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The Mystery of the Sherlock Holmes Stamps

In the cufflink of Sherlock Holmes, as depicted in this stamp, you will find the first clue. (It's the letter O.) In the remaining stamps in this collection you will find the remaining clues, which spell a five-letter word. [more inside]
posted by twoleftfeet on Nov 14, 2011 - 28 comments

Have you seen this Gordon?

In 1969, Sesame Street put together an unaired pilot to test in front of children. The pilot contained the appearance of an actor playing Gordon different from the other three actors who subsequently played that character. Sesame Workshop has no idea who this actor was and has exhausted all leads. Do you know who the mystery Gordon is?
posted by mightygodking on Nov 10, 2011 - 91 comments

The Lost Yankee

Kei Igawa arrived in the US with a lot of fanfare in 2007. After failing miserably with the Yankees, he was sent to the minor leagues. Since then, he has existed in an uncomfortable limbo, not completely part of either world.
posted by reenum on Oct 5, 2011 - 33 comments

Arthur Penn's "Night Moves"

[Arthur Penn's Night Moves] does belong to a traditional, indeed obsolescent genre, but the distance it keeps from it (not an ironic or critical distance, just a distance) is such that genre-related expectations become irrelevant. Most of the time, the story line seems to meander aimlessly, taking in extraneous material, doubling back, going round in circles (the aimless is deceptive, a smoke screen obfuscating the complex, rigorous organization of an exceptionally well-structured script). The "mystery" aspect of the plot is dealt with in the most peculiar, topsy-turvy manner, withholding not the solution of the problem but the problem itself until the very end, when, in a dazzling visual tour de force, both are conjured up almost simultaneously. - Jean Pierre Coursodon [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Oct 1, 2011 - 19 comments

Use the hints. Find me!

A playful mystery has been unfolding in Atlanta for a few months now, and has spread to other cities. Packages have been anonymously mailed to various writers, bookstores, publications and organizations around the city. [more inside]
posted by Maaik on Sep 24, 2011 - 15 comments

Something Foul Is Afoot

Human foot washes up on beach near Vancouver for 11th time in four years Previously - The DNA matchup - previously again
posted by The Whelk on Aug 31, 2011 - 120 comments

The 108 year-old mystery of 3,000 missing Steiff bears

It started with a little girl who had polio, who later became a seamstress and made clothing and little things, like little pin cushion elephants. They were popular, not as sewing accessories, but as children's toys. The elephants would be joined by a menagerie of stuffed animals, including tigers and pigs. Some animals were set on iron wheels, including bears. But it wasn't until US political cartoon featuring President Theodore Roosevelt refusing to shoot a small black bear in November 1902 that "teddy" bears became popular, first in 1902 in the United States, made and sold by Jewish Russian immigrants, Rose and Morris Michtom (who would ride the success of Teddy's Bear to form the Ideal Toy Company). Back in Germany, Margarete Steiff's array of toy animals expanded to include a jointed, plush bear, 55 cm tall: 55 PB (German Wikipedia page). Margarete's nephew, who came up with the design, took some samples to a German toy fair in the Spring of 1903, where there was no interest in the bears until a representative from a New York toy company saw the mobile bears and ordered 3,000. A new factory had to be built, and bears were made, most likely shipped across the ocean, but their fate is a mystery.
posted by filthy light thief on Jul 28, 2011 - 25 comments

Is this unidentified man Ray Gricar?

On April 15, 2005, Centre County Pennsylvania District Attorney Ray Gricar disappeared under mysterious circumstances. A little over six years later, he was declared legally dead. In early July, 2011, a mysterious man was arrested in Provo City, Utah and refused to give his name, baffling police. One day after he was declared dead, people are asking could Utah's John Doe prisoner be Ray Gricar?
posted by MegoSteve on Jul 26, 2011 - 65 comments

Whodunit with the paperknife in the library?

Someone has been leaving mysterious miniature paper sculptures in various locations in Scotland. They seem to all be tied to Scottish author Ian Rankin, twitter, and the magic of the written word. [more inside]
posted by sarahnade on Jul 17, 2011 - 21 comments

Josephine Tey

Someone used to great responsibility, and responsible in his authority. Someone too-conscientious...He had that incommunicable, that indescribable look that childhood suffering leaves behind it; less positive than the look on a cripple’s face, but as inescapable. This the artist had both understood and translated into terms of paint...He turned the portrait over to look for a caption. On the back was printed: Richard the Third.
From Josephine Tey's The Daughter of Time, "a book of singular originality, ingenuity and humanity" often cited as one of the best of all mystery novels. [more inside]
posted by Iridic on Jul 1, 2011 - 31 comments

Hellfire and Damnation!

