Death on the Beach – and other murder mystery plays

Can you survive a murderous 1920s poker tournament? Who killed the passenger on the steam liner to New York in 1947? What happened to the surgeon? And will you be able save your guests from poisoning?

Five murder mystery scripts take players to very different places and times in history, from a 1920s birthday party to a modern times charity event, from a steam liner in 1947 to the British coast, where artists and bohemians just discovered: Francis Ford, the famous writer is missing.


The scripts include rules and character descriptions, clues and ideas for props, recipes and decorations. They are formatted so that the pages can easily be copied, making it easy to hand over the character descriptions to the individual players. Some content is 16+.


Island Murders – A 1920s Murder Mystery Dinner and Poker Party for 8 Players

Ada – A Race against Time for 7-9 Players

Death on the Beach for 6-7 Players

Spygame (1947) for 9-12 Players

Birthday Dinner (1928) for 9 Players


Sneak Peek: Death on the Beach

Every year in late spring, when the first warm spell hits the seaside, literary agent and publisher Gerald/Geraldine Hurst invites a circle of writers and artists, he/she has under contract, to spend two weeks in his/her holiday cottage and work on their projects. Only a few meters from the beach, with a wildflower garden, swimming pool and a cosy fireplace in the lounge he/she hopes to provide the ideal surroun-dings for creative minds – especially those struggling to fulfil their contract.

This year the circle of artistic “friends” include:

1. The writer Francis Ford (missing, cannot be played as character)
2. His current student (and apparently lover) Alice Anne Evans
3. The poet John Percy Yates
4. The photographer Henri Robert Arbus
5. The painter Julian Gabriel Hunt
6. The painter’s muse and performance artist Rebecca Siddal
7. The famous crime writer Isabel Vaughn
(you can play without this character, by pretending she has left for a meeting earlier that day, but is expected back later)
8. and of course the publisher Gerald/Geraldine Hurst
(can be played as man or woman)

It is a beautiful day with clear blue sky and a soft, salty breeze from the sea. The house itself is quiet, as people spent their day working or walking along the coast. The muse has been sunbathing next to the pool all afternoon. The poet was seen in the back of the garden ripping a manuscript to pieces. The painter has been gone all day, clearly working, as he resurfaces covered in paint. The photographer spent the day photographing village life, thinking about a project documenting the decline of the great British seaside resorts. The host clearly enjoyed being the quiet centre of the house, organising dinner and drinks and serving the young lady at the pool her cocktails. Only the writer and his student have not been seen all day and as she
appears for dinner, her eyes are swollen from crying.

At 6pm sharp, like every day, the group gathers for dinner, which a local chef has prepared directly at the house before returning to his own restaurant for the evening service. But as soon as the guests have gathered, it becomes clear, one person is still missing: the writer Francis Ford. Apparently he has not been seen since the night before.

And that evening had ended in a disaster when a fight broke out among guests about who was responsible for leaving cigarettes in an ashtray, which had upset the artist and his delicate nose (his muse apparently smoked, even though she never confessed). One thing led to another: The writer’s loud typing apparently disturbed the poet, who preferred pen and paper, which the crime author thinks is absolutely ridiculous. Which led to the photographer mentioning that he thought the last crime novel was at least as ridiculous as writing with a pen. But apparently photography is no real art, as the artist made clear before complaining that his muse should not drink as much, because it would ruin her delicate complexion and therefore his paintings. Which no one would discover anyway because what was left of her face would again only be a shapeless blob of colour, she complained. At that point the painter and poet left the room and the photographer took another drink. The muse decided – since they were fighting anyway – to now have another cigarette. Outside. Shortly afterwards everyone went to bed – and of course tried to avoid each other the next morning.

What has become of the writer, nobody knows. But he was last seen shortly past 11pm arguing with his student and girlfriend. He has probably already left the house. Maybe someone should check his room – after finishing starters. Maybe he is just late. As always!

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