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The Case of the Forgotten Diary

Mystery teasers are little stories where you need to figure out what happened based on the given clues.


Puzzle ID:#22681
Fun:*** (3.02)
Difficulty:*** (2.67)
Submitted By:irishthistleAus****
Corrected By:irishthistle




The case had been closed for almost one hundred years. William Pritchett and his sister Olivia, had died of a strange ailment. Their arms and legs shook violently, they had severe abdominal cramps and fever. On her deathbed Olivia accused Holly, the maid, of poisoning her and her brother. Holly told a different tale; of William and Olivia's descent into madness and her efforts to cure them through herbs and vitamins. Holly was put on trial and convicted. When she died in jail of a similar sickness, it was assumed Holly had poisoned herself through carelessness and the case was closed.
Now, it was opened again as the relatives of those long dead battled in a civil suit. Holly's great nephew, was suing the wealthy Pritchett family, for the pain and humiliation his family had endured. He claimed William had gone mad and poisoned both Olivia and Holly. Forensic Psychologist Stella Mavis had been called in to determine the sanity of people who lived and died before she was born. Finding little information in the ancient file, Dr. Mavis traveled to the Pritchett mansion to look over some old belongings, stored in an attic.
When she pulled up, Detective Davis was already there, talking to Maya Pritchett, daughter of William's cousin.
Maya greeted Dr. Mavis, then showed them to the musty attic. "Most of this is William's." said Maya. "This was his workshop. Some woodworking but he mostly made those." She pointed to a large stack of moldy fur hats on a trunk. "It was his hobby, but he didn't feel it was a proper hobby for a high class gentlemen, so he worked on them up here. Underneath them is a trunk of Olivia's." Maya disappeared down the stairs, eager to get out of the stale air.
Detective Davis began looking through boxes of William's clothes. Dr. Mavis moved the furs away and looked through Olivia's trunk. Wrapped in a scarf on the bottom was a little diary. Dr. Mavis leaned against the pile of hats and read:
January 4th: I have been shopping in town and helping William, it's been so much fun to help make the hats! I don't like Holly. When she serves our tea, I am always helping William in the workshop, and she glares at me. She's just jealous of me.
May 18th: Today I was in the garden and I saw Holly's face change into a spider! Holly hates me, and I think the spider means she is going to hurt me. My tea tastes bitter, and Holly said it was medicine, but I don't believe her. I can see things for what they really are now and I think William can see them too.
September 20th: I am so tired of the medicine in my tea. I always feel sick after I drink it. Holly says I must stay away from William. She has turned on him and says he's dangerous! This must have been what the rainbow I saw yesterday meant when it said she would betray us...
December 12th: I ache and I have no control of my legs. But it's ok! I can fly! So can William, he says the unicorns told him we need to leave this place. I am so excited!
Dr. Mavis couldn't make out any more, but she didn't need to. "Davis," she said, "Let's go. I know what happened."

What happened to Olivia, William and Holly?

What Next?


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May 05, 2005

A bit long. Could do with being separated into paragraphs or something. Clever though. Got it from the hint.
May 05, 2005

ok i'm not going 2 even take the time 2 read that teaser... it's long!
May 05, 2005

i didn't even read half the the teaser just about 4 sentences then i stopped and looked and the answer.
May 05, 2005

I happen to like those teasers that make you think about and consider all of the information. Yes, it was long, but that is part of its charm. Kind of like reading one of those old two minute mysteries. I didn't get it, but I enjoyed it
May 05, 2005

Got it with no hint, i like it, gives enough clues in the question for anyone who knows about hat making to get it
May 05, 2005

that was soooo loooonnnngggg..........
May 05, 2005

OMG that was a great teaser! and i got it right away! i didnt think i would bc it was so long but i did! i looked at the hint but i thought i already knew what it was.....i didnt know that it was mercury exactly but i had a thought that it was the hats.....and here i thought it was the britt
May 06, 2005

seriously, this was so elemetary. I thought everyone has heard the mad as a hatter story.

Truth is, the maid would not have developed the symptoms unless she had continued exposure to the mercury, the story doesn't speak to her being up in the attic that much.
Maybe I'm being too picky, sorry
May 06, 2005

I realllllly like this one added this one to my fav list. :
May 06, 2005

This begins by saying that Olivia was William's sister. So why does Olivia accuse Holly of poisening Olivia and her grandfather? Just seems that might have been part of the mystery.
May 06, 2005

Oh my you're right. When I originally wrote this, it was a grandfather, and olivia was a child. I thought it was too sad so I changed to a brother. I guess I missed that reference, Sorry.
May 06, 2005

I thought it was very long. u could have made it a little shorter.
May 07, 2005

didnt even read it
May 08, 2005

It may have been lengthy but, in order to set the stage for a mystery and its subsequent solving, a story has to unfold. I found it quite interesting and enjoyed it. Good mystery teaser.
May 08, 2005

it may have been long but after I read the answer I thought it was worth every line.

good story.

