Award-winning Portsmouth entrepreneur Jack Wells from Mystery Guides creates exciting puzzle advent calendar - Who Stole Santa's Christmas Pudding?

A UNIQUE advent calendar has been launched that encourages children to solve puzzles to find out who stole Santa’s Christmas pudding.

Promoted by Federation of Small Businesses
Thursday, 21st October 2021, 11:00 am

Founder of Mystery Guides Jack Wells, 35, from Eastney, loves puzzles and wanted to make something different for Christmas this year.

His popular books, including The Mystery of Nelson’s Stolen Diamonds, which takes participants on a puzzle-solving adventure around Portsmouth, are described as ‘the perfect blend of puzzles, history, and outdoor adventure’, but Jack wanted to create something that people could do at home.

He said: ‘People often buy my books for stocking fillers and I thought what other things do people buy at Christmas?

Founder of Mystery Guides, Jack Wells, at the Kings Theatre, Southsea. Picture: Chris Moorhouse

‘I thought about decorations for the tree, food and drink, but I decided on the advent calendar. If you’re going to get an advent calendar, why not get a puzzle one!

‘It’s designed for kids, around seven plus. My books are usually designed for adults, although kids also do them but they’re primarily aimed towards adults.’

The puzzle calendar has no numbers but instead clues behind each window that direct children to the next until Christmas Eve, when it’s revealed who stole Santa’s Christmas pudding and the reason why. There are also various puzzles on the back of the calendar which are involved in working out the daily clues.

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Founder of Mystery Guides, Jack Wells, at the Kings Theatre, Southsea. Picture: Chris Moorhouse

Used to the more straightforward process of making books, Jack said the new direction presented challenges due to the number of steps and different people involved in its production.

‘It’s been a bit out of my comfort zone,’ he said. ‘But it’s been good. Where it’s a small-run production, it’s bespoke so it’s a bit more expensive to produce as there’s a lot that goes into it.

‘Even VAT, postage, handling, packaging alone adds up to a lot. By the end I won’t make a lot of money from it but that’s not why I’m doing it.’

The calendar costs £14.99 including VAT and delivery, and the order deadline date is November 7, for delivery on November 19.

The new puzzle advent calendar by Mystery Guides. Picture: Chris Moorhouse

Jack is also releasing a beer and football themed puzzle book in a few weeks which he said is aimed towards parents. Participants will find clues to solve the mystery on the labels of the beer bottles included in the set.

Mystery Guides was this year’s ‘Start-up Business of the Year’ winner at The News’ Business Excellence Awards. To order an advent calendar and to find out more about Jack’s other projects, visit

Story by Sophie Murray

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