Apologies for a break in my Virtual Tour of the Solent Area and Beyond but this is one of my spontaneous off the peg posts!
It was the first weekend since Christmas that both of us felt well enough to entertain and so, needing some laughter, we invited some close friends to Waybak for a Murder Mystery evening. Taking my role as a maid in the plot, I was awake early on Saturday morning cleaning, setting the table and preparing the meal. You see, each part of the ‘game’ is played between three courses.
I sent my hubby off to the shops with a short shopping list. Not used to shopping for such things I had a phone call from him in the baking aisle. (don’t you hate it when people do that when you’re in a supermarket?)
‘How much do you mean by a small back of flour and brown sugar?’ he asked.
‘Oh, I need 150 grammes of each,’ I replied.
Half an hour later I couldn’t hide my mirth when he arrived home with one and a half kilogrammes of each. Is this a hint that I should be baking more often!
The instruction booklet gives you ideas for a suitable menu but I adapted it to
Leek and Potato Soup
(which I made on Thursday, ready to warm up)
(I made it more of a hot pot with potatoes sliced on top, cooked very slowly in the oven)
Ginger and Orange Steamed Pudding
(One of those you turn out on a plate and it’s grandly covered with syrupy slices of orange)
Lemon Meringue Pie
(The only part of the meal I bought)
As I busied myself in the kitchen doing tasks like covering the pudding basin with greaseproof paper, tying it with string to give it a handle and topping the pot up with water from time to time I was really getting into my part. I hadn’t made a steamed pudding on the stove in years.
Set in 1924 each person invited had been asked to dress as their character in an Agatha Christie murder. As they arrived I showed them into the parlour for us to introduce ourselves and the fun began. With two Americans (a rich tycoon and a poor step daughter) two French (a count and his current mistress) and two English (myself the maid and the Rt Honourable Lord Carrington) husband of the murdered lady) we took on our roles with enthusiasm and my quiet acquiescent manner as a maid was absolutely perfect for serving the courses between sessions of acting, long discussions and questioning.
It was to our amazement that it was approaching 10 pm, after we had all made our accusations, that we sat down to watch the video giving us the solution. I cannot tell you who the murderer was because, in true Agatha Christie style, that would give the game away but I can tell you that one of us was!
My mind also strayed occasionally to Norman Campbell, the man whose memoirs I have now completed, who would have been fifteen in 1924, just at the time his childhood sweetheart May went into service in a large house in Wimbledon. I felt such an affinity to May!
As an author, who is in the middle of writing my first murder mystery, it was also interesting to see how the decisions of each character was swayed by new nougats of evidence, as a reader might be. Too much information and the game would be given away too early. It was also fascinating to see how the ‘red herrings,’ the facts to mislead us, played out in the minds of each person present differently. Set in 1924, it was also perfect because it was the period I am researching for the third book in The Riduna Series.
A truly enjoyable evening was had by all and so much laughter has not been heard at Waybak for an age!