An invitation to polish your magnifying glasses and solve a festive fictional mystery online is being offered as part of a campaign to celebrate the BBC’s 100 Novels That Shaped Our World.

Local crime writer Rachel Ward has written a murder mystery plot commissioned by Bath & North East Somerset Council’s libraries team that is set in Bath, Keynsham and Midsomer Norton.

The story is called ’12 Days of Murder – A Festive Fatality’ and one clue will be released online each day on the library’s social media channels and blog.

Residents over the age of 16 can join in virtually to work out ‘whodunnit’ and there will be a prize for the winner.

The online story is part of the libraries’ celebration of 100 Novels That Shaped Our World, put together by the BBC as a list of the top 100 novels that leading writers, curators and critics chose as having an impact on their lives. The campaign is supported by Libraries Connected and funded by Arts Council England.

The clues for the story will begin to be unveiled on December 7 and the ‘murderer’ will be revealed on December 24.

Councillor Paul Crossley, cabinet member for Community Services, said: “It’s really exciting that a great local writer has written an intriguing ‘whodunnit’ just for people in Bath and North East Somerset, using our city and towns as the virtual setting. Escaping into a good tale or a great novel is really important for wellbeing, so I’d encourage people to log on and join in. It’s really going to get your brain buzzing trying to solve those clues and who knows, you might be the winning detective!”

Rachel Ward is a writer from Bath who currently writes crime novels, the Ant and Bea Mysteries, set in and around the fictional town of Kingsleigh, which bears a close resemblance to Keynsham. She said: “It’s been a joy to write this special murder mystery for Bath and North East Somerset. There are quiz questions and a murder plot to unravel, and I hope that residents will enjoy this bit of festive fun with a bookish twist.”

Read more about the BBC 100 Novels that Shaped our World

The libraries team is also offering something for the under-16s this winter season with the Winter Reading Challenge to keep children and young people reading over Christmas. Visit www.wintermini.org.uk

Follow the libraries on social media:

Twitter: @bathnesL

Facebook: @BathnesLibraries1

Instagram: @bathnes_libraries

Blog: http://bathneslibraries.wordpress.com

For more details on library services currently on offer, follow this link https://beta.bathnes.gov.uk/library-and-information-services