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Who Killed Harlowe Thrombey?

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Someone murdered Harlowe Thrombey. Only you can find out who did it.

Millionaire Harlow Thrombey hired you to find out who was out to get him. But before you even got started, someone laced his bedtime brandy with arsenic. Now you have a murder case on your hands!The suspects include his wife jane, his nephew Chartwell, and his niece Angela - all heirs to his enormous fortune.

122 pages, Hardcover

First published February 1, 1981

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About the author

Edward Packard

165 books102 followers
Edward Packard attended and graduated from both Princeton University and Columbia Law School. He was one of the first authors to explore the idea of gamebooks, in which the reader is inserted as the main character and makes choices about the direction the story will go at designated places in the text.

The first such book that Edward Packard wrote in the Choose Your Own Adventure series was titled "Sugarcane Island", but it was not actually published as the first entry in the Choose Your Own Adventure Series. In 1979, the first book to be released in the series was "The Cave of Time", a fantasy time-travel story that remained in print for many years. Eventually, one hundred eighty-four Choose Your Own Adventure books would be published before production on new entries to the series ceased in 1998. Edward Packard was the author of many of these books, though a substantial number of other authors were included as well.

In 2005, Choose Your Own Adventure books once again began to be published, but none of Edward Packard's titles have yet been included among the newly-released books.

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5 stars
172 (26%)
4 stars
205 (32%)
3 stars
194 (30%)
2 stars
54 (8%)
1 star
15 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 47 reviews
Profile Image for Jeffrey Caston.
Author 9 books136 followers
December 24, 2022
One of the better CYOAs I've managed to rescue from a lonely bookstore shelf. it had lots and lots of choices, and the structure was complex, more complex compared to most, which fit the detective theme. Some of them though did not quite mesh with the prior page. But all in all so glad I have this one again.
Profile Image for Dane Barrett.
Author 10 books12 followers
January 13, 2019
Don't expect a murder mystery from this book. The first time I played it my choices skipped quite a bit of the investigation stuff and then suddenly my character successfully identified the killer to everyone and solved the case, without me actually having a clue how or why anything had actually happened.

The book basically spoon-feeds the identity of the killer to you and instead you're just expected to find various endings (the usual way you do in a Choose Your Own Adventure book) without worrying about actually deducing anything to do with the case. The writing is good as always, but I'll admit to being disappointed that this one doesn't really allow you to solve a crime. At the very least I would've liked to have made the final accusation myself, rather than having the book do it for you.

At least they didn't shoe-horn an encounter with extra terrestrials in this one which tends to be a staple of these books, and I do have to admit I did enjoy the silliness of the completely incompetent detective.
184 reviews
January 22, 2022
I bought this book from the Salvation Army thrift store on whim, and I’m so glad I did! I sort of remember reading a choose-your-own-path book as a child, but I don’t think I’ve ever read a mystery in that format. For sure, the whodunnit aspect made the adventure even better!

In searching for Harlowe Thrombey’s murderer, I got killed twice, upstaged by an oaf of a detective a couple times, and even found the culprit once myself — all in just under an hour. These books really are genius the way readers can reach the same ending despite taking many different turns along the way. I’m already looking for more of these 1980s treasures!
Profile Image for Monica.
764 reviews
December 10, 2015
Una de las escrituras más desarrolladas. lógicas y serias de Packard, con mucho contenido. Eres un detective y debes guiarte por tus instintos, para resolver el caso de la muerte de Thrombey, lo que da pie a situaciones lógicas ( bueno, excepto que un joven sea detective, xdd... amén del genial film ' El secreto de la pirámide' y los primeros pinitos de un Holmes mozuelo) y conversaciones e investigación bien llevadas. Una rara ave avis en el historial de éste autor. Una lástima que muchas de las personas en aquel momento no le dieran una oportunidad.
Profile Image for Adam Cleaver.
175 reviews1 follower
June 8, 2018
Remember this belonged to my Brother and was another fun to read Choose Your Own Adventure title. Love the setting and the chance to find out 'Who done it'?
Profile Image for Charles.
Author 65 books120 followers
June 22, 2020
You gotta work to disappoint me on a CYOA book but this one is a pretty big let down. The organization is a huge mess, the book can basically be read front to back, and there are only a few endings. When you make Give Yourself Goosebumps look real good by comparison, you've slipped a bit. Sorry.
Profile Image for Juan Saucedo.
1 review
September 28, 2016
Will you solve the crime?

