Murder in Crooke’s Crossing

Date:  November 1, 2002

Setting:  Crooke’s Crossing Public Library

When the corpse of Mayor Tyler “Ty” D. Proffitz is found during a library gala in the small Virginia town of Crooke’s Crossing, it’s up to you and your teammates to solve the murder.  Meet the suspects…

Eve L. Queen, the director of Crooke’s Crossing Public Library, is a poised, charming young woman who quickly rose through the library’s ranks due to her intelligence and driving ambition.  Sharp-minded and savvy, Eve has already set her sights on the next rung in her career ladder: a seat on the City Council.  She and Mayor Proffitz are close friends.  Eve always “dresses for success,” favoring crisp, attractive business ensembles.

Alona N. Bhidder, the reference librarian, is the great-granddaughter of librarian Emma Bhidder, who founded Crooke’s Crossing Public Library in 1918.  Old-fashioned and conservative, Alona distrusts computers and insists on maintaining the library’s aging card catalog.  Despite her prickly nature, she is an expert researcher.  Alona dresses tastefully and always wears practical shoes.

Warman C. Udley, the children’s librarian, is a sweet, amiable fellow who delights the youngsters of Crooke’s Crossing with his fun-filled weekly story hours.  Always chipper and enthusiastic, Warman entertains the children with stories, crafts, and singalongs, and serves yummy snacks baked by his dear, elderly mother.  Warman’s outfits include fun accessories like colorful ties, hand puppets, and stuffed animals.

Alfie Fyle, the library clerk, is Crooke’s Crossing’s resident computer expert.  A brilliant, ultra-efficient office worker, Alfie is a whiz at math and science.  However, he is shy and awkward when it comes to social situations.  Alfie recently helped Mayor Proffitz’s wife, Charity, by classifying and organizing her private library.  Alfie never leaves home without his trusty pocket protector.

Charity Proffitz, the wife of Mayor Proffitz, is a tireless philanthropist.  A glamorous and vivacious woman, Charity has turned the Mayoral Manor into the high-society hub of Crooke’s Crossing.  She regularly hosts posh fundraisers to benefit the town’s less fortunate citizens, gaining the support of wealthy patrons from all over Petty County.  Charity wears only the most stylish and elegant attire and jewelry.

Petunia Budd, the library’s gardener, is a gentle, folksy soul who has faithfully tended her garden for the past twenty years.  Petunia cultivates an eclectic mixture of wildflowers, herbs, perennials, and shrubs.  Her stunning flowerbeds have won high awards from the Petty County Horticultural Society.  Petunia’s clothes are often stained with dirt and grass.  She usually wears gardening gloves and a floppy hat.

Admiral Coyle D. Snaick, a former United States Navy officer, is a local celebrity in Crooke’s Crossing due to his series of heroic victories in the Vietnam War.  A robust, commanding individual, Coyle is now retired from the military but keeps busy by volunteering at the library, where he shelves books and performs odd jobs as needed.  Coyle always wears his Navy hat and medals.

S. Mel Macon, an eccentric bag lady, is the library’s most dedicated customer.  This is largely due to where she lives: underneath the building’s front eaves.  Indeed, Mel spends almost every day at the library, looking up weird facts in reference books, reading the latest Harlequin romances, and snoozing in the periodicals reading room.  Due to her homeless status, poor Mel wears the same grungy, mismatched clothing every day.

Lulu Nattik, a local history buff and avid library user, is a truly unique personality.  Lulu believes in a “revised” version of the history of Crooke’s Crossing in which the town’s founder, Lyman “Ly” N. Crooke, is portrayed as a greedy, bloodthirsty monster.  Always outspoken and spirited, Lulu dresses in colorful, exotic garments.  She has a passion for garish costume jewelry.

Dusty T. Hoames, an antique book dealer, owns and operates Crooke’s Crossing’s only used bookstore, Dusty’s Musties.  Not much is known about Dusty, since he spends most of his time lurking about in dark, creaky archives and sequestered rare book collections.  Laconic and vaguely sinister, Dusty often wears tweedy, drab-colored clothing and has a somewhat disheveled appearance.

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