My first murder mystery

I’ve always been a fan of mysteries whether it’s the classic whodunnit where the killer is revealed during the parlor scene or the thriller where a plot twist reveals that the murderer wasn’t whom everyone suspected. I always wanted to be a part of a murder mystery dinner party and I got a chance to do so last weekend.

My friends Amye and Kurto were having a murder mystery party at their apartment. The theme was a 1940s circus theme.

Reflecting on covering girls’ swimming where everyone played a role at the circus. You had the eccentric ring master, the bumbling magician (Kurto), the fraudulent fortune teller, a snake charmer (played by Jane) the strong man, the bearded lady who was married to the strong man, a groundskeeper, an acrobat, a bar matron (Amye) a spectator and me – the lion tamer. It worked well because Amye and Kurto adopted a stray kitten named Bruce and I had the little guy play one of my lions.

Getting the costume wasn’t easy but with $40, some rope and a blanket I managed. It was a classic murder scene: Romeo the star of the circus was slain at the hands one of one of the workers. Some of the characters’ motives for wanting to murder Romeo were simple. The man was involved with several of the female – and some male – characters.

The motives of the other characters were different.My character thought Romeo was good looking though the star wouldn’t give my lion tamer the time of day. It didn’t say my character was in love with Romeo and I was supposed to be jealous of the barmaid – which made for some funny comments – but sympathetic for the acrobat, who was also spurned by Romeo. During the night my character got increasingly drunk – which the Samuel Adams’ Oktoberfest help with – and my speech was slurred. I went from trying to immitate Severus Snape to being Mark Hamill’s Joker. I also had to keep reminding myself to not flirt with the snake charmer and the barmaid.

In the end we learned it was the strong man who murdered Romeo. Apparently the star wanted the strong man, who refused his advances. When Romeo threatened to ruin his life, the strong man crushed him. After it was over Kurto thanked Amye for a “homophobic mystery.”

All in all I had a good time at the event. I met some new people and I got to be in the middle of a mystery. My 30th birthday is coming up soon and I’ve thought about hosting my own murder mystery. Maybe even a western or a superhero theme.

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About Al Stover

I graduated from Eastern Washington University with a bachelor's degree in journalism. I currently work as a Staff Reporter for the Cheney Free Press. I have interviewed characters like cage fighters, drag queens and dungeon masters. I like Batman, coffee, MMA and beer.

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