Ben Slythe

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The Totalist Books

Coming soon...

A new series of detective stories, filled with puzzles and challenges.

The first book in the series is called Terminus Place. Please check here for information on release dates.


Valentine Lake is the totalist, a man of extraordinary knowledge and curiosity, a man who can offer remarkable insights into challenging problems. He’s also lacking in social skills, blunt to the point of misanthropy and extremely difficult to work with.

Kate Bennett is a television journalist and presenter. She’s beautiful and resourceful, charismatic and driven. The viewers of her show assume she’s merely decoration for the set, but she knows she can investigate the toughest of problems. She can find the stories and make the contacts and she can focus Lake’s formidable mind on the problems, and mend the chaos left behind him.

The two have become friends and make a very capable team indeed.


The Totalist Books have one principle that sets them apart from many detective stories. No relevant facts are concealed from the reader so every puzzle can be solved alongside the characters. The solutions may be difficult but they are on the page, all the way through.

The books are set in London and are classic detective stories, not police investigations but dilettante enthusiasts who wield their brains like weapons. Each book contains a large number of different puzzles and problems, each critical to solving the case.


In the spirit of the Totalist, here’s a little riddle to solve. There are no prizes and the answer is very obscure, so just for fun...

What is this?

According to Cope it had a neck like a rope
and at the end of its tail was a mouth.
Marsh, a great thinker, said Cope was a Drinker
and it didn’t face North, but due South.

If you found the answer then really, really well done, it’s just about as difficult as riddles get.

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