The cops called me to advise on a case in a McMansion at the corner of Kirk Street and Spock Avenue. Normally I don't work with the 5-0 (or the Colombo, for that matter) but they were insistent and my funds were low after I lost big on the gachas.

I entered the mansion and was greeted by the officer on duty. He took me over to a pair of people talking to other uniforms--one was a man so spindly Sleeping Beauty coulda pricked her finger on her, and a young woman who was mousier than Stuart Little.

My escort got everyone's attention. "This is Alex Playne, P.I.," said the cop to the unusual suspects, "We called him in due to his...expertise in the obscure fandom community."

"What I did with Lost Kingdoms in 2003 is between me and Kami," I barked, "What's the situation?"

"The murder victim," said the officer, "is Kiki Blorbo, award-winning fanfiction author, if you can believe that."

The spindly man spoke up. "Actually, she's best known for her trilogy of slowburn Teen Wolf romantic stories. Works of genius, all."

"I'm more fond of her fix-it Bones works..." breathed the girl.

The officer rolled his eyes. "These are Burt Comfort and Mary Sue. Comfort was downstairs for a visit when the body was discovered. Sue didn't know the victim personally, but was seen skulking around the house over the last week."

"I was just trying to find out about her next work!" Sue blurted.

"Blorbo was going to make an announcement tomorrow about her big next fan-novel," said the officer.

"I assume that she called me to tell me about it," interrupted Comfort.

"You know," I said, staring at the two suspects, "I think I know you two. I've read you two. Comfort, you've done some of the best Battleborn work out there, and Sue, your stories are a little bland, but I inexplicably like you."

I paused for effect. "Of course neither of you are very popular, are you? If you had Blorbo's next story...even just her notes...you could get popularity, acclaim...beyond your wildest dreams. Sounds good enough of a motive to me."

Sue turned bright red and attempted to hide behind her hands. Comfort became incensed, "That's the most insulting thing anyone has ever said to me!" he yelled. So I told him that his prose was pretentious, too.


A half an hour later I came down from Blorbo's writing room, the scene of the crime. Blorbo had been killed by blunt force, from a "Best Smutfic 2020" trophy at the scene. The place had been ransacked.

"There was a lot of old works, outlines, all that stuff," I said to the cops, Comfort and Sue nearby, "But nothing from her next work except a torn-apart notebook with the header 'Derek Stiles fanfiction.'"

Comfort scoffed. "Trauma Center fanfic in the year of our Lord 2022? I knew Kiki was losing her touch."

"But..." gasped Sue, "She wasn't going to continue her Dead by Daylight fic? I have to know if Evan and Kenneth end up together!!"

I turned to the cop who, like a bad writer, I had never established the name of. "Get the handcuffs ready--I know who did it."

Who killed Kiki Blorbo?


Old Sobol fans should have a good feel on how to solve this one.

Tip part II

...in that the key is that someone knows more than they should.

  • $\begingroup$ You've got "Kiki Blorba" in place of "Kiki Bouba" in one place. I assume it's just an error. (Though I'm surprised that anyone who would think to use that name would ever get it wrong, if you see what I mean.) $\endgroup$
    – Gareth McCaughan
    Oct 19, 2022 at 21:27
  • $\begingroup$ Also, "filched" is usually spelt that way. But maybe the title is a reference to something that requires the extra "t"? $\endgroup$
    – Gareth McCaughan
    Oct 19, 2022 at 21:28
  • $\begingroup$ Errors changed--it was a different reference. And irrelevant to the solution. Thanks! $\endgroup$
    – Exal
    Oct 20, 2022 at 0:10
  • $\begingroup$ So now they're almost all "Kiki Blorbo" but there's one "Bouba" 8 paragraphs from the end... :-) $\endgroup$
    – Gareth McCaughan
    Oct 20, 2022 at 2:32
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @GarethMcCaughan arrrgh :) $\endgroup$
    – Exal
    Oct 20, 2022 at 2:43

1 Answer 1


I think the killer is

Burt Comfort.

Given Kiki Blorbo's previous work, this person should have suspected that

"Derek Stiles" fanfiction referred to "Derek/Stiles," a ship between Derek Hale and Stiles Stilinski from Teen Wolf. A quick search shows that this is common terminology for this ship.

This is particularly suspicious becuase

Burt specifically referred to Kiki's Teen Wolf fiction.

So the only way that the killer could have known this is if

Burt read through her fanfiction and determined that Derek Stiles referred to the Trauma Center character.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Forgive my ignorance here... 'a ship between'? What does that mean in this context? (Thanks) $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Nov 17, 2022 at 9:11
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @Stiv "Shipping" is supporting and/or writing fanfiction for a particular fictional romantic relationship. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shipping_(fandom) $\endgroup$
    – Exal
    Nov 17, 2022 at 9:54

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