Murder Mystery Dinner Train

Scenario Description: Vicky has invited three friends to go to a tourist attraction in Fort Myers, Florida, USA.  They have just arrived at the ticket counter.  It is 5:30 pm.  (Website: ; introduction video available)

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NarratorVicky has invited three friends to go to a tourist attraction in Fort Myers, Florida, USA.  They have just arrived at the ticket counter.  It is 5:30 pm.  (Website: ; introduction video available)
VickyOkay, everyone, here we are at Colonial Station, an old train station that has been converted into a tourist attraction.  Let me get our tickets.  I’ll be right back.
QuincyWe’ll go get in line at the boarding platform to save time.  Let’s go, guys.  (Lucy and Fred follow him away.)
Vicky(walks up to the ticket counter) Hi, I have reservations for four under the name of Victoria Xavier.
ClerkThat’ll be $300.  Oh, I see you’ve already paid online via our website.  Very good, here are your tickets.  You’ll be in the Gasparilla car at Table #4.
VickyThanks.  (She takes the tickets and proceeds over to the others at the boarding platform.)  Okay, we’re in the Gasparilla train car, and we’ll be sitting at Table #4. 
NarratorThey give their tickets to the conductor and proceed to their car and sit down at their table.  The other guests are doing likewise.
LucySo, tell me what we can expect on this crazy adventure you’ve brought us on.
FredYeah, I’ve never been on a murder mystery dinner train before.  Sounds intriguing.
VickyWell, they bill it as “A Unique Dining Experience”, which it is.  We’ll go on a train ride and be served dinner.  During our dinner we’ll be entertained.
QuincyWhere does the train take us?  (The train jolts as it suddenly starts moving and swaying.)
VickyNowhere, really.  We just travel away from here for about 20 miles to a point called Tucker’s Grade, and then we turn around and return here.  The whole trip takes about three and a half hours.  The purpose of the train ride is just to add realism to our entertainment — and to provide a unique dining experience!
LucyIt should be that.  I’ve never ridden on a train before.  What’s it like?
FredIt’s more or less like riding in a car except that the train moves on two metal rails on the ground.  Because the ground is not perfectly level, the train tends to sway or rock from side to side as it moves, but it’s very gentle.  You shouldn’t get motion-sick.  Or at least let’s hope not.
LucyHa…ha…ha. (said slowly and sarcastically)
QuincyOkay, that answers the where.  Tell us about this “unique entertainment”.
VickyWell, we’ll be served a fivecourse meal.  The first course is an appetizer, the second course is soup, the third course is fresh baked rolls, the fourth course is the main course, aka the entree, and the last course is dessert and coffee.  Between courses, live performers will pass from car to car –there are four train cars total – and perform a series of short skits for us.
FredA skit is like a 5- to 10-minute “mini-play”.
VickyCorrect, Fred.  On the table here, you’ll see that each of us has been given a piece of paper and a pencil.  Our job as “passengers” on this train is to observe the performers, who are other “passengers” on this train.  A murder will occur and these passengers will be talking about it.  As fellow passengers, we will eavesdrop on their conversations and listen for clues.
LucyFred, you dummy!  I can see where this is going.  Since this is a murder mystery dinner train ride, our job is to solve the murder mystery – a whodunit!  By listening for clues and taking notes with our pencils and paper, we try to guess who the murderer is.  Does the winner get a prize?
VickyYep.  The passenger who guesses correctly AND has the best documented clues wins a prize.
QuincyUm, do we have to tip the servers for the meal service?  I’m a little short on cash.
VickyI’m afraid so.  That’s de rigueur.  I’m the host.  I’ll cover the tip.  Don’t worry.  (Vicky smiles amiably.)
NarratorAt that moment a host comes into the train car and tells them about how the murder mystery dinner train entertainment works –basically he describes the same thing that Vicky has already described to her guests.
FredHere comes the first course.
NarratorThey eat their appetizer and the performers come out and perform a short skit – let’s call it “Act I”.  After the skit is finished, the performers move to the next car to repeat their presentation, and the next course of the meal is served.
LucySo what have we learned so far?
FredIt sounds like a rich business entrepreneur was found dead in his sleeping cabin.  It looks like a scuffle took place.  Foul play is indicated.  A diamond earring was found next to his body. 
NarratorThe performers come out and perform Act II, after which they move to the next car.  The next course of the meal is brought out.
QuincyWell, what did we learn this time?
VickyI’ve seen this show before, so I’ll sit back and let you three try to solve the murder.  (Vicky leans back and folds her arms.)
LucyWell, the dead guy was named Dennis.  He was married and was the CEO of his own company.  His widow, who was riding with him on the train, is named Willow.  He had a business partner named Paula.  Coincidentally, she was riding on this train as well.  His white shirt collar showed slight traces of pink lipstick.
FredHmm, let’s ponder who would profit from his death.  The wife would get his life insurance benefit and everything he owned.  They say he was worth millions.
LucyYes, but his business partner might get ownership of the business, which is said to be a multi-million-dollar international company.
QuincySo at this point, both Willow and Paula could benefit from his death.  We’ll have to wait for more clues.
NarratorThe performers come out, perform the final act, and move on to the next car.
QuincyFollowing discovery of the dead body, a policeman, who happened to be on the train, called Willow, Paula, and an unnamed woman into the dining car to interrogate them.  The unnamed woman stood at the end of the car facing the audience with Willow standing on one side, her right side facing the audience, and Paula standing on the other side, her left side facing the audience.  All of the women were wearing pink lipstick.  The unnamed woman and Willow were wearing diamond earrings.  Paula was wearing gold earrings.  The officer asked them several questions, but of course everyone denied any knowledge of the murder.  Then they all left the dining car at the end of the skit.
FredDarn!  I don’t think they’ve given us enough clues to identify the murderer.  What do you think, Quincy?
QuincyI agree.  Nevertheless, my money’s on the unnamed woman.  It has to be her.  Otherwise, why is she here?  What do you think, Lucy?
LucyI’m afraid I must disagree.  I noticed one small detail that you two didn’t, so I think I know who the murderer is.
FredDon’t keep us in suspense.  Tell us then!
LucyNope!  I intend to win this evening’s prize.  (she smiles smugly)
NarratorAfter dessert is served, the host comes out and announces that Lucy is the winner for guessing correctly and for giving the definitive clue!  The host invites her to come up and get “mugged”.  She returns to the table with her very own souvenir – a “Super Sleuth” coffee mug.
VickyOkay, Lucy, give!  We’re all dying to know how you knew who the murderer was.
LucyIt’s elementary, my dear Vicky.  When the performers all walked by us as they were moving to the next car, I saw Willow’s left side.
QuincyWait a minute.  Paula had gold earrings, so it wasn’t her…  The unnamed woman was facing us, and I just happened to notice that she was wearing two diamond earrings.  So,…that must mean that… (Alert!  Spoiler ahead!)
LucyYep.  Willow’s left earring was missing.
VickyWell done, Lucy!  You’ve definitely earned your detective’s badge tonight.
NarratorAt about this time, they hear the train whistle blow and feel the engineer slowly bringing the train to its final stop at the train station they started from.  The show is over.  As they exit the train, Lucy is invited to have her picture taken with all the performers in front of the train.  They give her a copy of the photograph as a memento of the excellent sleuthing skills she exhibited in solving the whodunit that night.
Jehan A

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