18 Murder Mystery Riddles for Amateur Sleuths

True crime is all the rage these days, with people loving nothing more than watching, reading, or listening to tales about real-life murders and crimes. We all wish we could be a detective tasked with trying to figure out who the killer is or how a crime was pulled off. Well, now you can test your amateur sleuth skills without having to leave the couch thanks to a slew of murder mystery riddles flooding the internet. 

These challenging puzzles and mysteries put your deduction skills to the ultimate test as you try and solve the murder mystery. These fun riddles are designed to make you think outside the box and often center on scenarios revolving around a murder, with you having to find out the who, what, why, and where of everything that happened to the victim. 

Figuring out these riddles is as satisfying as watching a true crime documentary or reading the latest detective novel in your favorite series. These murder mystery riddles engage your brain on another level and will put your problem-solving abilities to the ultimate test. Nothing beats putting together the pieces from the clues offered and cracking the case. 

These mystery riddles are great brain teasers that can be completed solo or in a group setting with friends and family. So grab your magnifying glass, get your mind ready, put on your best Sherlock Holmes impression, and see how many of these murder mystery riddles you can solve. 

18 Murder Mystery Riddles for Amateur Sleuths

1. Science Case



Riddle: A chemist was murdered in his own lab one night. The only evidence was a piece of paper that had the names of several chemical substances written on it. The substances were nickel, carbon, oxygen, lanthanum, and sulfur. The chemist only had three people come by his lab on the day of his murder: fellow scientist Claire, his nephew Nicolas, his wife Sarah, and his friend Marc. The police arrested the murderer right away. How did they know who it was?

Answer: There was a very obvious clue on the piece of paper. If you combine the abbreviations of the chemical substances on the paper, you get the name Nicolas (Ni-C-O-La-S).

2. The Cassette Tape


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Riddle: A man was found dead in his apartment. When the police came, they saw a cassette recorder in his left hand and a gun in his right. The police officer pressed the play button on the cassette. In the tape, the man said, “I can’t live anymore. I don’t have anything else to live for, I’m done!” and then the sound of a gunshot. As soon as the cassette ended, the officer knew it was not a suicide but a murder. How did he come to this conclusion?

Answer: If it had been a suicide, how is the cassette recorder playing from the start? Someone else rewind the tape and kept it there.

3. Adrian’s The Killer



Riddle: A man named Adrian went on a hiking trip with his fiancé Lisa and his best friend Ben. Soon after, both Lisa and Adrian were found dead at the bottom of a cliff. Both were fully dressed in warm clothes, including several layers of jackets, mittens, woolen trousers, and hiking boots.

The police interrogated Ben to know what exactly happened. Ben told the police that Adrian and Lisa had a big fight and Adrian got so angry he picked up a rock and smashed it on Lisa’s head. Ben continued, “Then Adrian threw her off the cliff. But when he turned around, he saw me and got so startled that he also jumped off the cliff.”

The police found the rock which Ben said Adrian used to hit Lisa and sent it to the lab. The lab test confirmed Adrian’s fingerprints on the rock. Still, the police arrested Ben. Why?

Answer: If Adrian was wearing mittens, how did his fingerprints end up on the rock? Ben was lying and was the one who killed both Lisa and Adrian.

4. Jessica’s Killer



Riddle: A lady named Jessica was found dead in her house one morning. The police have already got a list of five suspects – Marcus, Nancy, Kevin, Sheena, and John. The killer has left notes at various places in the house as hints and police are studying them. The first note was in the makeup room. The second note was found in the art room. The third one in the restroom. The fourth in the compound. The fifth in the underwater room and the final note in the shared room.

All of the hints have only one line written on them – “The clues are where you find the notes.” Still, nothing was found in the rooms. Can you help the police?

Answer: The clue is the first letter of the rooms where clues were found. Makeup room. Art room. Restroom. Compound. Underwater room. Shared room. Hence, the killer is Marcus

5. Suicide or Not?


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Riddle: A dead female body lies at the bottom of a multistory building. It looks as though she committed suicide by jumping from one of the floors. When the detective arrives, he goes to the first floor of the building, opens the closed window, and flips a coin toward the floor. He goes to the second floor and does the exact same thing. He continues to do this until he gets to the top floor of the building. When he comes back down, he states that it was a murder and not a suicide. How does he know that?

Answer: She couldn’t have jumped from any of the floors because when the detective went to each floor, all of the windows were closed.

6. Making Tracks



The cops found a dead man lying in the snow. They saw the tracks of a footprint pair in between two parallel lines a few feet away from the dead body. Who should be on their radar as a possible suspect?

Answer: A person in a wheelchair.

7. Poisonous Drinks


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Riddle: Marissa and Juliana went out for drinks together. They ordered the same drink. Juliana was really thirsty and finished five in the time it took Marissa to finish one. The drinks were poisoned, but only Marissa died. How?

