*grandfather clock ticking* Are you sure you sent out all the invitations? Yes. And the singing telegram to the beautiful Annabel Lee? Yep. And the RSVP to her RSVP– She said she’d be here. *doorbell* What is that rapping at my chamber door? Okay first–not a rapping. That’s a doorbell. Secondly, you invited these people here! Welcome, friend, to Edgar Allan Poe’s murder mystery invite only casual dinner party/gala for friends potluck. Lenore will take your dish and your coat. Looks like you’ve got yourself a ghost infestation, friend. Lookee here. I brough a switchblade so we can skewer wild boar in the backyard. Then we can roast it over an open flame. Only an open flame. Louisa May Alcott! Happy to see the stink of Boston hasn’t followed you. Now, what dish did you bring? You’ll find you can eat anything if you’re hungry enough. Mary Shelley, as I live and breathe. Because of your– Yes, I get it. I brought this loaf of bread. I forgot the yeast, so it hasn’t…risen. Because of my– Oh, yes. Ha! Yes. Of course. I get it. I got it the first time. Ah, Charlotte Brontë. Here is your character card for the evening. Oh, she sounds poor. Did you write this? Is this going to take very long? Oscar! So glad you could come. You’re looking very smart. You can never be overdressed or over-educated. Hello! HG Wells! H–for short? HG? What do we go by? I–I cooked it myself with my latest contraption. It’s a–uh, enclosure that bombards the food with electromagnetic radiation such that the food molecules themselves actually– Fine, wonderful. Just come in. It’s in–It’s incredibly efficient. It’s not a real thing. Oh. I thought someone knocked. Oh, I did. I knocked. I’m sorry, who are you? Emily Dickinson. I stay in my room a lot. I write poems like you, though. We’re actually a lot alike. I don’t think so, but we may have an extra spot. You invited me. You know, you could be really pretty if you just did your hair differently, maybe wore a different outfit, and just kinda tried something else up here. Ah, Mary Ann! So– The name’s Eliot. George Eliot. Likes: beer, sporting, talking about sporting. Dislikes: peeing sitting down, tending to the home, not talking about sporting. Mary Ann, I’m not sure I underst– Seems you have me confused with some sort of damsel. I understand, I have very soft skin. But the name’s George Eliot. It’s two male names. Easy to remember. Now, show me to the billiard room. Or the voting booth! Hello. I brought vodka. Ah! Fyodor. Welcome to– Mine! A spirit for a spirit. That’s wonderful! Little girl! Friends, thank you for being here. We are still waiting on a few guests who are definitely my friends. Agatha Christie said she would be running late. Also my dear, dear friend Annabel Lee, and her plus one. Also, Emily Dickinson. Now, tonight will be quite exciting. You were all given a character card with a name and a brief biography. Please study it, for it is to be your identity for the duration of the evening. Mine’s blank. Ah, yes. You have picked the rare blank character card. Good on you! Uh, my card says I’m a duchess. Uh, seeing as how I have absolutely no insight into the mind of a woman, I was wondering if anyone would be willing to trade cards for a male character. Please, no trading. Now, Lenore will bring out the soup. Lenore! *snaps* *gasps* Next, we will figure out who goes first. Edgar, I love my character, but I did make a few tweaks. Can I run these by you tomorrow? Yes, sure. Now, we figure out who goes first based on… Whose birthday is most recent? Mine’s in three weeks! The party is tree themed, so everyone come dressed as your favorite tree. Mine’s the tilia americana. Let’s go shot for shot to see who goes first! Who here is Detective Inspector Ignatius Crumblefeather? He needs to be sitting north. Wait, facing north, or sitting– Oh, that is me. I spent time in jail with a very kind Ignatius once. We still write letters back and forth. To Ignatius. When will someone be murdered, hm? I know who did it. Does anyone wanna trade? Yeah, what do you got? Greek Diplomat Winnifred Kostolopolos. It says I only speak Greek. I—I don’t speak Greek! Well, I speak three kinds of Greek. Now you’re prominent abolitionist Flanders Winterbottom. Cheers. Please, no trading! They are all very good cards. Sorry we’re late. Hi everyone! I’m Annabel. This is Eddie. He’s a banker. Hi, Eddie Dantes. Sorry we’re delayed. My volunteer shift at the old folk’s home ran late and then on the way over we ran across a barbershop quartet and their bass was out with a sore throat so I had to *sings* fill in. You understand. He has perfect pitch! And yet it’s imperfection that makes people truly interesting. Please, come this way. Very well. After you, my dear. Hello. Hello. What is everyone’s deal? I thought I was the dead one here. Parties aren’t the place for jokes, Lenore. Now, time for everyone’s favorite part, the rules. Once everybody is done with their soup, the lights will go out and someone will die. Our first victim is… *clears throat* Belladonna Spillingsworth, daughter of railroad magnate Barnabus Spillingsworth. That’s me! She died on the very same railroad named after her by her father. The victim of a– Look here, before this night goes on, I have something to say. *gasps* Dostoevsky: Who touched my leg? Wilde: Oh, that was your leg. Oh. Oh! Right in the soup! *laughs* Orangutan.