...Born in Grey County, Ken began his career as a high school teacher. That led to a job as a professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Toronto, where he focused on special education. Many of the textbooks and teaching support materials
he wrote on the subject are still used in more than 60 countries.
As a teacher, Ken discovered that mysteries and puzzles were an excellent way to gain students’ attention, especially that of “slow learners.” The ones he developed caught the eye of his publisher, and the Five Minute Mysteries series was born.
Each book features a series of short, baffling whodunits with a clever solution that challenges readers’ sleuthing skills. A success from the start, the seven-book series wound up on several international best-seller lists, won numerous awards, and has
been featured in publications ranging from Reader’s Digest to Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine to the Russian version of Esquire and the Turkish version of Maclean’s. The books also landed him regular gigs as “Mystery Man” and “Professor
Trivia” on CBC radio and television.
With his appointment to Professor Emeritus in 1996, Ken began to pursue another passion. “When I was a kid, my dad had a hardware store,” he recalls, “and it was a real sitters’ palace. All the farmers from back in the day would come in and tell
their stories. Ever since then I’ve been fascinated by history.” Although he has no formal training as a historian, he is passionate about promoting Canadian heritage, insisting that rather than dry and dusty, it’s “actually very exciting.”...
Truth and Fantasy, Methuen (London), 1970.
Prose of Relevance, two volumes, Methuen, 1971.
(With Allan E. Eagle) Selling, McGraw (New York City), 1971.
Yes They Can, Methuen, 1974.
Thinklab, Science Research Associates (Palo Alto, CA), 1974.
Thinklab II, Science Research Associates, 1976.
Read and Think, two volumes, Methuen, 1977.
Yes They Can! A Practical Guide for Teaching the Adolescent Slow Learner, Methuen, 1978.
Insight: A Practical Approach to Language Arts, Books 1 and 2, Methuen, 1980. The Teacher Is the Key: A Practical Guide for Teachers of Adolescents with Learning Difficulties, Methuen, 1982.
(With Doris Cowan) Canadians All 4, Methuen, 1983.
(Editor) The Globe Modern Dictionary, Globe, 1984.
(Editor) The Puffin Canadian Beginner's Dictionary, Penguin, 1984.
Mental Gymnastics for Adults: Quintessential Quizzes, Puzzles, Mindbenders, and Other Trivia, Methuen, 1984.
Mental Gymnastics for Trivia Freaks and Puzzle Nuts, Beaufort Books (New York, NY), 1984.
(Editor with Alvin Granowsky) Fearon New School Dictionary, D.S. Lake Publishers, 1987.
Five Minute Mysteries, Running Press (Philadelphia), 1989.
More Five Minute Mysteries, Running Press, 1991, with cassette, 1996.
KIDZ Five Minute Mysteries, Running Press, 1994.
Further Five Minute Mysteries, Running Press, 1994.
Five Minute Trivia: Did the Corinthians Ever Write Back?, Stoddart Publications, 1995.
More KIDZ Five Minute Mysteries, Running Press, 1996.
Even More Five Minute Mysteries, Running Press, 1996.
Five Minute Challenge Number One, Stoddart (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1997. Five Minute Challenge Number Two, Stoddart (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1998. The Toilet Papers, Boston Mills Press (Erin, Ontario, Canada), 1999.
The Best Five-Minute Mysteries, Stoddart (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1999.
Five-Minute Mysteries 3: Another 40 Cases of Murder and Mayhem for You TO Solve, Firefly Books (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2004.
Cleverly Crafty 5 Minute Mysteries, Running Press (Philadelphia, PA), 2005. Five-Minute Mysteries, Minature Editions (Philadelphia, PA), 2005.
Five-Minute Halloween Mysteries, Running Press (Philadelphia, PA), 2007.
"Five Minute Mysteries have been translated into 22 languages."