Who Killed Cuthbert Harkerville?

Can you solve the mystery of P.D. James’ The Twelve Clues of Christmas

It’s Christmas Eve and Adam Dalgliesh has been flagged down on a quiet country road by a man claiming his uncle, Cuthbert Harkerville has been found dead in bed at Harkerville Hall. Back at the house Dalgliesh is faced with twelve Christmassy clues to solve the murder. Can you guess who killed Cuthbert Harkerville?

You could win the entire P. D. James backlist.

The Clues

1
The '800 Pound Note'

The ‘800 Pound Note’

The charred remains of a typewritten letter stating ‘, 800 pounds not unreasonable considering’

2
The Advert

The Advert

An urgent advert placed in Lady’s Companion for a housekeeper for the Christmas period

3
The Ashes

The Ashes

The still-warm ashes in the fireplace of Cuthbert’s bedroom when Dalgleish arrived to investigate

4
The Christmas Cracker

The Christmas Cracker

A pulled Christmas cracker found in the room, the paper crown was on Cuthbert’s head but the toy was missing

5
The Holly

The Holly

A sprig of extremely prickly holly found in Cuthbert’s buttonhole

6
The Whiskey Flask

The Whiskey Flask

A flask of coffee and whiskey found beside Cuthbert’s bed

7

The Suicide Note

Cuthbert’s last words found with folds in the paper as if it had been stuffed into an envelope

8
The Ointment

The Ointment

A pot of hair ointment which Cuthbert had plastered over his head shortly before death

9
The Passport

The Passport

A small section of a burnt passport, found in the grate of the fire

10
The Stained Pillow

The Stained Pillow

Cuthbert’s pillow, stained from the thick ointment on his head although none was found on the paper crown

11
The Pudding

The Pudding

A Christmas Pudding with the top gouged out, a splodge of pudding was found on Cuthbert’s hand

12
The Tire Tracks

The Tire Tracks

Tire marks still visible in the snow when Dalgleish arrived at the house

Who Killed Cuthbert Harkerville: The Suspects

Based on the clues, the suicide note and the profiles of the suspects, click on the person you think is the murderer.

Helmet Harkerville

  • Cuthbert’s nephew
  • Helmet discovered the body

Gertrude and Carl Harkerville

  • Cuthbert’s niece and nephew
  • Eccentric and with a callous attitude
  • Stood to inherit fortunes from his death

Mrs. Dagworth

  • The last person to see Cuthbert alive
  • Wearing a fresh plaster on her finger
  • Hired just the day before Cuthbert’s death

The Mistletoe Murder and Other Stories by P.D. James is out now in all good bookshops.