May 09, 2005

This was great! Very, very fun...too bad i couldnt get it..
May 18, 2005

I didn't think it was too long at all. I think it was just long enough to set the stage and provite clues...even though I didn't get it
May 20, 2005

This one woz toooooooooooooooooo long
May 23, 2005

i agree with settra. Too long!!
May 24, 2005

great story
May 25, 2005

waaaayyyyy toooooo looooong!

Jun 01, 2005

Ok not to be mean or disgusting or anything but I thought they died from using drugs and thats where the hallucinations and symptoms came from.
Jun 02, 2005

Very clever. Very CSI like. Love it! I like how it depends on knowledge of outside information, like a real life mystery would. The best teaser I have read.
Jun 07, 2005

cool, I almost got it.
Jun 09, 2005

I liked it a lot. CSI style thinking is fun for me.

Come on people, it wasn't THAT long.
Jun 26, 2005

I say the people who say it is too long are too lazy and are depriving themselves a good mystery. It is like those Two-Minute Mysteries, which I love. Thanks for a great mystery!
Jun 26, 2005

I liked this one a lot, missed it, but i did not know the mad a hatter story, so i learned something. Really well thought out.
Jun 29, 2005

Too long so i read the hint.
I got it just by the hint.
Jun 29, 2005

Good, I am glad to know the hint has been put to good use.
Jun 30, 2005

Oh, quit whining. This wasn't that long, and it didn't need to be shorter. I suspected that something in the hats poisoned them, but had no idea about mercury being in them. Good mystery!
Jun 30, 2005

I loved this teaser! The only reason I was able to figure it out is b/c my Chemistry teacher told us all about Mercury! That class payed off after all!
Jul 05, 2005

Very well written and with enough detail to be interesting....
Jul 25, 2005

My opinion is that it was Great!And that it wasn't that long.It doesn't matter as long as it is a Good teaser like this one.I was thinking that it was Mercury.Good Job Irish.
Aug 04, 2005

great teaser
i relized that it wasnt the tea right away but didnt get the attic part
great teaser
Sep 05, 2005

Awesome teaser! I knew it was because of the hats but I didn't know about the mercury.....Great! Keep 'em coming!
Sep 20, 2005

I hate attics!
Sep 21, 2005

Very good job. not to long,just long enough to tell the story.
Oct 27, 2005

Nov 06, 2005

i thought it involved black mold in the attic.
Feb 14, 2006

Long, but necessary. Anyone for a tea party?
Mar 10, 2006

How fun...Great story...
Apr 10, 2006

assumes facts not in evidence. Requires outside knowledge of "hat making." I was able to deduce that it was the environment for william and olicia, but not the maid!
Apr 18, 2006

Nice one!
May 27, 2006

I Cannot believe it, but I actually got that one! That was a great teaser! a bit long though..., but great work
Jun 28, 2006

I got this one, too. Now if people are saying that Mystery teasers like this one are too long, maybe they should go look at the Logic puzzles
Aug 04, 2006

Wonderful teaser, very fun while maintaining a difficulty level that didn't totally exhaust my brain.

Good Job
Aug 15, 2007

I'd seen very long one after this one.
Sep 05, 2007

This was a really Great teaser! At first I was thinking lead poisoning but after the hats were mentioned I remembered there was something about hatters. The hint verified that and then mercury popped into my mind! A fun mystery!
Dec 06, 2007

I had no idea about mercury but I figured it was some type of environmental factor.
Oct 07, 2008

Fantastic case!
Dec 17, 2008

Good one! I had already learned about the "mad as a hatter" fact a few years ago, but it was still fun!
Mar 17, 2009

Excellent mystery... one of the best. I didn't need the hint, but it was a good one nonetheless
Mar 22, 2009

I didn't think it was too long, it seemed just the right length to me. It was very good & well thought out & I enjoyed it.

I got the answer without the hint
Dec 01, 2010

Mad as a Hatter. Damn!
Aug 20, 2011

I think this may be my favorite teaser on the site! I love the suspense and humor and information and, yes, I like it that way, THE LENGTH! Not a word should be counted out! Fantastis job!

Aug 27, 2011

This one stumped me!
Jul 11, 2014

I'm feeling pretty smug as I got this straight away when I saw he made hats. Great teaser!
Apr 08, 2015

But how did the maid die?

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