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I have been writing as a hobby for more than 10 years and, after a lot of encouragement from my wife, finally focused on getting something published. My first book, I Dare You, is available as a paperback or Kindle version through Amazon. My second work, Map of the Dead, allowed me to indulge my passion for Egyptology.
As stated in the title, I have hidden a real golden pyramid valued at around £10,000, with clues on where to find it concealed within the novel. The book is available on amazon via the link below.
So reddit - do you think you have what it takes to solve my puzzle? AMA!
So, how do we know that this is real, and solvable? And not a repeat of the Secrets of Alchemist Dar fiasco?
Wow! great question.
I don't know the case you refer to but I do know about the Golden Hare puzzle by Kit Williams back in the 70s. I'm determined that there won't be the same scandal here.
1. The pyramid exists - check out my author page on facebook and
2. In the press coverage you'll see a photo plus I've said it will be found within 2 years... because I will drop hints to those who register
3. You'll see from my professional background, I do have integrity
4. It wouldn't do my writing career if I failed to deliver!
The issue with Treasure Trove Inc, and the Secrets of Alchemist Dar by Michael Stadther is almost legend in the armchair treasure hunt world.
He started out with a successful book and hunt, which was completed by fans within two years. Then he made a second book, which sold more copies than the first, but none of the major puzzles have been solved and none of the prizes awarded.
What made SAD so bad was the fact that the puzzles were so out there that even hardened crytologists couldn't decipher some of the puzzles, which used arcane symbols with few clues.
The company went bankrupt after only a year after publishing the second book, and the prizes (a set of rings) were sold at auction.
As you can tell, the physical existence of the prize is unimportant to the validity of the contest, and neither does past performance.
That said, you are right. If you were to drop out like Stadther did, you'll never get another major deal again.
Thought you might like to know that you don't need to be a cryptologist to solve it. I deliberately set a puzzle that could be solved by anyone.
What has been the most challenging thing writing this book whilst hiding clues within it and making sure you don't give the game away easily? Also, do you have to know a lot of Egyptology to solve the clues?
The hardest part was writing the book since I had to read an awful lot - plus two trips to Egypt (how tough!). The embedding of the clues was fairly easy but I was terrified it would be too obvious. You don't need to be a mathematician (I am) or Egyptologist to solve it.
Hi this is Mike with the vlog on YouTube. The book giveaway will be up today. Was the numbers at the end of the book a oversight on your part for the Kindle version?
Hi Mike. The intention was for people to buy the paperback (since the Kindle version is so cheap) So it wasn't an oversight. However your bespoke clue will work for all media. Looking forward to the vlog. Best wishes. Murray
I am enjoying reading Map of the Dead. We recently poured over the GCHQ book for many hours... did you do a lot of research about puzzles to be able to incorporate one within your novel? Also, if I submit an answer to the website, but it is incorrect, will I be able to have another try?
I've also got the GCHQ book though most of the puzzles were way beyond me. i didn't do any research though my other books all have an element of a code that the protagonist must solve.
If you submit 3 wrong answers, the system will lock you out for 24 hours I'm afraid (and it resets again and again if you try before the elapsed time). This was to make sure people don't just keep guessing. The answer will be clear once you know it!
I look forward to finishing the book... and trying to crack it!
Good luck. Just don't solve it too quickly!
Is it not possible to solve using the digital?
Yes it is but it's easier with the paperback. Watch cowlazars vlog for additional help with the ebook.
If you could only take one book with you on a desert island, which would it be (excluding your own)?
Maybe I should say the works of Shakespeare or the GCHQ puzzle book but making a snap decision it would be "I am Pilgrim" by Terry Hayes. Awful title but a very cleverly written thriller that I could read over and over to enjoy the plotting of it. Other favourite thrillers are:
- The Last Child (John Hart)
- Echo Burning (Lee Child)
- Angels and Demons (Dan Brown)
- The Woods (Harlen Coben)
Anyone else want to add to this list or comment?
Can you suggest a few resources to translate the hieroglyphics?
I used an expert. I know people have done it just using the Internet so I'd advise you do the same.
Do you have to live in Europe to find the prize? Can I play and win in the U.S?
Absolutely you can be anywhere. Something is buried somewhere but it wouldn't be fair to make you dig it up (unless you wanted to - though it's not the pyramid!)
Has anyone answered question 2 of stage 1 correctly yet?
To be clear there are 4 questions which equate to the four stages. There are a handful of people who have answered the first two correctly and are therefore on stage 3.
Did you put up the 10k, or did your publishers?
I not only paid of it, I designed it too. The hieroglyphs are bespoke and relevant to the book.
I've bought the book. Can you tell me where I start in order to solve the puzzle?
Read it! You can't solve the clue without actually reading the book. Then register on mapofthedead.co.uk and progress through the four stages. Good luck!
Why are you so insecure about your novel's commercial viability that you've felt the need to spend 10k on a cheesy publicity stunt for it?
Sorry you think it's cheesy. I hope people will enjoy it.. .and enjoy the book. It's very hard to break into the market as a new author despite great reviews and feedback.