High Programmer > Alan De Smet > Rants > Reviews > Jigsaw Puzzles and Accessories > Purr-ceptive Detective

Purr-ceptive Detective

After Foul Play & Cabernet, the Purr-ceptive Detective is a breath of fresh air.

Plot: 5/5

Purr-ceptive Detective is narrated by Marlowe the cat, self-appointed guard of a store specializing in cat themed knick-knacks. While the accountant is working late, four people visit to argue with her. One returns later to murder her. Marlowe saw the murderer, and so has arranged items to clue his owners in to the solution.

The narrative moves quickly, and is entertaining. Cat lovers will likely find that Marlowe feels right. The entire thing is full of cat puns. Overall, a pleasure to read. As a stand-alone short story, this would only rate 3 stars out of 5, but by the standards of mystery puzzles I've seen, this is as good as it gets.

Physical Production: 4.5/5

Solid production. The pieces are a bit thinner than Bepuzzled's offerings, but the cardboard is much stiffer. The pieces cling together well when connecting, making them easy to move in groups. Only a handful of pairs of pieces were still connected, and they separated relatively easily.

The box is inoffensive.

Mechanically, and excepting edges, puzzle pieces come in only one shape two opposing sides have a tab, the other two opposing sides have blanks. As a result, the pieces form a checkerboard of sorts, with half of the times having the tabs arranged vertically, the other half horizontally.

Pieces are all roughly the same size, so it's not practical to tell the orientation of a lone piece.

Corners always have exactly 4 pieces coming together, and the edge between two adjoining pieces is reasonably smooth, allowing confirmation of a fit by running your finger over the edge.

Image: 3/5

One the whole, this is a good image, If it was significantly altered after the photograph, it's not obvious. A mixture of objects of various sizes, providing varying levels of difficulty to match. The image is sharp and clear.

One big weakness is that much of the image edges are black. In theory there are a few shades of near-black, but since the puzzle is high gloss, it's difficult to distinguish them in typical light. In the end, we has to brute force perhaps 50 pieces.

Mystery: 3.5/5

This is an unusual mystery in that you're not looking for clues left behind by the murder, but trying to interpret Marlowe's message.

The mystery suffers a bit because only part of the image is relevant, and it's pretty clear which part. More seriously, there are several possible reasonable interpretations of Marlowe's message. But, the official solution felt okay.

Final Rating: 4/5

While Purr-ceptive Detective has some weaknesses, it's fundamentally a good mystery puzzle.

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