THE THREE INVESTIGATORS'
BOOK OF
MYSTERY PUZZLES
The U.S. pb Mystery Puzzles
Between August of 1998 and December of 2000, I found 6 of these appearing on eBay on-line auctions.  Four of them sold in the $60.00 - $70.00 range.  One sold for about $85.00, one sold for close to $100.00.  Condition varied and three of them had some of the puzzles worked - the rest were clean.  As of January 2001, I have kept a running list here of the sales history of this title as I track it on eBay auctions with date, condition, and price realized:

#7 January 2001 - nice overall condition - $56.00
#8 January 2001 - covers worn, several puzzles worked - $43.00
#9 March 2001 - very nice overall condition - $76.00.
#10 May 2001 - nice overall condition, small price tag peel - $73.00
#11 June 2001 - very nice overall condition - $51.00
#12 September 2001 - nice condition, some puzzles worked - $65.00
#13 November 2001 - very nice condition, 2 puzzles worked - $51.00
#14 February 28, 2002 - this particularly copy was sold in a lot with 8 other 3I books
                                    which sold for about $170.00.  Based on the condition of the
                                    Mystery Puzzles book, very nice with one puzzle worked,
                                    estimated value is $75.00.
#15 April 7, 2002 - light cover wear, several puzzles worked - $43.00
#16 May 1, 2002 - sold in a lot with several high-number pb titles and FYF books.
                          The lot brought $114.00 - a very good deal!
#17 July 29, 2002 - nice covers but most of the puzzles were worked in black
                            marker/pen.  $32.00
#18 August 28, 2002 -  overall nice book 2 puzzles worked in pencil. $56.00
#19 September 12, 2002 - nice copy with browned pages, sold in a lot with 41 other
                                       Three Investigators books.  Est. value $75.00
#20 November 5, 2002 - nice copy with very light wear to the covers.  $43.00
#21 November 15, 2002 - a nice copy, some of the puzzles had been worked in
                                      pencil and then erased.  $65.00
#22 April 9, 2003 - minor wear to the covers, no puzzles worked, nice copy.  $77.00
#23 May 17, 2003 - light wear to covers, 7 puzzles done in pencil, a steal!  $32.00
#24 June 22, 2003 - markings on 5 pages, fair condition.  Sold in a lot with 6 other
                                     books at $45.00
#25 July 20, 2003 - wear throughout, many puzzles worked, some in pen.  $31.00
#26 October 4, 2003 - nice looking book with 4 puzzles worked.  $55.00
#27 February 13, 2004 - light wear to covers, no puzzles worked.  $41.00
#28 March 23, 2004 - light wear to covers, 3 puzzles worked.  $57.00
#29 October 5, 2004 - nice condition, light cover wear, no puzzles worked.  $70.00
#30 January 28, 2005 - light wear, creasing, 9 puzzles worked in pencil.  $63.00
#31 February 6, 2005 - mild water staining, 5 puzzles worked in pencil.  $46.00
#32 February 13, 2005 - peel spots on covers, half of the puzzles were worked in
                                    pencil and then erased.  $66.00
#33 February 15, 2005 - light wear to covers, no puzzles worked.  Sold in a lot with
                                    10 other misc. T3I books for $83.00
#34 July 7, 2005 - advertised as being in excellent condition throughout.  $112.50
#35 August 17, 2005 - light wear to book, several puzzles worked in pencil then
                                erased.  Sold in a lot with 9 other T3I books for $81.00
#36 September 11, 2005 - near mint, sold in a lot with 30 other near mint Keyhole
                                       paperback books for $195.00.
#37 February 10, 2006 - light wear to covers, spine crease, about half of the puzzles
                                    worked, some in pen.  $48.50
#38 April 2, 2006 - overall a very nice copy but most of the puzzles were worked in
                           pencil.  $48.00
#39 April 2, 2006 - sold in a lot with 58 other paperback T3I books, good covers,
                           many of the puzzles worked in pencil.  Estimated value of $50.00
#40 April 18, 2007 - light wear to covers, several puzzles worked in pencil and in
                             pen.  $55.00
#41 November 28, 2007 - light wear to covers, 3 puzzles worked in pen.  $53.00
#42 January 8, 2008 - light wear to the covers, 4 puzzles worked in pencil.  $65.00
#43 June 10, 2008 - advertised as very good+ with light rubbing and edgewear,
                              tiny peel from price tag on front cover, none of the puzzles
                              were worked.  Sold as a Buy It Now for $125.00 + $5.00 shipping.
#44 August 3, 2008 - light wear to covers, several puzzles worked.  Sold in a lot with
                               5 other T3I books for $75.00.  Estimated value of $55 - $60.
                               (Purchased on eBay by a dealer for future resale.)
     September 25, 2008 - Above book was placed up for bid with an unknown
                                       reserve.  Highest bid: $83.00, the reserve was not met.
     September 26, 2008 - Dealer puts book back on eBay with a "Buy it Now" price
                                       of $149.99.  No sale.
      March 12, 2009 - Dealer finally sells book for set price of $99.99.
#45 January 18, 2009 - nice copy with several puzzles worked in pencil.  $100.00
#46 March 2, 2009 - very nice covers, several puzzles worked.  Sold in a lot of
                              31 other T3I books for $193.50  Estimated value of $65 - $75.
#47 August 1, 2009 - light wear to covers, several puzzles worked in blue ink
                               including maze on front cover, general wear.  $35.00
#48 September 8, 2010 - light wear to the covers, four pages of puzzles/games have
                                     been completed.  $81.00
#49 January 12, 2011 - no picture, covers described by seller as "excellent", about
                                  half of the puzzles were worked in pencil, some in ink. Very
                                  poorly listed, the book brought an amazing $6.00 + shipping!
#50 March 7, 2011 - this copy sold in a lot with 2 other T3I paperbacks to an on-line
                             dealer. Described as having "some crayon scribbles on the front
                             and scribbles and writing inside along with a stamp on inside of
                             front cover, overall good".  $77.00
#51 April 3, 2011 - the dealer who purchased the above book sold it along with the
                           German hardback version of the Mystery Puzzles book for $128.00.
#52 January 2, 2013 - some puzzles completed in pencil, crease on cover, sticker
                                 inside.  Back-up bidder was that eBay dealer who commonly
                                 bids up items beyond their normal auction value.  $134.00
#53 January 8, 2013 - advertised as being in great condition with no writing inside.
                                 As above, back-up bidder was that questionable eBay dealer.
                                 Selling price: $161.51
#54 January 13, 2013 - another copy is listed by the seller of #52 above.  This one
                                  has some wear to the corners, at least 6 of the puzzles have
                                  been worked and there is additional writing in the book.
                                  Seller lists it for $110.00 and it does not sell.  Seller relists the
                                  book with a starting bid of $130.00 and on Jan. 20th it ends
                                  with no bid.  Seller once again relists the book as a "Buy It
                                  Now" for $85.00 with no sale as of this writing.  Lol, where's
                                  that shady eBay dealer when you need him!?
                                 


