Murder Mystery Dinner Train

Role Dialog
 Narrator  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: https://semgulf.com/ ; introduction video available)
 Vicky  Okay, 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.
 Quincy  We’ll go get in line at the boarding platform to save time.  Let’s go, guys.
Narrator Lucy and Fred follow him away.  Vicky walks up to the ticket counter.
Vicky Hi, I have reservations for four under the name of Victoria Xavier.
Clerk That’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.
Vicky Thanks. (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.
Narrator They give their tickets to the conductor and proceed to their car and sit down at their table. The other guests are doing likewise.
Lucy So, tell me what we can expect on this crazy adventure you’ve brought us on.
Fred Yeah, I’ve never been on a murder mystery dinner train before.
It sounds intriguing.
Vicky Well, 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.
Quincy Where does the train take us? (The train jolts as it suddenly starts
moving and swaying.)
Vicky Nowhere, really. We just travel away from here for about 20 miles to some point, 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!
Lucy It should be that. I’ve never ridden on a train before. What’s it like?
Fred It’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.
Lucy Ha…..ha…..ha. (said slowly and sarcastically)
Quincy Okay, that answers the where. Tell us about this unique entertainment.
Vicky Well, 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.
Lucy Skits?
Fred A skit is like a 5- to 10-minute mini-play, Lucy.
Vicky Correct, 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.
Fred Clues?
Lucy Fred, 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?
Vicky Yep. The passenger who guesses correctly AND has the best documented clues wins a prize.
Quincy Um, do we have to tip the servers for the meal service? I’m a little
short on cash.
Vicky I’m afraid so. That’s de rigueur. I’m the host. I’ll cover the tip.
Don’t worry. (Vicky smiles amiably.)
Narrator At 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.
Fred Here comes the first course.
Narrator They 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.
Lucy So what have we learned so far?
Fred It sounds like a rich business entrepreneur was found dead in his sleeping cabin. It looks like a scuffle took place, so foul play is indicated. A diamond earring was found next to his body.
Narrator The performers come out and perform Act II, after which they move to the next car. The next course of the meal is brought out.
Quincy Well, what did we learn this time?
Vicky I’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.)
Lucy Well, 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.
Fred Hmm, 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.
Lucy Yes, but his business partner might get ownership of the business, which is said to be a multi-million-dollar international company.
Quincy So at this point, both Willow and Paula could benefit from his death. We’ll have to wait for more clues.
Narrator The performers come out, perform the final act, and move on to the next car.  Following discovery of the dead body, a policeman — who happened to be on the train– calls Willow, Paula, and an unnamed woman into the dining car to interrogate them. The unnamed woman stands 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 are wearing pink lipstick. The unnamed woman and Willow are wearing diamond earrings. Paula is wearing gold earrings.  The officer asks them several questions, but of course everyone denies any knowledge of the murder. Then they all leave the dining car at the end of the skit.

Fred Darn! I don’t think they’ve given us enough clues to identify the murderer.  What do you think, Quincy?
Quincy I agree. Nevertheless, my money’s on the unnamed woman. It has to be her. Otherwise, why is she here? What do you think, Lucy?
Lucy I’m afraid I must disagree. I noticed one small detail that you two didn’t, so I think I know who the murderer is.
Fred Don’t keep us in suspense. Tell us then!
Lucy Nope! I intend to win this evening’s prize. (she smiles smugly)
Narrator After 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 SuperSleuth coffee mug.
Vicky Okay, Lucy, give! We’re all dying to know how you knew who the
murderer was.
Lucy It’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.
Fred So?
Quincy Wait 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…
Lucy Yep. Willow’s left earring was missing.
Vicky Well done, Lucy! You’ve definitely earned your detective’s badge tonight.
Narrator At 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.

Self-Assessment

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