Saturday, 27 October 2007

Who Killed George Hargrave?

Last night I presented a Victorian Murder Mystery evening as part of the centenary celebrations of Eccles Library. The library was the gift of Andrew Carnegie and it is an impressive place; pictures of famous writers of the past gazed down on me and the members of the Barton Theatre Company, who formed the cast of suspects.

The quest to solve the puzzle of who did bump off George Hargrave has attracted a lot of interest ever since the first performance back in 2004. Last night the library was filled to capacity and that isn’t unusual. I guess that people enjoy the interactive element, and the chance to win prizes, and so more tend to come along than might attend a conventional talk. It’s a good way to reach out to a fresh group of prospective readers.

It’s always fun to read the solutions to the mystery put forward by members of the audience – some of the explanations are brilliantly ingenious, even if wide of the mark. The best detective in Eccles proved to be a suitably delighted Irene Smith.

One more Victorian event is planned before the end of the year – at the Dudson Museum in the Potteries, a setting that sounds to be full of character. A number of venues have asked me to come up with another murder mystery event along similar lines so that they can run a repeat performance. And on the way home from Eccles, I had the glimmering of an idea….

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