The Hippo


May 28, 2020








Windham Actors Guild presented a murder mystery last year in Windham. Courtesy photo.

Murder and Mayhem at the Library

Where: Pelham Public Library, 24 Village Green, Pelham
When: Friday, April 10, 7 p.m. 
Cost: $15 per ticket. May be purchased at the library prior to the event or at the door 

Murder in the stacks
Pelham library hosts murder mystery night

By Angie Sykeny

Do you think you could solve a murder? Put your detective skills to the test at the Pelham Public Library’s interactive murder mystery play, Murder and Mayhem at the Library, happening Friday, April 10, at 7 p.m. The play, sponsored by the Friends of the Library in Pelham, will be presented by the Windham Actors Guild.

“It’s kind of like mystery-solving in tandem with a stand-up comedy,” said Debera Lund, the show’s writer and director, and a performer. “And the theme is the history of the Town of Pelham.”
Lund was approached by FLIP after the Windham Actors Guild performed a similar play in Windham last year. FLIP asked if she would write a murder mystery specifically for the Pelham library with themes from Pelham history. Lund agreed and began doing research.
“[The library] was good about providing me with books, some books that you can’t find in the library because they are falling apart, they are so old.” she said. “It was a lot of dry reading of letters and newspaper articles … but I found my inspiration.”
The play revolves around four suspects and a detective. The suspects are all parodies of popular fiction characters. Diana “Sully” Sullivan is modelled after Dana Scully from the X-Files; Bob Langdon after Robert Langdon from The Da Vinci Code; Rhode Island Jones after Indiana Jones; and Lana Craft after Tomb Raider’s Lara Croft. The characters are brought together through a series of events based on true events from Pelham’s history.
Upon arrival, attendees will be invited to mingle and enjoy some light refreshments. Then, when a murder happens at the library, the detective, played by Lund, will ask everyone for help in solving the crime. People can work individually or in teams to interrogate the suspects. If a suspect walks away and leaves behind a personal item such as a coat or purse, attendees can search through it for clues. The librarians will be doing historical research that could help with the mystery and will provide the group with its findings throughout the evening.
“It’s not too difficult to solve if you’re paying attention, but there’s enough thinking involved that the real murder mystery buff isn’t going to feel cheated,” Lund said. “The biggest mistake a lot of people make is overthinking it.”
When the interrogations, clues and research have been exhausted, everyone will be asked to fill out a ballot stating who they think committed the crime and what the murderer’s motive was. Those who get both parts correct will receive certificates stating that they are officially amateur detectives.
Lund said she hopes the play will inspire others to learn about their own towns’ histories.  
“There’s a lot of fascinating stuff I found in the research,” she said. “It’s interesting to go back in time and then drive through town, knowing what you know.”
This event is the Pelham library’s third annual gala fundraiser. Each year has a different theme that showcases local artists and authors. Jane Beane, FLIP treasurer, said 50 to 75 attendees are expected this year.
“[The galas are] to celebrate our library, our town and our talented townspeople as well as to highlight the library for our grownups,” she said. “We wanted an event for them as well as all the events we do for children.”  
As seen in the April 9, 2015 issue of the Hippo.

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