At Murder to Measure we believe that our mysteries should be fun for all, but also that they should be solvable by those who pay attention and think logically about all that they have seen and heard during their dinner. At the heart of our stories is a logical plot, but even if you’d rather just go with the flow and enjoy some unpredictable hijinks, we want to ensure that the characters and events are fun to interact with.
Often, therefore, the suspects are fairly recognizable stereotypes with plenty of eccentricities and foibles, and even the nastiest sorts are engaging souls who want to show off their character to the general public. If you want to make the most of an evening in the company of potential murderers, talk to them, probe them and find what makes them tick. You may intrigue, attract or even annoy them, but if you find their weak spots or predilections you’ll usually be rewarded with a few juicy tit-bits to help you make sense of the events.
At Murder Towers we love the challenge of being asked to write stories to a specific theme. Sometimes these themes require a lot of research followed by extensive head-scratching trying to fit everything we’ve learned into a coherent yet amusing plot. One group asked for a story involving “Superheroes trapped in a bad 80s Disco”, and we’ve yet to be asked to do anything quite so unusual, but we’d happily rise to the challenge.
Sometimes, however, stories almost write themselves. We’ve written a number of new plots for one of our regular venues, The Gallery in Chard, and recently, to celebrate Bastille Day, they asked us to produce a story based around the BBC sitcom, ‘Allo ‘Allo. To those unfamiliar with the programme, it’s a spoof of any number of French Resistance dramas, most obviously Secret Army, and features a host of idiosyncratic characters and unlikely occurrences which centre around a café which has become the somewhat reluctant hub of defiance against Nazi occupation.
From the hapless, but seemingly sexually irresistible café owner, René via the spy posing as a policeman whose French could be better, through to Gestapo officer, Herr Flick, the characters are sit so well in the comedy murder mystery genre that it becomes relatively straight-forward to use them to inspire a similar story involving hidden contraband, explosions and secret dealings where death could occur at any moment.
It was fun to write and even more fun to perform, as over-the-top accents and acting are de rigeur with such a story. As ever, with any new story, you see ways of making it better as the night wears on, but the guests loved it and we left with a buzz.