Hi everyone I'm wondering if anyone could help me find a set of books I used to take out of my local library years ago, I'm guessing the early 90's.

Sadly I don't remember that much about them, they feautured double page, fantasy style illustrations of monsters and deadly traps with little clues hidden in the drawings of ways to survive the dangers. I seem to remember a monkey being on every page? He also may have wore a wizard hat but I'm not sure.

I do remember a few of the illustrations, there was one with several skeletons littering the ground but all but one was inhuman (you had to find the human one I believe).

There was another with a giant spider that had tied up lots of people with web, you had to find a knife hidden in the drawing.

There was another with several monsters climbing a tower or a castle, you had to find hidden arrows to shoot at them.

The last one I remember was a slime type monster that the answer to solving it was pulling a chain attached to a loose brick in the wall to bring the cieling down on it.

I hope anyone can shed some light on this because it's honestly driving me crazy!

Thanks all!


Just to put this question to bed, it was indeed The Castle of Fear by Patrick Burston and illustrated by Alastair Graham :D I got it back in the post today and it was pretty surreal looking at it after over 20 years.

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If it's Graeme Base's "11th Hour" I have this book (or more properly, my daughter does)


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  • This is certainly a puzzle book, but the puzzle in 11th Hour seems to be different than what the OP is asking about. This one revolves around who eat the big feast before the party participants could sit down to eat. None of the hidden illustrations that the OP references occur in this book. – Ellesedil Jan 21 '15 at 22:04
  • It's not that one :) I'm pretty sure it's The Castle of Fear and The Jungle of Peril. Judging by what I remember and the description of it I'm fairly certain it's those ones. I actually ordered The Castle of Fear online yesterday I'm just waiting for it to get back to me :D I bet it's not going to be as amazing as I remember as a kid haha. Thank you anyway! – David J Jan 23 '15 at 1:21

Are you guys talking about Puzzle Island?

I only mention it because it was a series that had clues hidden in the drawings and each was a double page fantasy style illustration, and most of the pages talked about the danger the narrator was in which is why you had to solve the puzzles. And it starts out with a puzzle that features a monkey. Actually going back to it now, many of the puzzles had monkeys on them prominently at least in the beginning of the book.

For people interested this is a book where you had to look in all the pictures and find the four animals hidden in it, if you needed help there were hints on the explanation page on the left hand side, both in the text and in an illustration. The illustration was framed by an alphabet on all four sides with missing letters which rearranged would spell the animal you needed to find.

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  • 2
    David J already put an answer up. But yours could be a valid answer, to help people looking for similar books, if you expand it out with an explanation of why your book fits the question. – FuzzyBoots Dec 20 '17 at 14:41

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