By Barb King

L. to R. Standing: Marianne Johnstone, Barb King, Valerie Thompson, Connie Barrett and Caroline Pope.
L. to R. Sitting: Ruth Cox, Lorna Hardy, Clark Hardy, Kathie Chatlin and Lorraine Bellaro.

Marianne’s Johnstone’s June mystery dinner play took place in England inside a tent where the judge, Shaw G. Bottom, was about to face bread bakers and find the “best of the best” star baker through an elimination contest. 

However, as the event was about to begin, the judge was found dead in the judge’s tent seated in a chair with a knife in his back and his head face down into a loaf of bread.

All of the baker suspects were gathered in a big white tent and along with the inspector and host, Melandsue, aka Barb King, were prepared to solve the murder. 

The list of suspects included: Victoria Sponge, aka Kathie Chatlin, a confident baker with classic appeal; Mac O’ Roon, aka Connie Barrett, a baker who also likes to play golf; Sasha Torte, aka Valerie Thompson, a baker and owner of a book shop who has handwriting expertise; Brandy Snap, aka Caroline Pope, who not only bakes, but who likes to hunt….winning is her goal; Spice-Twice Bryce, aka Clark Hardy, a baker and mathematician who prides himself with numbers: Whitey Bloomer, aka Ruth Cox, a baker who also specializes in gardening; Pru-Ving Bag, aka Lorna Hardy, ex-wife of the deceased  and the quietest of the bakers, with a passion for blowing bubbles; and Pete Stachio, aka Lorraine Bellaro, who, besides baking, as a comedian, enjoys doing anything to get a laugh.   

After Melandsue set the details of the murder scene, all murder suspects introduced themselves to each other.  As each of the rounds took place with discussions back and forth, Melandsue kept things flowing. 

Usually these mystery play dinners entail full course meals; however, this one consisted wholly of cupcakes brought by each of the participants, plus drinks. 

One guest, Steve Pope, attended the afternoon affair. The photographers were Mike Gill and Vivian McDonald.

After accusations and final statements were made by all the bakers, it was time for everyone to make a guess as to “who dun’ it”.

Melandsue then slowly eliminated the innocent bakers one by one until the killer was revealed.  Everyone is always surprised at the ending, because each suspect has such good reasons to want to commit the murder.

The three men present were chosen to be judges of the best cupcakes and announced 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners.  It was a lovely gathering.

If anyone would like to join in this fun, just give Johnstone a call at 702-345-4459 to get on her list for future plays.  Newcomers are welcome and interest is growing.  No memorization is necessary, as scripts are given for each person to read.  Costuming and food is planned in advance.