After over seven years, Stephen R. Donaldson, has stopped taking questions for his monumental and amazing Gradual Interview.
"After May 21, 2011, the Gradual Interview will no longer accept new questions or messages. I will continue to work my way through the questions which have already been accepted, but I can't do more. I'm too far behind on too many things, and the strain is affecting my concentration. Discontinuing the Gradual Interview is one of several things that I'm doing to simplify my life."
The Gradual Interview is a fully-searchable question and answer session with his readers that currently contains over 2600 exchanges on topics including minutiae about his novels, his writing process, and many other interesting subjects. [more inside]
posted by hippybear on May 29, 2011 - 12 comments

The official blog of notorious former African dictator Mobutu Sese Seko

Et tu, Mr. Destructo? is a funny, insightful blog that covers everything from politics to film to sports and mystery novels.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn on May 23, 2011 - 20 comments

The Lazarus File

The Lazarus File. "In 1986, a young nurse named Sherri Rasmussen was murdered in Los Angeles. Police pinned down no suspects, and the case gradually went cold. It took 23 years—and revolutionary breakthroughs in forensic science­—before LAPD detectives could finally assemble the pieces of the puzzle. When they did, they found themselves facing one of the unlikeliest murder suspects in the city’s history." [more inside]
posted by zarq on May 14, 2011 - 60 comments

Pssst. There's a plate missing a clue over at Cloud Gate!

Where is the Puck? The Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup last season for the first time in 50 years. But what happened to the puck that was used to score what some are calling the "most famous goal in Chicago sports history?"
posted by zarq on Apr 27, 2011 - 133 comments

Vampire hunter B

Bela Kovacs and the Trail of Blood is an involving little flash mystery puzzler, mostly finding items and clues, but with more variety than the general escape-the-room game and nice atmospherics.
posted by klangklangston on Apr 15, 2011 - 9 comments

The beast of Gévaudan

WANTED: Known as 'La Bête' but kills under three aliases. Reddish brown with dark ridged stripe down the back. Resembles wolf/hyena but big as a donkey. Long gaping jaw, 6 claws, pointy upright ears and supple furry tail - mobile like a cat's and can knock you over. Cry: more like horse neighing than wolf howling. Last seen by people mostly now dead.
Wolf, werewolf, hyena, baboon or mesonychid: In many respects the beast of Gévaudan was like other creatures in the annals of cryptozoology - but for one: historical records indicate that, over a 4 year span, it (or 'they') killed around 100 people - eating most of them. [more inside]
posted by rongorongo on Apr 5, 2011 - 42 comments

...your brain power might help bring a killer to justice.

On June 30, 1999, sheriff’s officers in St. Louis, Missouri discovered the body of 41-year-old Ricky McCormick. He had been murdered and dumped in a field. The only clues regarding the homicide were two encrypted notes found in the victim’s pants pockets. The FBI is now asking the public to help them solve the murder.
posted by iamkimiam on Mar 30, 2011 - 93 comments

Holy Crap

An anonymous writer is sticking his or her novel, titled Holy Crap, to a series of street lamps in New York City's East Village, one page at a time. New York Post report. Village Voice report. Yahoo report. Picture of Page 7. Picture of Page 8.
posted by chavenet on Mar 3, 2011 - 45 comments

You are your life and nothing else, pig rider.

Jonathan Gourlay explores Minecraft, an ugly game with no point and endless possibility.
posted by The Whelk on Feb 21, 2011 - 173 comments

Tell me more about these Finns

Winston Burdett, one of the original Murrow's Boys, was a reporter for CBS Radio. He covered World War II, the invasion of Norway, the Axis retreat in North Africa (mp3), the invasion of Sicily (mp3), the invasion of Italy (mp3) and the capture of Rome (mp3). But from 1940 - 1942 Winston Burdett was also a spy for the Soviet Union. [more inside]
posted by IvoShandor on Feb 13, 2011 - 3 comments

The spokesman asked not to be identified.