Answer: The poison was in the ice. Since Marissa’s ice had time to melt, she was poisoned but Juliana wasn’t. 

8. Love At a Funeral


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Riddle: A girl was attending the funeral of her mother. While there she met a nice guy that she didn’t know who also was at the funeral and they hit it off. She was busy at the funeral and didn’t have time to ask him for his number before he left. She tried really hard to track him down, but no one knew who he was or how to contact him. A few days later her sister dies and the police believe it’s a murder. Who killed her sister?

Answer: She killed her sister. She was hoping that if someone else in her family died, the man she met at her mother’s funeral would show up again.

9. Rich Man’s Murderer


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Riddle: A wealthy man was found dead in his room on a Sunday morning. His wife called the police and explained the scenario. The police came and investigated the man’s wife and his staff. They gave the following responses when asked where they were when the murder occurred: 

Wife – “I was sleeping.”
Butler – “I was cleaning the closet.”
Maid – “I was getting the mail.”
Cook – “I was preparing breakfast.”
Gardener – “I was picking fresh vegetables from the garden.”

After their interrogation, police arrested the murderer. Who was it and how did they find out?

Answer: It was the maid. There is no mail on the weekend. 

10. Pill Popper


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Riddle: A killer gives his victims two pills to play a game. One of the pills is a vitamin pill, and the other is deadly. The victims choose one pill and gulp it down with a glass of water, and the killer swallows the other at random, yet every one of the victims dies. How?

Answer: The water is poisoned.

11. Honeymoon Mystery



Riddle: A couple went to Hawaii for their honeymoon. Unfortunately, the husband returned home alone because his wife had died in a horrible boating accident. The police contacted the travel agent he booked the trip with and arrested him for murdering his wife. How did they know he did it?

Answer: After chatting with the travel agent he revealed that the husband had only booked a one-way ticket for his wife.

12. Murder At School



Riddle: On the first day of school, someone murdered a history teacher. There were four people at the school that the police suspected had done it: the landscaper, a math teacher, a basketball coach, and the principal. These were their alibis:

The landscaper said he was outside mowing the lawn.

The math teacher said he was giving a mid-year test.

The basketball coach said he was running practice drills with his players.

The principal said she was in her office.

After giving their alibies, the police arrested the killer immediately. Who killed the history teacher and how did the police know?

Answer: The math teacher killed the history teacher. He claimed that he was giving a mid-year test, but it was the first day of school.

13. Hangman


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Riddle: A man is found hanging in a room four feet off the floor. There is nothing else in the room except for a large puddle of water below him. The police do not see anything the man would have climbed on to hang himself. Did he commit suicide and, if so, how did he do it?

Answer:  He stood on a block of ice and put the noose around his neck. Once the ice melted, he was hung, and all that was left was a puddle of water on the floor.

14. Poisoned Apple



Riddle: A man invited his friend for dinner, and they both had a meal of mashed potatoes and chicken nuggets. For dessert, he cut an apple in half and gave one to the man, and ate the same apple’s other half. How did his friend die?

Answer: Only one side of the knife was poisoned.

15. Wife Killer


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Riddle: A man killed his wife, and even though people watched him do so, no one could accuse him of the murder of his wife. Why?

Answer: The was an executioner and his wife was receiving the death penalty. 

16. Guilty in Court



Riddle: A woman was standing trial for killing her husband. She said she wasn’t guilty and that she dearly missed him. In the closing statement, the woman’s lawyer stands up and says, “Her husband was just missing. Everyone look at the doors. He’s going to walk through them in about 30 seconds.”

The entire jury turned and stared at the doors waiting for the woman’s husband to walk through the doors. The lawyer and the woman stared at the jury. The lawyer concluded by saying, “See! If you were so sure she killed her husband, you wouldn’t be watching that door!”

The jury immediately gave a guilty verdict. Why?

Answer: The woman was watching the jury and not the doors because she knew that her husband wouldn’t walk through them because she really had killed him. If she missed him as much as she claimed, she would have been watching the doors and not the jury. 

17. Horrible Morning 



Riddle: A man eats dinner, goes up to his bedroom, turns off the lights, and goes to sleep. In the morning he wakes up and looks outside and is horrified at what he sees. He then jumps through his window to his death. Why does he do this?

Answer: The man was a lighthouse operator. When he went to bed he turned off his lights for the entire lighthouse. When he woke up in the morning, he saw a ship has crashed into the land, causing a major disaster. Unable to go on, he decided to take his own life.

18. Who Shot the Wife?


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Riddle: A man entered his house and was about to hang up his coat when he heard his wife shout, “No John! Don’t do it!” There was a shot and the man could hear his wife fall to the ground. When he entered the kitchen, he saw his wife and the gun lying on the floor. There was a police officer, a doctor, and a lawyer standing next to her. Who killed the man’s wife and how did the man know who it was?

Answer:  The man knew it was the police officer as he had on his name badge that read John.