Today in 1924 was the birthday of a mystery author known to millions of kids: Donald J Sobol, who wrote the Encyclopedia Brown series.


The 10 year old title character’s name was Leroy Brown, and he got his nickname Encyclopedia from knowing all sorts of unusual and obscure facts in the era way before the internet.

He used all that knowledge to solve mysteries in his hometown of Idaville, Florida, sometimes even solving crimes that his dad, the chief of police, couldn’t crack.

Sobol made each Encyclopedia Brown story just a few minutes long, and each case turned on one bit of information from the culprit that just wasn’t right.

Maybe the person claimed that they owned a Civil War artifact from 1875, and Encyclopedia would solve the case because he knew the Civil War ended in 1865.

In his dozens of books, Sobol created a world where kids could outwit adults, and not just Encyclopedia Brown, either.

His co-detective, Sally Kimball, would also solve a few of the mysteries, while also serving as the muscle of the detective agency.

Only she could fend off the town’s preeminent pre-teen troublemaker, Bugs Meany.

By the way, Sobol got the idea for Sally after watching the TV show “The Avengers.”

He figured if Diana Rigg’s character could be the judo expert, then Sally could be the main protector for the smart but conflict-averse Encyclopedia Brown.

And the series has inspired one of the great internet terms of our time: you may sometimes see users calling an online know-it-all “Wikipedia Brown.”


It’s National Taco Day, and just as there are different types of tacos, there are different records for the largest version of each taco.

The largest carnitas taco, made in Mexico in 2019, measured over 300 feet long and thousands of people helped eat it.

Who knows, someday knowing this fact might help you solve a mystery!

Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Mysterious Author (Crimereads)

Guinness confirms 102-meter taco is world’s largest (Mexico News Daily)

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