Between June 2000 and July 2002, five of the Mystery Puzzle books which were sold on eBay were offered by one person.  I am amazed that anyone could find this many copies of this scarce title in less than a two year period.  So, I asked the seller where she found them. All were found in the Lexington, South Carolina area.  She purchased two of them at separate Goodwill stores and two were purchased at thrift stores run by churches - she purchased all five of the books for less than $1.00 each!

Pictured above, to the right of the U.S. paperback, is the German version of "The Book of Mystery Puzzles".   Interestingly, this book contains the same puzzles and illustrations featured in the U.S. book.  In addition, the book contains two of the Robert Arthur stories ("The Seven Wrong Clocks" and "Four Quarters") from the 1963 children's anthology "Alfred Hitchcock's Solve-Them-Yourself Mysteries".  The book has 127 pages and was issued as a hardbound with dust jacket!  I guess the book was meant to be kept even after the puzzles were worked.


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Dust-jacketed German HB Mystery Puzzles
Published in 1982 by Random House.  Written by Barbara McCall and  illustrated throughout by Anthony Rao.  This 64 page book measures about 5 1/4" X 7 5/8" and has the "keyhole" silhouette on the spine.  "Test your skills in this book of pencil games and logic puzzles, mazes and word tricks!"  Original price was $1.50 each.

This may be the rarest TITLE in the series - but it is NOT the most difficult book to find in this series.  There are a couple of dozen titles in certain formats or variations that appear less frequently than this book.  Why?  CLICK HERE.  It is unusual to find one of these in near-mint condition primarily because they were designed to be used and tossed out.  The book is generally considered a disappointment by those who own one.  The puzzles are uninspired and not incredibly interesting nor difficult.  The book is loaded with simple illustrations. Despite this, if your goal is to own a Master Set or a Definitive Collection of T3I, you'll need to find one to keep up with the Jones's, so-to-speak.   Also, this is the only book in the series where you'll find a picture of Uncle Titus.  Mercy!