L Inline Peepers

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What is Peepers?

The board game Peepers plays a significant role in the Sophie Hannah novel, The Killings at Kingfisher Hill. But what do we know about it?

The First Mention of Peepers

"I found myself looking at an excessive number of the tiniest words I had ever seen on a page. ‘What is this?’ I asked. ‘A set of instructions? For what?’
‘Turn it over, Catchpool.’
I did so.
‘Now do you see? Yes, instructions. Rules. The rules of a game played with a board and a number of round discs
with eyes on them—the game of Peepers!’
‘Eyes? Human eyes, or the letter “I”?’
‘Eyes, Catchpool.’
Poirot fluttered his own open and closed."

By sharing a (pretend) liking for the game, Hercule Poirot and Inspector Catchpool have been invited to the Kingfisher Hill estate, where they will take up a genuine, though secret, investigation.

Followers of Peepers

Poirot's hosts at Kingfisher Hill can barely contain their excitement for Peepers:

"They don’t understand our passion for our little baby. They say things like, “It’s only a game,” but we know different—right, gentlemen? With me and Sidney and the two of you all being just nuts about Peepers, we’re going to have ourselves a ball!’"

Sophie Hannah explained that she wanted to reflect that the game didn't succeed: "I wanted readers to twig that this game wasn’t one they’d heard of, so they’d know that it had ultimately failed in its promise to become the best game (and beat Monopoly - which I don't love playing)."

The Rules of Peepers

The rules, and exact nature of the game are never revealed, but we do know a few details...

  • The rules are complex
  • The minimum game players are two
  • The game has a board, and a number of round discs with eyes on them
  • It is unlikely to be a large board game, as Poirot has been able to pack it into his luggage
  • It is not like chess
  • It is not like Monopoly

Sophie Hannah told us that "One of the reasons Peepers doesn’t have a list of rules is that it is SO HARD to invent a game." This got us thinking...

There must be someone out there, puzzling like us, about a game Poirot himself deems difficult to understand!

So we're giving readers the chance to create their own rules, and share ideas on how a game of Peepers should be played. Simply fill in the form below, with as many (or as few) details as you like. We can't wait to read your entries!


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