37 Detective Riddles (with Answers)

If you love mysteries and solving crimes (or, in this case, riddles), then you’ve come to the right place. So put on your deerstalker Sherlock Holmes hat, get out your magnifying glass, and put your friends and family to the test with these detective riddles. 

From grisly murders to puzzling mysteries and just about everything in between, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite detective riddles with answers for you to try and solve. 

So channel your favorite detective, think outside the box, and see how you get on with this selection of detective riddles.

So are you ready to start investigating? 

Let’s go!

Related: Science riddles

General Detective Riddles (with Answers)

General Detective Riddles Image

Let’s warm you up with a few of the more general detective riddles (and answers) just to get you into the groove of things. 

These may not be too tricky to solve (if you’re a wannabe Sherlock Holmes!) but don’t worry – they’ll get a bit trickier later on!

1. A man returned his cup of tea because there was a fly in it. However, he becomes furious when he is given the same cup of tea back. How did he know it was the same cup of tea?
Because he had added sugar - if it was a new cup of tea, it wouldn’t have any sugar in.
2. A man told a story about how he was awarded a medal for ‘Bravery during World War 1’. Why is this a lie?
They didn’t know there was going to be a World War 2 at the time, so they wouldn’t have said World War 1
3. On a cold winter day, there was a man standing in front of someone’s house. He didn’t move until the spring, and the owner didn’t mind. Eventually, the man left. Who was he?
A snowman
4. A happily married couple goes on holiday and locks their house up, with careful instructions for their neighbor to look after the house. The wife hides her jewelry in a very safe place, but when she comes back, it’s gone. Why?
She decided to hide it in the freezer - there was a power outage, so the neighbor threw out all the old food as well as her jewels by accident
5. A man eats his dinner, goes to his bedroom, turns out the light, and falls asleep. In the morning, he looks outside and immediately throws himself out the window. Why?
The man was a lighthouse operator - he wasn’t meant to turn out the light, and so he looks out the window to see a ship crashed on the rocks.
6. A woman calls up the police to say that her grandmother’s ring had been stolen. When they visit her house, they see broken glass on the lawn and dirty footprints. They arrest the woman. Why?
If someone had broken into the house, they would have left broken glass inside the house - the window was broken from the inside.
7. A man is locked in jail. His cell has a dirt floor and a window high up on the wall. There’s also a shovel in the cell. How does he escape?
He makes a pile of dirt that can reach the window and climbs out that way.
8. Every day, a woman was seen crossing the border carrying bags of sand on a motorbike. After some time, the border police become suspicious and stop her, but found she only had sand on her, so they let her go. What was the woman smuggling across the border?
9. A truck driver is going down a one-way street in the wrong direction. A police car drives past him but doesn’t stop him. Why?
Because he isn’t driving down the street - he’s walking.
10. A man and his wife are driving in a car, but it breaks down. He gets out but makes sure that the windows are up and the doors are locked. When he comes back to his car, his wife is dead, there’s blood on the floor, and there is a stranger in the car. What happened?
His wife was pregnant and died giving birth while he was away from the car.

Murder Mystery Riddles (with Answers)

Murder Mystery Riddles Image

Who doesn’t love a murder mystery? From Poirot to Sherlock Holmes, all the best detectives ended up solving all kinds of murder mysteries. 

But how good do you think you’d be at solving a murder? 

Now is the time to find out with our selection of murder mystery detective riddles (with answers)!

1. 2 pills, one which was safe and one which was poisoned, were given to a group of people to take with some water. All of them died. How did they die?
The water was poisoned.
2. You arrive at a murder scene where a man is hanging from the ceiling with nothing around him other than a large pool of water. How did the man die?
He was standing on a block of ice, and it melted.
3. At another murder scene, a body is found with a gun in one hand and a tape recorder in the other. When the tape is played, the recording of the person says, ‘I can’t go on, I’ve got nothing else to live for.’ Immediately, the police know it was a murder, not a suicide. Why?
If it was a suicide, the person wouldn’t have been able to rewind the tape.
4. A woman shoots her husband and then holds him underwater for 5 minutes. They then go out and enjoy a romantic dinner. How?
The woman shoots her husband with a film camera (takes a picture) and then develops it (holds it underwater).
5. A man walks into his house only to hear his wife shout, ‘no John, don’t shoot!’. The man bursts into the kitchen where he sees his wife on the floor, and a doctor, a lawyer, and a policeman standing by her. He immediately knows who shot her. How?
The policeman has his name written on his badge.
6. A couple goes on a camping trip, but only the husband returns. He claims that his wife fell off a cliff and died. When the detective gets in touch with the travel agent, he immediately arrests the husband. Why?
The travel agent reveals how the husband only booked a one-way ticket for his wife, whereas he booked a return ticket for himself.
7. A woman decides to kill her husband in the car when there is no one around to see. She throws his body into the ocean, and makes sure that there are no fingerprints, and gets rid of the murder weapon too. A few hours later, the police arrive to say that her husband is dead and that she needs to come to the scene of the crime. When she arrives there, she is arrested immediately. Why?
The police never said where the crime scene was - the fact that she knew where to go was proof of her guilt.
8. On the first day of school, the history teacher is found dead in his classroom. There were four suspects, but they all had alibis - the gardener said he was mowing the lawn, the soccer coach said she was doing practice drills with the first years, the math teacher said she was holding mid-year tests, and the principal said she was meeting with two parents. Immediately the math teacher is arrested. Why?
It was the first day of school - so there couldn’t have been any mid-year tests.
9. On a Sunday morning, the police are called to a big house because the owner was found dead. The husband said he was asleep, the butler said he was cleaning the car, the gardener said she was picking vegetables, the maid said she was collecting the mail, and the cook said she was preparing breakfast. Who committed the crime?
The maid - you don’t get any mail on Sunday.
10. A man was shot in his car. There are no gunpowder residues on his clothing, no bullet holes in the windows of the car, and the doors and windows are all locked. How was he shot?
The car was a convertible - the murderer popped the top and then popped it back on again.

