17 February 2014


If you’re up for a challenge, try following an Orient game while solving a murder mystery in a 16th century castle. To make it interesting, do not bring a smartphone!

Courtesy of a Christmas present from my sister and the brother-in-law I spent the weekend with them at Mauritzberg Castle. Food, drink and a Cluedo-like murder mystery. Picked up my parents on the way, and while waiting for the ferry across Bråviken I realised that I had left my phone at their house. The Colin McRae in me calculating the time needed to go back and pick it up. But no rally driver has ever travelled faster than the voice of their mother from the back seat saying: don’t - even - think - about - it!

We arrived about 45 minutes before kick-off. Free internet access available through syrupy wifi on a sluggish laptop in a small room across from the reception. The murder mystery was scheduled to start right at the stroke of half time. Not being surrounded by football fans. My suggestion of having a beer while crowding into a tiny room with a computer exhaling the excitable voice of Dave Victor was flat out refused: don’t - even - think - about - it!

Using guile and some creative lying I managed to sneak a peak with about 30 minutes gone. Still 0-0. Orient the only team with a shot on target. Using leytonorient.com to get the score perhaps wasn’t the best choice. But my mind was elsewhere occupied.

The more pressing issue was, who killed Isak Jutenhielm? The guy had a box that supposedly contained the cheekbone of the murderer Barabbas. Now missing. There were eight suspects, four sons (two with wives), a female medium, and a stranger interested in the relic. The task at hand was, who did it, why, and of course, how? We knew where. The trick to figure out the rest was to follow the characters of your choice around the castle as they acted out scenes containing clues to the truth. This is what everyone in the group of about sixty participants did.

Almost everyone. I followed the suspects that stayed close to that room with the laptop. Other parts of the castle be damned. But returning to that room regularly resulted in lots of dirty looks. People obviously suspecting me of googling about the more obscure clues like the latin name for walnut, or which parts of wolfsbane are poisonous. Kind of funny being suspected of cheating when most of them probably had a phone in their pocket that could run rings around that clunky laptop.

The "just checking the Orient game" excuse fell to deaf ears. But I did manage to find out that it was 1-1. No idea as to the goalscorers. So when someone asked me: Who do you think did it? I said: No idea really, could be anyone, Moses perhaps? and got quite a puzzled look in return.

The murder hunt entered its second phase as dinner was served. While we dined on trout and venison the eight suspects walked amongst the tables answering questions. I had my suspicions, but as to the final score between Preston and Orient I was completely in the dark.

Before dessert everybody gathered in the room where the murder had taken place. While entering handing in a note with the proposed solution. Then we got to see the deed and the identity of the murderer. 

It was the bleeding referee whodunnit! While turning a blind eye to a clear sending off, and awarding the softest of penalties. He clearly killed Russell’s happy face. Have we ever seen a more jaded Slade in a post match interview? I think not!

But I’m getting ahead of myself. I didn’t know, or see, anything of that until Sunday afternoon. As for the identity of Isak Jutenhielm’s killer I was of course spot on. But I didn’t win since a few others also had their inner Sherlock working. There was only one prize and I never win lotteries. So all I was left with was the glory of getting it right, and being seen by some as a cheat. Just for supporting Orient. That’s the life of a sleuth I guess.

No comments:

Post a Comment