School-Safe Puzzle Games

Mini-Mystery by Stan Smith

Thanks to Stan Smith for the following mini-mystery story, Murder in a London Flat. Stan Smith has written three books of Stanwick mini-mysteries that have been published in nine languages. He also produces a free Monthly MysteryGram with an original mini-mystery in each issue. To learn more about mini-mysteries, or to subscribe to the Monthly MysteryGram, you can visit


Lord Calinore was gunned down in his London flat by a burglar, who
then ransacked the flat. The case was placed in the capable hands of Inspector Gilbert Bodwin of Scotland Yard. Bodwin’s investigation revealed that one man had planned the crime, another had carried it out, and a third had acted as lookout.

Bodwin discussed the case at length one evening over dinner at his club with an old friend, Thomas P. Stanwick, the amateur logician visiting from America.

“It’s quite a case,” Stanwick remarked. “Any suspects?”

Bodwin sliced his roast beef. “Yes indeed. Four. We have conclusive

evidence that three of those four were responsible for the crime.”

“Really! That’s remarkable progress. What about the fourth?”

“He had no prior knowledge of the crime and is completely innocent. The problem is that we’re not sure which of the four are the planner, the gunman, the lookout, and the innocent bystander.”

“I see.” Stanwick took more Yorkshire pudding. “What do you know about them at this point?”

“Well, the names of the four are Merrick, Cross, Llewellyn, and
Halifax. Halifax and Cross play golf together every Saturday. They’re an odd pair! Halifax can’t drive, and Cross has been out of Dartmoor Prison for only a year.”

“What was he in for?”

“Forgery. We know that Merrick and Halifax kept the flat under the surveillance for several days just before the day the crime was committed, the 17th. Llewellyn and Merrick, with their wives, had dinner together on the Strand on the 12th.”

“An interested compilation,” said Stanwick, “but hardly conclusive. Is that all of it?”

“Not quite. We know that the gunman spent the week before the crime in Edinburgh, and that the innocent bystander was acquainted with the planner and the gunman, but not with the lookout.”

“That’s very helpful,” said Stanwick with a smile. “Bodwin, your case
is complete!”



Will unmask submitted answers in a day. Thanks.

15 Comments to “Mini-Mystery by Stan Smith”

  1. Amie Krone | Guest

    I think Merrick is the Planner, Cross is the Gunman, and Llewellyn is the Lookout, leaving Halifax as the Innocent bystander.

  2. Ian | Guest

    Llewellyn was the lookout.
    Cross is the gunnman.
    Merrick is the planner.
    Halifax is the innocent bistander.

    or Llewellyn in the innocent bistander and Halifax is the lookout but
    I am preety sure it is the way it is above.

    this was really hard

  3. charity_quietbrook | Guest

    ok im getting all lost trying to do this but im gonna give it a try…the gunman is cross. halifax is the innocent bystander. merrick is the planner and Llewellyn is the look out.

  4. Dusty | Guest

    It may well be that:

    Halifax is the innocent bystander
    Llewellyn is the lookout
    Merrick is the planner
    Cross is the gunman

    if not back to the drawing board

  5. Mark W | Guest

    Merrick & Halifax watched the flat during the prior week, and Merrick & Llewellyn had dinner during the prior week. The gunman wasn’t around during that week, so it must be Cross (by process of elimination).

    Cross = gunman

    Merrick & Halifax ran surveillance on the flat during the prior week, so they can’t be the innocents (it’s possible I’m assuming too much here). By process of elimination, Llewellyn must be the innocent.

    Llewellyn = innocent

    The innocent bystander knows only the gunman (Cross) and the planner. Llewellyn (the innocent) knows Merrick (who is not the gunman), so he must be the planner.

    Merrick = planner

    By process of elimination, Halifax must be the lookout (but not getaway driver since he can’t drive!!!)

