The Strange Case of the Sanguineous Stump – Murder Mystery evening

Last Friday I went to a murder mystery evening in Reading organised as part of the Reading Festival Of Crime Writing 2011.

The story:

Sol Joel, owner of the mansion at Maiden Earlegh, diamond merchant, horse race owner and cricket enthusiast was devastated. Firstly his uncle had fallen off a ship in mysterious circumstances, then his brother had been murdered in his office and now he was staring at the body of the England cricket captain sprawled on the floor of the dressing room with a cricket stump protruding from his chest. Thus began the series of strange events that was to become known as ‘The Case of the Sanguineous Stump’

It’s surprising that I, an avid reader and watcher of all crime dramas, have never been to a murder mystery evening before, but I don’t think I’ve come across one near me before. I didn’t really know what to expect and dragged some housemates along saying it’s doing ‘something different to normal’ and ‘I’m sure it’ll be fun’.

The evening was great and I didn’t realise how quickly the three hours had passed. The actors were fantastic and just enough over the top. The main character – Solomon Joel – wore an amazingly big moustache that he used to perfection and there was a lot of overacting that fit perfectly. Minor problems were that there wasn’t enough time to question the suspects, but this could have been due to the amount of people that turned up.

Throughout this evening I learned a few things:

  • I am really competitive, much much more than I thought I was.
  • If I ever attend a murder mystery evening again I will have to make sure to be there plenty of time in advance to get familiar with the surroundings and have the option to read the material about the actors.
  • I seem to enjoy talking in front of people seeing I volunteered to read a small part.
  • Moustaches are funny.
  • Murder mysteries are indeed fun and different to normal.
  • I overcomplicate matters a lot. We had guessed the killer, but we then thought it would have been too obvious and decided on someone else.
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