Is Jennifer Goodwin White really dead? The Alaska State Troopers say she is. Facebook says different. [more inside]
posted by Diablevert on Feb 8, 2011 - 58 comments

The Story Beyond the Still

The Story Beyond the Still began with a film by Pulitzer Prize winner Vincent Laforet who was given a still image to interpret into a short film shot with the Canon 7D. This film became the first chapter in the Story Beyond The Still contest which also ended on a still photograph for contest goers to interpret into the next chapter of the story. This pattern continued for another six user-generated chapters with each chapter winner continuing the story by interpreting the previous chapter's ending still image. Now, a year and over 275 submissions later, the contest has come to a close and the final chapter is complete and premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.
posted by netbros on Feb 5, 2011 - 8 comments

The Hero of Canton, the man they called Mr. B. Virdot

In 1933, a mysterious benefactor posted an ad in the local Canton, Ohio paper, offering some Christmas funds to people who might otherwise shy away from asking for aid, even in those tough times. That Anonymous Giver went by the pseudonym "Mr. B. Virdot," and ended up giving some money to 150 families and people in town who wrote in with their personal stories. The unknown person's identity was never revealed, and his true identity was not even known to his grandson, until the mysterious benefactor's daughter gave her son, Ted Gup, a battered suitcase full of letters and checks signed by "Mr. B. Virdot". The mysterious man was Samuel J. Stone, a Jewish man whose family had fled Romania when he was young. Stone had done well in the United States, and owned a small chain of clothing stores in 1933. The story of the mysterious gifts hasn't faded from Canton, and on November 5 of this year, Stone's grandson, Gup, gave a public talk to the community and decedents of the original recipients of Virdot's gifts. And now, Canton residents are bringing back the spirit of Virdot. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Dec 21, 2010 - 16 comments

It's Warhol, actually. It's "hole." As in "holes." Andy Warhol.

Did you know that there's an art museum on the moon? A tiny, tiny one. The Moon Museum features works by Forrest "Frosty" Myers (the instigator), Robert Rauschenberg, Claes Oldenburg, Andy Warhol, David Novros, and John Chamberlain, inscribed on a little chip of silicon and surreptitiously transported to the moon's surface on the Apollo 12 mission. But of course there's a mystery, in this big of a secret: who is John F., the engineer at least partially responsible for smuggling the chip onboard the lunar lander? Related: other stuff people have left on the Moon (!)
posted by fiercecupcake on Nov 22, 2010 - 19 comments

James Hadley Chase

James Hadley Chase's No Orchids for Miss Blandish (1939) did for the gangster novel what Raymond Chandler’s The Big Sleep did in the same year for the private-eye novel. Both works were clarifiers, intensifiers, transformers. ... But, as so often happens, Orwell raises the important questions, and it is his essay that has kept No Orchids for Miss Blandish alive for serious consideration. (links may contain mildly NSFW cover art) [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese on Oct 17, 2010 - 6 comments

Foyle's War

History and mystery wonderfully blended. Although doubtless well-known to UK Mefites, I was only recently directed to this marvelous and engaging TV series featuring Michael Kitchen as Detective Chief Superintendent Christopher Foyle. It's a refreshing change from American fare, entirely adult, with crisp dialogue and meticulous attention to detail and historic accuracy. Speaking as a Yank weary of plasticity, it's also wonderful to see actors with real faces. The series can be seen on Youtube in pieces that can be viewed fairly seamlessly: Series One: The German Woman, The White Feather, Lesson in Murder, Eagle Day. Series Two: Fifty Ships, Among the Few, War Games, The Funk Hole. Series Three: The French Drop, Enemy Fire, They Fought in the Fields, War of Nerves. Series Four: Invasion, Bad Blood. Series Five: Bleak Midwinter, Casualties of War. Series Six: Plan of Attack, Broken Souls, All Clear. [more inside]
posted by kinnakeet on Sep 19, 2010 - 25 comments

The largest aircraft ever to have disappeared without a trace.

The 727 that Vanished. Interesting article that recounts a mystery still unsolved. Prev, from 2003.
posted by allkindsoftime on Sep 15, 2010 - 39 comments

Yo dawg so I heard you like meta...

Umineko no Naku Koro ni (warning: that entire description is possibly a lie) is a dojin visual novel (or, as the creators prefer, a sound novel) that has recently reached its seventh chapter Japanese. In addition, a group called the Witch Hunt has recently released an English patch for the sixth chapter. Forming the third and fourth part of the When They Cry series that began with Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, Umineko cranks the concept of metanarrative up to 11 and then breaks the knob. [more inside]
posted by charred husk on Aug 16, 2010 - 10 comments

"These are like pioneer times in publishing"

