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Michael Charles Messineo

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Books by Michael Charles Messineo
Murder Mystery - A writer's high
By Michael Charles Messineo
Posted: Thursday, January 01, 2004
Last edited: Friday, January 02, 2004

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Recent stories by Michael Charles Messineo
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What happens when you are in a room full of people who are reading your mind?
On New Years night I attended my first Murder Mystery Dinner. It was an interesting way to allow the old year slip away while anticipating the new. For those of you who have never attended such an event I can only say it is a writer's dream to watch a room full of people, guess and formulate who killed the guest of honor and with whose help and motives they had to perform the dastardly deed.

The scene of the crime was a yacht in 1925 and we were asked to come in appropriate attire for our characters which we knew about a few weeks before the event. The invite mentioned briefly who we were and our style of personality. The rest of the story and the clues would be read at the dinner.

The characters included the owner of the yacht, who was killed within the first few minutes of the evening, and his guests for the voyage. The boat Captain, the financier, the madam whose night club was famous, the gentlemen thief, the vineyard owner, the flirty woman who was waiting for her estate to materialize, the opera singer, and myself ? the race car driver, each had a reason or means to kill our filthy rich acquaintance. Each character had their own small booklet of specific clues, some of which we were to keep to ourselves and other clues which had to be let known during each of the 4 rounds scheduled around dinner.

Each round produced a new twist with new reasons or alibi?s as to our innocence or guilt. It would not be made clear until the end of the game who the murderer was, how or why the murder happened.

Going back a few weeks when I was asked would I like to attend, my first reaction was, sure, if I could be the dead guy and lay on the couch for the evening. When I was told I had to dress the part, then I knew I didn?t want to go as that would be the last thing on my list right after a root canal. But it was New Years eve, and my wife would have killed me if I said no, and then there would have been a real murder investigation so I gave in and went. I also have to mention that the event would take place at a neighbors house who was a gourmet cook and impeccable host who taught Martha Stewart everything she knows ? except trading stocks of course.

As the guests arrived, and some were more dressed for the part than others, there was an air of mystery already taking place. Once we listened to a tape which set the story, and read the first set of clues, the game was afoot.

Now here was the best part ? the writer in me went to a different level than the others as I sat back and listened to the clues and watched the others come up with their own theories as to what occurred. How many times while writing my book had I done the same thing ? sitting back and evaluating the next step and the reasons which would become my next paragraph and lead into the following chapter. There were many times in my book that I simply stopped and calculated my characters next move and what they were thinking and the 14 different possibilities that the story could venture off to. As if watching from the outside, I listened to the others perform my brainstorming techniques and I took it all in as a creative observer. This surreal extension of my writing process unfolded before me and delighted me to no end.

Now I will not reveal who killed our guest of honor, nor will I give credence to my fellow writers that they will experience the same euphoria that I enjoyed, but I will say this is one of those things to add to your list of 50 things that you must do before you die. What an amazing experience to see your own creative thought process being shared and espoused by others. It was a killer occasion that must be experienced at least once. I thoroughly enjoyed it on a personal level that caught me completely off guard.

PS. No, the butler did not do it.


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Reviewed by Robert Cosmar 5/19/2011
You've perfectly described what must have been a delightful evening! I would love to take Catherine to one of those. We both love mysteries. Very well done, Michael.
Reviewed by A Serviceable Villain 2/1/2004
A most excellent story of the highest caliber - a shot heard 'round the world!
Reviewed by Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado 1/3/2004
yikes! don't think i would like it if people could read my mind! good story with an excellent plot; very readable! (((HUGS))) and much love, your tx. friend, karen lynn. :D happy new year to you and yours!
Reviewed by Tami Ryan 1/1/2004
Well, Michael, I must say, you're an excellent writer... You've made me want to attend a Murder Mystery - and with ease! I never thought of it this way, but I can easily see how/why this would be a writer's dream. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

May you have abundant blessings this New Year.

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