I’ve been trying (still!) to figure out the mystery for the murder mystery dinner. Apparently, sometime back in the 1920s, there was some sort of racehorse scandal around here, which I thought would be a fun basis for the mystery, but so far no one has been able to find the details, so I need to make them up.
The trouble is, I know nothing about horseracing (except what I’ve read in Dick Francis’s books). I do know that women wear fancy hats for the Kentucky Derby, though I don’t know why. (My research shows that no one else really knows why or how the Kentucky Derby hat craze started, either, though it could be because a Derby is also a hat and they extrapolated from that, or it could be that southern belles and society ladies wore hats to the Derby, and when television showed the hatted women to the world, others wanted to join in.)
Despite the hat/horseracing connection, my mystery won’t have anything to do with hats except that both actors and guests are dressing up in 1920s attire for the dinner, and hats were one of the definitive cultural aspects of the era.
Rural horseracing would probably be different than at the big tracks, but I don’t know that it would matter except that the jockey’s might be easier to get to in the smaller venues, which would add to the mystery.
I think it would be fun to have so many different people try to fix the race in question that it will be the slowest race in history, with every jockey trying to lose, but I’m afraid such a scenario might get too complicated for a mystery dinner. But maybe not. We have about a dozen people lined up who want to have parts, and we will be assigning roles to anyone else who wants to play, though most of those roles will be along the lines of having them to talk about their big winnings or maybe their bigger losses at the track.
Although the dinner won’t take place until February, the story needs to be done sooner so that plans can be made. Which means, I’m down to just a week to figure it all out. I suppose if it’s too complicated, the other members of the art guild (the group that’s putting on the dinner) will help me sort it out, but they can’t sort it out if I don’t have anything to present.
It sounds like I just talked myself into going with the complicated scenario.
Luckily, I don’t have to write a novel, just the scenario, a few conversations, a few instructions, and then it will be done. So simple!
Except for the part about sitting down and actually writing it.
Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.