Before i tell you about the book you probably already know that most books you just read and they already set up the rising action, climax, and falling action and if you read it again there is no difference in the book. But this book they don't decide your fate you get to decide the path that you want to take. I think as this book special because you become the character or detective in the book or in shorter reasons it's a... rpg book. Here is an example of what it would look like in the book, on page 9 a guy asks you if you like to come to visit his house, and on the bottom of the page there are two answers do you go with him or not, so if you choose not to go or to go you would look at the bottom of the page and look for your answer and right next to the answer is a page number. You go to the page number and see what happens remember there are 14 ways to finish this book. Now you probably think there is no thinking or solving in this book but there is, you can get killed by the murderer, captured, other people can solve the case, and you can solve the case. So I explained what makes this book special and how it works but i haven't told you about the case so let's get started. “You start as a young detective who gets invited to a billionaire house and this guy is called Harlowe Thrombey he suspects or feels like someone is trying to kill him later that night he dies” and this is where you get to choose your path remember the “sky's the limit”.
Profile Image for Swankivy.
1,177 reviews133 followers
June 12, 2013
Another mystery-genre Choose Your Own Adventure, and it suffered from the aspects of mystery that I tend to dislike even in "normal" mysteries. I actually think this could have been much better if the mystery of who killed the title character was different depending on what path you took (though that would have caused the different endings to have to be more separate and more sophisticated). As it was, if you get to an ending that reveals the mystery, there's not much sense in traveling the other routes (as I'm sure all of us who read these books loved to do, sticking fingers in the pages with choices you wanted to re-do). If you're just following the same clues in a different order, there's no surprise. Whenever I read mysteries as a kid, I usually "missed" clues because I didn't like reading books in an analytical way to "solve" them like a puzzle, so actually when some of the stuff leading to the solution didn't make sense to me, I figured I'd just missed stuff again. It wasn't until I tried a few different endings that I realized OH, actually this is the first time this bit was mentioned, and it wasn't in the first ending! So I think what happened in editing is that too many people read it too many times and couldn't keep the storylines straight well enough to make sure they all made sense.
Profile Image for Josiah.
3,211 reviews146 followers
April 8, 2009
This story is a great murder mystery for young readers (not often you hear that said, huh?), with a smartly rendered plot that can be solved intelligently without being too easy. Normally in Choose Your Own Adventure books, the maximum number of choices per page is only two or three, but a few times in this book the amount of choices is extended to eight or more, resulting in a myriad of long and short stories that are all very well written. Edward Packard truly writes a smart story here. It is en extraordinary achievement.
Profile Image for Phil.
112 reviews1 follower
September 27, 2020
I think this was the first Choose Your Own Adventure book I ever read. Reading it after all these years is pure nostalgic joy. Definitely geared towards younger readers, but always a pleasure to pick up and read a quick story or three.
Profile Image for Alex.
108 reviews9 followers
July 5, 2016
Oh si, The Beatles siempre salvan el día. Es lo único que diré.
Profile Image for Rachel Piper.
838 reviews41 followers
August 4, 2019
Fun concept, but doesn’t work as well as some others because when interrogating suspects you sometimes refer to past actions you didn’t witness/investigate.
Profile Image for Cindi.
1,259 reviews4 followers
December 9, 2020
This is the book mentioned in the movie "Knives Out". i read it as a kid, but thought I'd re-read it now, and it was a lot of fun.
Profile Image for Remo.
2,289 reviews130 followers
July 5, 2020
La serie de Elige tu propia aventura es, literalmente, un clásico de nuestra infancia. He releído algunos, años después, y me parecen un poco cortos de miras, limitados en las posibilidades, pero cuando tenía 10 años cada uno de ellos era una maravilla lista para ser explorada hasta que hubiera dado todo lo que tenía dentro.
Al final siempre sabías que ibas a recorrer todos y cada uno de los caminos posibles. La emoción estaba, por tanto, en ganar y pasarte la historia al primer intento. Si no podías, pues nada, seguro que en el intento 18 acababas encontrando el camino. A veces los autores iban "a pillar", poniéndote los resultados buenos detrás de decisiones que eran claramente anómalas.
Recuerdo haber aprendido tanto palabras como hechos y datos en estos libros. No nadar contra la corriente cuando quieres llegar a tierra, dónde colocarse cuando un avión va a despegar, un montón de cosas interesantes y un montón de historias vividas, decenas por cada libro, que convirtieron a las serie en una colección fractal, donde cada vez podías elegir un libro nuevo entre los que ya tenías.
Llegué hasta el tomo 54 y dejé de tener interés por la serie, pero la serie siguió hasta superar los 100 títulos. Tal vez mis hijos quieran seguir el camino que yo empecé. Si quieres que lo sigan, pasa a la página 7.
Profile Image for SadieReadsAgain.
469 reviews38 followers
September 7, 2019
I read this for the Popsugar challenge, as I struggled to track down any CYOA books in my library and this was lying about in my parents' house. My childhood memories of CYOA was a Disney Snow White one which I read to death, but this is obviously aimed at an older audience than my beloved picture book. Not that this is particularly gory or pacey, as the name might suggest. As murders go, it was pretty tame. But it was cool to flick about the pages and chose my own options. I did get frustrated though, as often the strands of the book didn't weave together very well as obviously some pages were trying to straddle across more than one story option at a time. So sometimes you'd have a character talking to you quite familiarly, even though in your particular path through the book you hadn't actually met them before... Still, it was a fun way to spend an hour, and it brought back a lot of memories. I wish these were still as popular, as I'd love to share them with my kids.
Profile Image for Bridgette.
483 reviews
March 18, 2019
**read for #buzzwordathon round 3
**read for the Popsugar Reading Challenge 2019 (#42)- A choose your own adventure book