    Halifax = lookout

  6. Shawn | Guest

    Planner – Merrick
    Gunman – Cross
    Lookout – Halifax
    Bystander – Llewellyn

  7. Megan | Guest

    This one seemed eerily easy for me… so much so that I am worried I am incorrect!
    I believe the answer is as follows:
    Innocent Bystander – Halifax
    Planner – Merrick
    Lookout – Llewellyn
    Gunman – Cross

    1. “The gunman spent the week before the crime in Edinburgh”
    Seeing as Merrick and Halifax were conducting surveillance in this period, and also Merrick attended dinner with Llewellyn within the week also: I deduced that the gunman must have been Cross.
    2. “The innocent bystander was acquainted with the planner and the gunman, but not with the lookout”
    With the gunman being Cross, and the innocent bystander having been acquainted with him, the innocent bystander can only be Halifax (“Halifax and Cross play golf together every Saturday”;) because he was the only one to have undertaken any activities with him.
    If Halifax is indeed the innocent bystander, then Merrick must have been the planner. This is because Merrick was the only other Halifax was acquainted with (“Merrick and Halifax kept the flat under the surveillance for several days just before the day the crime was committed”;).
    Thus, leaving Llewellyn as lookout.

    Am I right?

  8. RLP | Profile

    This one is probably not as easy as it initially appears.

    Since the gunman was not in London the week before the crime, he could not
    have been Llewellyn, Merrick, or Halifax. Therefore the gunman was Cross.

    Neither Merrick nor Halifax, who kept the flat under surveillance, was the
    innocent bystander, so he must have been Llewellyn. Llewellyn knew Merrick,
    but did not know the lookout, so the lookout must have been Halifax.
    Merrick, by elimination, must have been the planner.

  9. Megan | Guest

    Yeah I thought maybe I had the innocent bystander / lookout around the wrong way… but in the puzzle it said that “The innocent bystander was acquainted with the planner and the gunman, but not with the lookout” … are we just supposed to ASSUME that Llewellyn and Cross had a relationship? Because theoretically if we can assume that relationship, then it’s not exactly far fetched that we assume Halifax can undertake surveillance and then still be considered an ‘Innocent Bystander’. (Especially given that there are NOTED relationships between Halifax and Cross, and Halifax and Merrick.)
    But hey, maybe I’m just sour cos it looked so easy and I got it wrong :(

  10. marcus | Guest


    my reasoning is that the bystander could with the the sureveillance team simply by being in the same place but not actually knowing whats going on, thats what makes halifax the bystander and merrick the planner

  11. McLee | Guest

    Cross, The Gunman

    Llewellyn, The Lookout

    Merrick, The Innocent Bystander

    Halifax, The Planner

  12. Matt | Guest

    I have to go with Megan on this, as it also seems everyone else chose:
    There is no connection between Llewellyn and Cross making the statement of “innocent bystander was acquainted with the planner and the gunman, but not with the lookout.” Either the statement is really ambiguous or a lie…
    Seeing as our good buddy and “amateur logician” Stanwick did not discover the answer till after that statement it makes the most sense to me that Halifax could have been security detail and thats why the house was surveillanced by him also? And thus making him innocent… Or we have the wrong guys listed and theres a fifth, named Thomas P. Stanwick… Dun duh daaaah…

  13. vastavikta | Guest

    cross – planner
    halifax – innocent
    merrick – gunman
    Llewellyn – lookout

  14. freakyfreak | Profile

    My conclusion:
    Llewellyn/Merrick– But my choice has to be Llewellyn because he was not surveying the crime spot before the day of the crime.

    Merrick –from the above conclusion.

    Halifax/Cross– Most probable choice is Halifax.The innocent bystander was acquainted with the planner and the gunman, but not with the lookout.And since Halifax was surveying the building of the crime, he can also be the lookout.

    Gunman: Cross, by elimination

  15. 123 | Profile

    when will the solution be revealed?

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