Don’t you just love that title? I’m sure it’s been used before…several times, but for my second murder mystery evening, it was perfect!
In October of 2008, about 20 people were encouraged to come in costume to solve a murder. Guests came dressed in a tuxedo, in a red velvet cape, in clown outfits, and more.
This was the description I used to entice people to attend:
It’s as if a Phantom were on the loose. Right before our very eyes Inspector Radische died. Has he been poisoned? Was he struck down by a bullet or some other nefarious projectile? His Harlequin costume hides the truth of his murder as the killer hides behind a mask!
The setting took place at a duchess’ estate where she was giving a masquerade ball in honor of a candidate for prime minister. The Inspector was killed during a blackout in place of the seemingly intended target: the prime minister.
A key plot element involved a rose boutonniere. One of the clues suggested that a blowgun was used to commit the crime during a brief blackout, but a single thorn (laced with poison) turned out to be the actual weapon, which in turn pointed to the true killer’s identity.
This original mystery, like the first one I hosted, wasn’t based on any plot idea or story I’d previously worked on, but I have considered using it as either a short story or novel in my Mysteries of Syracuse series. In fact, I’ve long had the idea for a political murder mystery set in Syracuse during the McCarthy era that might be suitable.