had been doing while he was gone. 

The cook said, “I was cooking tonight’s meal in the kitchen.” The engineer said, “I was in the engine room, making sure that everything was running properly.” The seaman said, “I was up on the mast, correcting the flag because someone had hung it upside down by mistake.”

The captain knew immediately who had stolen his ring, but how?

Riddle #5: Honeymoon Mystery

A newlywed couple went on vacation to Hawaii for their honeymoon. Due to a horrible boating accident, only the husband returned. The police were in contact with the couple’s travel agent as a part of their investigation, and then proceeded to arrest the   husband for murder. How did they know he’d killed his wife?

Answers can be found in this week’s printable document above!

Image by Tatiana Ayazo,,, accessed June 8th, 2021.
Accordion Content

1. Sherlock must use the shovel to dig up dirt to make a pile under the window that will allow him to reach it. 

2. Only the ice (and not the liquid) was poisoned. Because Hercule drank more drinks (and more quickly) than Agatha, his ice did not have time to melt. Agatha, on the other hand, sipped the same drink all night and so her ice had completely melted into her drink. 

3. The police knew that Dr. Watson had staged the break-in because the glass was outside the house, meaning that the window had been broken from the inside. 

4. The captain knew the seaman had stolen his ring because the Japanese flag consists of a red circle on a white background, and it is impossible to hang upside down. 

5. The police knew he’d murdered his wife because the travel agent revealed that he had only purchased a one-way ticket for her.

Find Out Your Detective Name!

Use this guide and find out your sleuth-y detective name! Share them with us on Instagram @tnrlibrary!

#1) Your Eye Colour:

Brown – Detective, Hazel – Dr., Blue – Professor, Green – Agent, Grey – Lieutenant

#2) The First Initial of Your Name:

A – Amelia, B- Bruce, C – Charles, D – Dexter, E – Emma, F – Francis. G – Gideon, H – Hercule, I – Ian, J – Julian, K – Keith, L – Lacey, M – Mason, N – Nancy, O – Olivia, P – Penny, Q – Quentin, R – Richard, S – Sophia, T – Tammy, U – Umberto, V – Vivienne, W – William, X – Xavier, Y – Yolanda, Z – Zed

#3) Your Birth Month:

January – Corvin, February – Clousseau, March – Fletcher, April – Drew, May – Jules, June – King, July – Holmes, August – Thorne, September – Fairfax, October – Barnes, November – Marple, December – Columbo

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