Dorchester Publishing (an original paperback publisher that distributes the Hard Case Crime series and is home to Leisure Books, which is "the only mass-market house with dedicated lines for Westerns [four books a month] and horror [two books a month]," and which also publishes a romance line that features six to eight titles monthly) will transition to an e-book only model. Perhaps only temporarily? Perhaps not so temporarily after all! Currently, e-book sales account for just 12% of Leisure's business, and their overall sales saw a 25% loss over the course of 2009. Popular horror novelist Brian Keene has already jumped ship from the house, citing lack of payment for his work.
posted by kittens for breakfast on Aug 14, 2010 - 18 comments

Green Children of Woolpit

The 12th-century English chronicler Ralph of Coggeshall relates a strange story: two lost and distressed children appeared in a local village, speaking a language no-one could understand, and, most strikingly, with strangely green-coloured skin. [more inside]
posted by Catseye on May 16, 2010 - 41 comments

Connery, Lazenby,... Nelson

After the fiasco of their premier episode - a lavish live production of Raymond Chandler's The Long Goodbye during which a corpse unwittingly got up and walked off stage on camera - CBS's Climax! Mystery Theater was looking to adapt something less high-profile. Say, the debut spy thriller by a struggling British journalist willing to let the rights go for $1000. The result: 1954's "Casino Royale", starring Barry Nelson as Jimmy "Card Sense" Bond of American intelligence, Michael Pate as his British counterpart Clarence Leiter, and Peter Lorre as the first-ever Bond villain. Now on Youtube 2 3 4 5 6
posted by ormondsacker on Apr 20, 2010 - 19 comments

Oh yes she did

The concealed artist behind the quirky videos posted on the iamamiwhoami account on YouTube has uploaded another video, and in the process helped to reveal her identity. [more inside]
posted by cashman on Mar 15, 2010 - 32 comments

Digital: A Love Story

Digital: A Love Story a mystery/romance downloadable game for windows/mac/linux by Christine Sarah Love set in the days of BBSes. Features a glorious retro-OS style interface. Mini review by indie dev Auntie Pixelante/Anna Anthropy (recently). Writeup at and via TIGSource.
posted by juv3nal on Mar 14, 2010 - 31 comments

I thought you died alone, a long, long time ago.

The man with no identity. [via]
posted by Caduceus on Mar 10, 2010 - 31 comments

Mustapha Ali

Greece in 1823 and 1824; being a series of letters and other documents on the Greek revolution — the life of Mustapha Ali: [more inside]
posted by tellurian on Feb 14, 2010 - 17 comments

Belle de Jour reveals herself.

Belle de Jour reveals herself. She's Dr Brooke Magnanti. She's real and once wrote this column about autopsies.
posted by feelinglistless on Nov 14, 2009 - 74 comments

The script is always better than the movie

7 scripts you gotta read [more inside]
posted by philip-random on Nov 13, 2009 - 60 comments

Let's treat the next person. What to treat them with? It's your choice.

Then, according to Noby, as quickly as it appeared, the Ogori cafe was gone. (via Matt. Hi, Matt!)
posted by boo_radley on Oct 2, 2009 - 20 comments

Lost Profet

Margie Profet was the "It Girl" of the 1990s, being awarded a McArthur Grant for her work in evolutionary biology in 1993 despite a lack of formal scientific training. Her papers on motherhood and the evolutionary influences on menstruation and morning sickness were hailed as revolutionary by some, but also dismissed as unscientific and criticized for numerous flaws in logic by others. As pressure mounted, she became more involved in her work, and less connected with her family and friends. [more inside]
posted by AzraelBrown on Jun 30, 2009 - 33 comments

An extremely dangerous man or just a harmless socialite in a glowing atomic suit?

Señor Misterioso: who is he, why is he here? And who trims his mustache? Is he an interstellar voyager, world traveler, or something of a swinging socialite? He may appreciate art, yet he is disdainful of music. His activities have been tracked; his friends, companions, ideals and literarary leanings noted. His words are few, but his stories are many. He is no one, yet he is everywhere.
posted by filthy light thief on Jun 10, 2009 - 14 comments

4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42, and Other CIA Secrets Hidden in Plain Sight

Wired's Mystery Issue, guest-edited by J.J. Abrams, is a quizzical amalgam of puzzling things both obvious and less obvious... apparently the print edition's misspelled words, irregular borders, and seemingly random placements of numbers are all part of the game too. While the "master puzzle" was recently solved, there are reportedly still some codes left to crack. [more inside]
posted by pokermonk on Apr 22, 2009 - 27 comments

Their names are WHAT and WHY and WHEN/and HOW and WHERE and WHO.