What a fun trip down Nostalgia Lane!

I have a few Choose Your Own adventure books on my shelves. Yes I was a child of the 70s/80s. This one fit perfectly into the #buzzwordathon round 3 and was a quick fun read. Proud of myself for solving the mystery and not getting shot on my first trip through (as anyone who knows me knows.. i'm the queen of bad choices... haha)

Profile Image for Nichole.
41 reviews3 followers
January 1, 2020
Decided to pick this up after watching Knives Out, as the movie is loosely inspired by this book.

Simple and short. I loved the Choose Your Own Adventure books growing up. It was nice to revisit one of them.

A few friends and I are all going to track and compare our adventures. Should be entertaining.
Profile Image for Caponato.
136 reviews5 followers
January 29, 2019
Un libro de elige tu propia aventura que no te deja elegir a dónde no ir. Este tipo de libros tuvieron mucho gancho en los 80, pero eran un absurdo. No sé si ahora se siguen editando este tipo de cosas.
Profile Image for Lisa.
Author 9 books15 followers
October 26, 2020
Reliving my youth through this book. I used to LOVE reading the Choose Your Own Adventure books! So, I recently came across two of them and purchased them for reading. Just as interesting as I remember!
December 4, 2021
SCEGLI LA TUA AVVENTURA raccoglie alcune semplici avventure a bivi, giocabili anche da neofiti e senza dadi o schede personaggio.

