The scenario was a wartime one, a dinner at a coastal town to raise money for the Spitfire fund. Food matters such as Rationing, SPAM and “Snook” were mentioned but our dinner was a banquet. The murder victim, poisoned, was involved in the black market, or as I prefer to call it parallel provisioning for discerning citizens. The four suspects were a niece of the victim who had fed him his favourite home made pork pies (using aforesaid SPAM), a busybody lady muck organiser of the Spitfire fund, a chap who was not a policeman but claimed some mysterious connection with special operations (a claim that would not have been made by anyone who genuinely was), and a guy with a funny foreign accent who particularly distained English food in wartime.
Despite Storm Dennis howling outside the event was well supported with about two fifths of those attending being either current or former members of ATDC. Thirties dress had been suggested before it was known what the scenario would be but that was appropriate as with clothing rationed the latest styles would not have been an issue in wartime , but perhaps with black-market stockings on offer. We enjoyed a full 3-course meal plus coffee and mints, and a lovely touch chocolate hearts and roses. Defiantly off-ration!
Clues were handed out at the pre-dinner drinks and also in the intervals between courses when the guests were invited to question the suspects. Of course there were plenty of red-herrings some of which were so obvious that one had to consider it they were a double-bluff. The final clue was a copy of pages from a notebook by the victim in which all the suspects appeared to have been mentioned. The key was a piece of code that, had one been able to work it out in time, clearly indicated the suspect. I got the motive right but not the killer. Better not say who it was on the Mousetrap principle. Suffice to say it was not the butler as there wasn’t one.
The next day for those who did not need to hasten away there was a scenic drive to a pub lunch. The bad weather and potential floods put off many of those who might otherwise have followed the route but those who did say they enjoyed it. I am told the ducks and moorhens swimming along the road were a sight to see.
Our thanks go to the organisers for a memorable event enjoyed by all who attended. Extract from Austin Ten Drivers Club Magazine April 2020