Trenton Lee Stewart, author of The Mysterious Benedict Society series, recently sat down with Mr. Nicholas Benedict, the esteemed scientist and intelligence expert, to discuss his new books.
Trenton Lee Stewart: Welcome, Mr. Benedict!
Mr. Benedict: Thank you indeed. Now, why don't we begin with your interest in riddles?
Stewart: My interest? Um, well ... I suppose I've always been drawn to constructive trickery. Riddles, jokes, stories--all these things depend on deception and surprise, yet they also depend on a shared understanding with the audience. Riddles are meant to be solved, just as stories and jokes are meant to be heard. So the successful ones are a sort of collaboration between--sorry, am I going on too long?
Mr. Benedict: [closing his pocket watch] Not at all. Please continue.
Stewart: Let me back up. As a child, I adored a chapter in The Hobbit called "Riddles in the Dark," in which the hero's life depends upon winning a riddle contest... but I feel silly telling you this, Mr. Benedict. You had to solve a real mystery as a boy--when you were a young orphan with narcolepsy, no less--and the stakes were significant. [Smiling at the reader] I give a full account of it in my next book, The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict.
Mr. Benedict: [nodding] A perfectly competent account.
Stewart: Perfectly... competent? Not... not brilliant?
Mr. Benedict: [yawning] Oh, I'm sure it is. And now, a thousand pardons, but I'm afraid I must go.
Stewart: Already? Go where?
Mr. Benedict: [eyelids drooping] To sleep.
Stewart: [catching Mr. Benedict as he slumps forward] Oh, right--the narcolepsy. I guess this, um, concludes our interview, then? Mr. Benedict? Shall I take that snore as a yes?
A Look Inside The Mysterious Benedict Society: Mr. Benedict's Book of Perplexing Puzzles, Elusive Enigmas, and Curious Conundrums
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A special message from Mr. Benedict
An elusive enigma worthy of a Society Member
Rules of the Society and a Member Bio
Two perplexing puzzles compiled by Mr. Benedict