Read all about it! Discover all the news! Read all about it! Track down all the clues!
With interesting people there's a mystery to be solved! An adventure is unfolding, so why not get involved? Come on and
READ ALL ABOUT IT.
Young Chris is left an old coach house by his missing uncle. As he and his two friends fuddle with the lock, a strange figure watches. The kids do not yet know the building is the entrance to a mystery that spans time and space! Aided by Otto the IBM Selectric robot typewriter and Theta the spooky as hell talking viewscreen, they will find that the concerns of an alien tyrant reach into the government of their own town. (24 of 40 15-minute episodes, including the entire first season, of this early-80s TV Ontario-produced "educational" show are on YouTube.) [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Apr 5, 2009 - 20 comments

Anyone Who Ever Asks

The Musical Mystery of Connie Converse
"To survive at all, I expect I must drift back down through the other half of the twentieth twentieth, which I already know pretty well, the hundredth hundredth, which I have only read and heard about. I might survive there quite a few years - who knows?"

This was the cryptic note Connie Converse left her family in 1974, and no one heard from her again. She had spent the 1950's in New York City, trying to promote her music- haunting, melancholy folk tunes, but never made a go of it. Her songs very nearly disappeared into the ether, but thanks to Lau derrete Records, her first album is now available to the public, fifty years after the songs were recorded. (via Spinning On Air)
posted by kimdog on Mar 15, 2009 - 13 comments

Quoth the Raven, Baltimore!?!

Today marks the 200th birthday of Edgar Alan Poe, and as happens every year the mysterious Poe Toaster marked the date by placing three red roses and a half-filled bottle of cognac at his Baltimore grave. The identity of the toaster isn't the only question surrounding Poe - his presence in Baltimore and the circumstances of his death remain a mystery. Some speculate that he may have had rabies, others that he may have been a victim of cooping. And while Baltimore embarks on a year long celebration of Poe some argue that his body shouldn't be there at all.
posted by Artw on Jan 19, 2009 - 39 comments

Hard-Boiled Detectives, female and male

Early Female Authors of Hard-Boiled Fiction. Chester Himes and Early African-American Detective Novelists. The Detective's Code. The Femme Fatale. Just a few of the many fascinating offerings at detnovel.com.
posted by mediareport on Dec 8, 2008 - 4 comments

The Dangerous Dwarf

Mongo the Magnificent. "Out of nowhere, believing that it is good for the soul to have one insane idea a day, whether you need it or not, the notion of a dwarf private detective came to me [...] I considered such a character bizarre and absurd, unworkable and unpublishable, and thus a waste of time to spend and length of time trying to develop it. I kept searching, but the damn dwarf just wouldn't go away. [...] It was to be a satire. Halfway through, I discovered a key to the man's character was a simple quest to be taken seriously, for dignity. That touched me, and I started over again, this time doing it "straight" (or as straight as I'm able). I gave Mongo dignity, and in return he gave me a career. The diverse background was, I thought, necessary in order to properly equip him in a "world of giants"."

George C. Chesbro, RIP [more inside]
posted by lupus_yonderboy on Nov 21, 2008 - 18 comments

The Mystery of Dorcas Snodgrass

What happened to Dorcas Snodgrass? I don't know who did this research on this nurse, but she's haunting me and the articles hint at a tragic mystery but leave many unanswered questions.
posted by chickaboo on Oct 3, 2008 - 25 comments

In everything that can be called art there is a quality of redemption

The realistic style is easy to abuse: from haste, from lack of awareness, from inability to bridge the chasm that lies between what a writer would like to be able to say and what he actually knows how to say. It is easy to fake; brutality is not strength, flipness is not wit, edge-of-the-chair writing can be as boring as flat writing; dalliance with promiscuous blondes can be very dull stuff when described by goaty young men with no other purpose in mind than to describe dalliance with promiscuous blondes. There has been so much of this sort of thing that if a character in a detective story says, "Yeah," the author is automatically a Hammett imitator. Raymond Chandler, "The Simple Art of Murder" (1950)
posted by Navelgazer on Sep 24, 2008 - 8 comments

RIP Gregory Mcdonald

The author of the Fletch novels, Gregory Mcdonald, has died. [more inside]
posted by Confess, Fletch on Sep 12, 2008 - 22 comments

Something exploded over and under Lake Huron near the US/Canadian border. Nobody knows what it was.

Something exploded over and under Lake Huron near the US/Canadian border on July 31, 2008. Nobody knows what it was. Initial published reports identified the cause as a meteor shower (without attribution). A week later more details emerged and meteors were ruled out. So what was it? [more inside]
posted by maxpower on Aug 14, 2008 - 52 comments

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