Hector Pirouette - the famous detective - investigates Sawley ‘murder’

Murder - A record number of people attend the annual Murder Mystery Night in Sawley Village Hall, which was the usual mix of murder, mayhem and confusion, with pie and peas at half-time.

The scene was the parish hall of Sloe Lee in 1910, where Dickie Dixon was the guest of the village, conducting his antiquities roadshow. Early in the evening, the roadshow was disrupted by the shooting of Major Bluster, who died. The motley collection of villagers then had to make what inquiries they could into the murder, before the arrival of Hector Pirouette, the French detective, who bore a resemblance to Major Bluster. With the arrival of the detective, the villagers could revert to their other tasks of the night, which involved blackmailing, recruiting suffragettes and arranging further murders. The publican of the local hostelry, The Sitting Duck, as well as sporting a rather dodgy toupee, was also selling stolen game and the enigmatic Journeyman, the man with no name, turned out to be a hired assassin. This was something of a shock to the suave Lord Lustre, who had hired him to advise his lordship on his prize orchids.

The local gypsy children were busy doing the rounds of the tables and woe betide any hapless villager who had left any money lying around.

The highlight of the evening was the auction of the antiques, where there were many eager bidders. Dickie Dixon was a wonderful auctioneer with a very professional line of patter throughout.

When it seemed the Journeyman had succeeded in poisoning two further villagers, Brother Codfael stepped forward with an antidote and it only remained for Hector Pirouette to launch into his denouncement and explain the events of the night, which he did at some length and in an unusual French accent.

The local policeman, brandishing his extraordinary squeaky truncheon, lost no time in arresting the murderer, which allowed the villagers to rest easy after their frantic evening.

The next event is a quiz night on March 11th. Teams of six are invited to compete. Telephone Kevin Cosgrove if you would like to enter, on 440049.