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The mystery is: In what order do the five mysteries go back on the shelf?
November 6, 2006
In clues 1, 4, and 5, respectively, when Joe, Trish, and Dee put books on the mystery shelf, the placed them between two other returned books; therefore, Joe, Trish, and Dee were, in some order, 3rd, 4th, and 5th to put books in the KE section. By clue 3, Bill put the James Keiser novel on the shelf next to the book another of the five had put there. Bill was the 2nd of the five to put a mystery in the KE part of the shelf, with Sue then 1st. By clue 4, Trish put a book between the Harlan Keitel mystery and The Streets of Baltimore. Trish thus wasn't the 3rd assistant to put a book on the KE shelf area, since the book on the left at that time was the James Keiser Bill put there. By clue 5, Dee put a book in the KE section between Heir Apparent and the Michael Kelly mystery. If Dee had been 3rd to put a book in the KE section, James Keiser would be the author of Heir Apparent and the Michael Kelly mystery would have been returned to the shelf by Sue. Dee did not put the Harlan Keitel book on the shelf (clue 2). Then Trish wouldn't have been the next assistant after Dee to put a book in the KE section, since the Harlan Keitel novel still wouldn't be on the shelf. Joe would have put a book between the one Dee returned, Orange Skirt, and Chinny Chin Chin, which would have been by Michael Kelly. Since neither Dee (2) nor Trish (4) returned the Harlan Keitel mystery to the shelf, Joe would have. However, there is now no way for Trish's return in clue 4 to work. So, Dee also wasn't the 3rd one to return a book to the KE section; Joe was. By clue 1, then the James Keiser book is Orange Skirt, and Chinny Chin Chin was put back by Sue. By clue 4, Trish couldn't have been 4th to put a book in the KE section; Dee put a book between Heir Apparent returned by Joe and the Michael Kelly noevl put on the shelf by Sue (5). Since Dee didn't return the Harlan Keitel mystery to the shelf (2), by clue 4, Joe did; and Dee returned The Streets of Baltimore--with Trish putting the book she returned between those two. By elimination, Trish returned Blood Moon to the shelf. By alphabetical order, Blood Moon is by Diane Kellerman and The Streets of Baltimore by Laura Kellogg. In sum, the five library assistants returned mysteries to the KE section in order as follows:

  • Sue, Chinny Chin Chin by Michael Kelly
  • Bill, Orange Skirt by James Keiser
  • Joe, Heir Apparent by Harlan Keitel
  • Dee, The Streets of Baltimore by Laura Kellogg
  • Trish, Blood Moon by Diane Kellerman

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