Funny Detective Riddles (with Answers)

Funny Detective Riddles Image

It’s not all doom and gloom when it comes to solving mysteries and being an ace detective – you can have a bit of fun with it all as well. 

So let’s jump right into these funny detective riddles with answers and have a bit of a light-hearted refresher from the murder mayhem in the previous round!

1. A killer told a detective that he would commit his next crime in the only place in Paris that you couldn’t see the Eiffel Tower. How did the detective end up catching him?
The criminal was hiding in the Eiffel Tower itself.
2. Why was the detective’s wife furious when he arrived home at 9:30 when he said he’d arrive home at 9:30?
Because she thought it would be 9:30 PM, and he turned up at 9:30 AM!
3. Why did a woman call the police over a man who knocked on her door and claimed that he thought the room was his?
If it was his room, he wouldn’t have knocked.
4. How did the lady know exactly who the man was who had just started working at her office without ever meeting him before?
She is close friends with his twin brother.
5. An adventurer finds a chest of treasure guarded by a pirate who offers him a red key, a blue key, and a gold key. Only one of them can open the treasure chest, and he only has one chance to choose the right key. Behind the pirate, he sees a ciper reading ‘TGK HOE ELY DEN.’ Which key does he choose?
The gold key - rearrange the letters in the cipher, and it says ‘the golden key’.
6. Two chickens were found dead on the farm. What does the detective suspect?
Fowl play
7. A crime was committed in the middle of a forest, which left the police stumped. Who did it?
A tree!
8. A policeman found a dead person in the middle of the desert. There were no footprints around him. Who would be the prime suspect?
Someone in a wheelchair
9. There were three men swimming in the sea. When the coastguard called them into the beach, only two of the men had wet hair. Why?
The third man was bald.

Scenario Detective Riddles (with Answers)

Scenario Detective Riddles Image

All the best detective stories have a great backdrop to them. 

So with this next selection of detective riddles and answers, we’ll set the scene for you and see if you can figure out who did it. 

See how well you can solve these detective riddles that have a story behind them too.

1. Two senators meet in a bar and start drinking vodka tonics with ice. One of the senators knocks them back like there is no tomorrow, but the other senator takes his time and sips his drink slowly. Suddenly, he drops down dead. Why?
The ice cubes in the vodka tonics were poisoned - the first senator drank his too quickly for the poison to affect him, whereas the ice cube melted in the second senator’s drink
2. A man is marooned on a desert island. One day, the wind starts blowing from the west, and lightning causes a fire to start in the forest. Cliffs surround the island, so the man can’t escape. What does he do?
He starts a fire in the east of the island and shelters there once it has burnt out.
3. A wealthy woman lived in a completely circular home. One morning, she is found dead in the front yard. A detective comes along and asks the staff questions. The driver says he was washing the car, the maid says she was hoovering in the corners, and the cook says she was preparing lunch. Who is guilty?
The maid - there aren’t any corners in a circular house.
4. Marta visits her friend Elisa but finds her dead in her house. The police question Marta as to why she thinks Elisa is dead, and how she found out, and she says that she knocked on the door and the window, and when she saw a light on, she breathed on the iced glass to see in. The police arrest Marta for murder. Why?
Both sides of the glass would have been frozen, so she wouldn’t have been able to see in at all.
5. A body is found at the bottom of a high-rise block of flats. To the untrained eye, it looks as if the person had taken their own life. The investigating detective goes to each floor and finds the window looking out to where the body is. He flips a coin when he opens each window. Once he has done this on every floor, he deduces that it wasn’t suicide. Why?
None of the windows were open. If the person jumped, who closed the window?
6. A king with no queen, sons, or daughters decides to work out a way of choosing his next in line. He gives all the children in the kingdom a single seed and says that whoever has the largest, most beautiful plant will inherit his throne. When the day comes, all the children present gargantuan plants, but he decides to choose a little girl with an empty plant pot as his successor. Why?
He gave all the children fake seeds which wouldn’t grow - this little girl was the only one who didn’t pretend the seed grew.
7. Once upon a time, an evil witch kidnapped three married women and turned them into rose bushes. One of the women, who had children, begged the witch to go and see her husband, and the witch agreed. She took the woman to her home and returned her to her rose bush state the next morning. Little did she know that the husband was following, and he decided to rescue his wife. He looked at the three identical rose bushes and suddenly knew which one was his wife. How?
The rose bush that was his wife didn’t have any of the night’s dew on the leaves.
8. A queen had a bowl of golden apples in her court which were her most treasured possession. One day, one of the apples went missing. She gathered all the members of court together and told them that the way she would discover the robber was by having them all touch a rusty pot with a rooster in with the lights off. The rooster would then crow when the robber touched the rusty pot. However, the rooster didn’t crow throughout the whole court, touching the rusty pot. Despite this, the queen knew who had stolen the apple. How?
By touching the pot, the members of the court would end up with rust on their hands. The robber would have been too scared to touch the pot in case the rooster crowed, so he wouldn’t have any rust on his hands.

Detective Riddles for Kids 

If you’ve enjoyed trying to solve these detective riddles and fancy trying out some more, then have a look at these other riddles:

We hope you enjoyed this batch of detective riddles with answers and that you now feel like Sherlock Holmes having solved them all! 

Why not try these detective riddles out on your friends and family – they’ll be sure to be baffled!

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Read all the articles (50) written by Archika Gupta