Murder at Gooseneck Lake

Date: September 15, 2007

Setting: Gooseneck Lake Lodge and Lending Library

When the corpse of Stella R. Skoop, the notorious, award-winning journalist, is found during a private party in the small Maine community of Gooseneck Lake, it’s up to you and your teammates to solve the murder.  Meet the suspects…

Senator Elway S. Lyon, currently serving his third term in the United States Senate, is beloved by his Massachusetts constituents for his engaging speeches, outspoken politics, and even his “bad boy” media persona.  Elway’s mischievous face often appears in gossip rags like the National Smutmonger thanks to his drunken escapades and rumored extramarital affairs with younger women.  He wears suits enlivened with colorfully patterned ties and suspenders.

Neva R. Kemp-Lyon, Elway’s glamorous wife, is the daughter of Van D. Kemp, Nantucket’s famed seafood tycoon.  Neva’s privileged life has featured a parade of private schools, vacation homes, and elegant parties, and her many high-society and governmental contacts are a boon to her husband’s office.  Sharp-minded, charismatic, and headstrong, Neva is now eyeing a political career of her own.  She dresses in stylish ensembles with exquisite jewelry.

Burl E. Bayer, a former lumberjack, now works as a trail guide in the Gooseneck Lake region.  Tough, hearty, and resourceful, he holds the record for the fastest ascent of Mount Katahdin, Maine’s highest peak.  Burl always treats the forest and its creatures with respect, and thus has no fear of bears or other predators while camping alone in the wild.  He is rarely found without his trusty compass, axe, and rope, and all his shirts are flannel.

Geri N. Benz, the “Dairy Princess of Vermont,” turned her talent for concocting flavorful, all-natural ice cream into a thriving business, and her frozen desserts are now sold at retailers across the country.  Geri frequently appears on TV cooking shows, and her first book of recipes, Geri’s “Kissed By a Cow” Ice Cream Cookbook, was recently published.  Sweet, generous, and mildly daffy, she wears denim overalls and cow-print accessories.

Walter E. Gogh, a visiting linguistics professor at New Hampshire’s Smartmouth College, is the quintessential academic.  He spends hours poring over dusty texts in his dimly lit office, is brilliant yet absent-minded, and has authored several preeminent books in his field, including Ancient Hebrew Syntax: An Overly Complicated Perspective.  Walter wears glasses, rarely combs his hair, and favors tweedy jackets and wrinkled shirts.

Zora Cirrus, a “good witch” from Salem, Massachusetts, is a powerful practitioner of white magic.  A mysterious, enchanting woman, Zora draws on the energies of earth, sky, and water to cast spells of healing and protection.  She runs Wicca Wonderland, an inviting, atmospheric occult shop, and her friendly black cat, Poxie, is forever by her side.  Zora’s flowing cloaks and skirts shimmer with celestial shades of purple, blue, and silver.

Aulden Vintidge, a painter from the quaint town of Stockbridge, Massachusetts, is much-admired for his sentimental portrayals of American life past and present.  His colorful illustrations appear in popular magazines, children’s books, and art galleries, and his most famous work, Mom Serving Apple Pie on Christmas Day, hangs in the White House.  Old-fashioned, warm, and fatherly, Aulden usually sports a cardigan and carries a pipe.

Olive M. Swett, a renowned athletic coach, has led the women’s crew team at Boston’s Hardvark University to three consecutive NCAA championships.  With a bulldog-like protectiveness of her players and a fierce determination to win, Olive puts her girls through an arduous training regimen that includes grueling exercise and strict rules of conduct both on and off the course.  She wears sweats, sneakers, and her lucky whistle around her neck.

Beau Hemion, a gifted, intensely creative poet from Deer Isle, finds artistic inspiration in Maine’s desolate, windswept coast.  His words evoke the pain of unrequited love, the agony of dashed hopes, and the brutality of death.  Beau recently finished his fourth book, Lemmings to the Sea: Poems of Doom.  A deeply sensitive person, he is prone to melodramatic behavior and dresses in silky black clothing, silver jewelry, and dark eye makeup.

Wanda B. Luft, a popular community theatre actress from Providence, has performed in hit shows all over New England.  Last year, she garnered rave reviews as the shameless “Undies Annie” in Nebraska!, the rousing frontier musical.  Wanda soon topped that success by playing an impassioned lawyer in the classic courtroom drama, Inherit the Breeze.  A playful, sociable spirit, she loves getting dolled up in flashy dresses, gaudy jewelry, and heavy makeup.

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