Greetings, Detective, and welcome to Newark!

We’re so glad you’re here.

As you will be well aware from the letter I sent you, Barry the Bookworm has mysteriously disappeared – and the circumstances look like a kidnapping.

We need to recruit people to find out who took him prisoner, and how they managed it so that we can get him back in time to celebrate our "Play at the Castle" Day together on Sunday 14th of July!

Can we count on you and your most trusted companions?

To help you with the investigation, we’ve had a few people offering us information about Barry's whereabouts but this mission is top secret!

Because of this, we don’t want them to hear what each other is saying, you’ll have to visit a few different places to gather all the clues.

But remember, Detective, people rarely tell the truth all the time. We think it’s a safe assumption that there will be two truths and one lie in every statement you receive. It’s important to note, though, that only the truths will be repeated, because those who are lying can’t sync up their stories.

Can you match up the truths in order to find out who committed this awful crime, where it took place, and with what weapon?  

The game is afoot

Yours faithfully,

Newark Book Festival Team x

How to take part in the Crack the Code: Detective Trail

  1. Read the letter we've left for you to get started.
  2. Make your generous donation to Newark Book Festival (we suggest £1 per person taking part).
  3. Get prepared by downloading and printing the clue sheet, or use the digital form to add in your answers as you go along.
  4. Choose your starting location, making note of individual venue opening and closing times.
  5. Follow the trail around Newark, going from location to location to find out the real truths about who and what was involved in the crime, and where it took place.
  6. Submit your answer using the digital form, by emailing your completed clue sheet to, or during the festival (11th - 14th July) at Newark Town Hall.

Correctly discover where Barry the Bookworm has been kept prisoner and we'll add you to the prize draw! All participants will be emailed a certificate of completion.

Choose your starting location

Crack The Code Venue Board
Governors House Newark


Governor's House

23-24 Stodman Street, NG24 1AW

Open: Monday - Saturday 9am - 4pm


Starbucks Coffee Newark



17-18 Market Place, NG24 1EA

Open: Monday - Saturday 7.30am - 6pm, Sunday 8.30am - 4.30pm


Buttermarket, Newark

Billiard Room

Let's Xscape

Unit 16, The Buttermarket, NG24 1BF

Open: Wednesday 12am - 2pm, Thursday 6.30pm - 10.30pm, Friday 10am - 2pm, Saturday 10am - 5pm


Tambo Lounge Buttermarket, Newark


Tambo Lounge

27 Middle Gate, The Buttermarket, NG24 1AL

Open: Sunday - Thursday 9am - 11pm, Friday & Saturday, 9am - midnight.


St Mary Magdalene Church, Newark


St. Mary Magdalene's Church

Church Walk, NG24 1JS

Open: Monday - Saturday 9.30am - 4pm


Newark Art Gallery and Studio


Newark Art Gallery & Studio

42A Kirk Gate, NG24 1AB

Open: Tuesday - Saturday 9am - 4.30pm


Palace Theatre Newark


Palace Theatre

Appleton Gate, NG24 1JY

Open: Tuesday - Saturday 10am - 4pm


Oxfam Bookshop Newark


Oxfam Bookshop

18 Carter Gate, NG24 1UB

Open: Monday - Thursday 9am - 4pm, Friday 9am - 3pm, Saturday 9am - 5pm


Beanblock Newark



Unit 24, 15 St. Mark's Place, NG24 1XT

Open: Monday - Tuesday 9.30am - 2pm, Wednesday 9.30am - 5pm, Thursday 9.30am - 2pm, Friday 9.30am - 3pm, Saturday 9.30am - 2.30pm

Kingsman Interiors Newark


Kingsman Interiors

The Old Christ Church, Lombard Street, NG24 1XP

Open: Monday - Friday 9.30am - 4.30pm, Saturday 9.20am - 5pm


Gannets Cafe Newark

Dining Room

Gannets Café

35 Castle Gate, NG24 1AZ

Open: Sunday - Monday 8.30am - 4pm, Saturday 8.30am - 5pm


Newark Town Hall


Newark Town Hall Museum and Art Gallery

Market Place, NG24 1DU

Open: Wednesday - Friday 10.30am - 1pm, Saturday 10.30am - 3.30pm