Questo giallo scorre piacevolmente, per una serata in compagnia di un mistero da risolvere come nei più classici gialli della Christie
Profile Image for Nate.
817 reviews8 followers
March 24, 2020
Just awful. Page 101 has 12 choices! Ugh.
Profile Image for G. Salter.
Author 6 books23 followers
April 24, 2022
The story holds together better than many choose-your-own-adventure stories in the same series, and has some clever incidental details that pay off in surprising ways.
7 reviews
May 1, 2023
decided to give this a quick read before I tear it apart for my fashion mood board.
I got kidnapped? but still solved the murder so I'm basically Benoit Blanc from Knives Out.
Profile Image for David Sarkies.
1,788 reviews308 followers
July 10, 2015
A rather ordinary murder mystery
12 June 2012

Another Choose Your Own Adventure book that I can vaguely remember. Interestingly I actually found a couple of these books sitting in the back shed, however the two books that I have (Cave of Time and the haunted house one) I have already reviewed and as such I am not too inclined to bring them back into the house to read them again (which shows you how lazy I can be at times because I doubt these books would have taken all that long to read anyway).

This is a murder mystery and you play a detective. You receive a call from Harlowe Thrombey, a plastics magnate, who believes his wife is going to kill him, however by the time you arrive he is already dead after drinking his nightly brandy that had been poisoned with arsenic. So, what initially began as a matter of protection quickly becomes a murder mystery, and because Thrombey is incredibly wealthy, there is a definite motive for wanting to see him dead.

The reviews of this book did not give it a glowing review and from what I read that is quite understandable. The playability of this book is fairly low because once you have solved the mystery the first time it never actually changes (but isn't that the case with all Choose Your Own Adventure stories). Further, it has been hinted that the author mucked up the drafting of this book as apparently as you get closer to the solution you suddenly discover that the book is referring to clues that you may not have uncovered and considering alibis that you know nothing about. If this is the case then it seems to be quite sloppy writing.

It is always amusing to consider the murder of a millionaire. It is suggested in some philosophies that it is better to be poor and unknown than to be wealthy and known. Apparently once you acquire lots of wealth suddenly you find yourself having friends everywhere, however once the wealth has gone, so have those friends. It is a consideration that I have had a lot, thinking that a friend who is with you when you are poor is a much better friend than a friend who only appears when you have money. Also, while money may be motivation for a murder (and in reality if you kill somebody to get at their money sooner, you pretty much cut yourself out of the will anyway) other reasons can be more corporate in nature, for instance a rival wanting to buy you out but you refuse to sell. It is also interesting that when a rich person dies, much more resources are put into solving the case than when a poor person dies (and even then the killer not not always apprehended).
33 reviews1 follower
June 18, 2012
Almost made me miss Miss Marple..

Who Killed Harlowe Thrombey (Choose Your Own Adventure #9) by Edward Packard is about you, a young private investigator, being summoned by a wealthy plastics magnate who fears he's about to be murdered by his wife. After he falls dead at a small dinner engagement from drinking poisoned brandy it's up to you to find out who did it.

At first I was impressed by the lay-out of this book as there's very minimal jumping around but about halfway through the cracks began to show. The initial path I chose resulted in the narrator making deductions based on evidence I had never read. In fact my character solved the case bringing up evidence I had not read to explain situations (like characters being each others' alibi or character's accusing each other) I also hadn't read. The book solved itself. My initial choices managed to not even tell me when the poison was slipped into Thrombey's glass, which is the most important aspect of the case in figuring out the culprit. I wish this mystery had been laid out better, had let me solve it instead of doing it for me, and that there had been more suspects.

Another problem is after your initial reading there isn't much else here. If you're like me you enjoy exploring all of the possible avenues after the end of your first reading. But since neither the murderer nor the evidence changes and the mystery itself isn't very complex, there's very little to read other than finding out the same things in slightly different ways.

The art by Paul Granger is fine. It does it's job even if the narrator does indeed look like a 70's singer/game show host.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 47 reviews

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