Murder strikes again in the Village by the Sea, and this time it’s during a familiar Whidbey event – a windstorm and a power outage.
Sleuths from all walks of life will come together Feb. 24-25, also known as Langley Mystery Weekend, to determine one thing: Who killed this year’s victim in the aptly named “The Silence of the Mime,” when only a car with no driver was found at the scene?
Detectives will have to unravel the details of the convoluted circumstances, which surround a talent competition. As the story goes, residents hoping to nab a spot as a host of Langley enter the competition and prepare for the audition. As chaotic weather blows into town, a businessman named Cy Lencia riding a unicycle dressed as a mime is tragically run over by a mysterious vehicle.
As usual, participants of Langley Mystery Weekend will have a cast of about 30 colorful characters to interrogate as they pick up clues. Those who correctly guess the murderer’s identity will be entered into a drawing for grand prizes ranging from weekend getaways to business gift certificates to Mystery Weekend paraphernalia. Incorrect solutions will be placed into a separate drawing for other prizes. The big reveal will take place at the end of the day on Feb. 25.
Tickets are currently for sale as $15 for adults and $12 for kids, seniors and military service members on the Langley Chamber of Commerce website, visitlangley.com.
Inge Morascini, the chamber’s executive director, said last year’s event was attended by 2,700 people. New this year, there will be several characters carrying clues for businesses.
Clue maps are available at the Visitor Information Office located at 208 Anthes Ave. in Langley. The office opens at 9 a.m. for will call, and 10 a.m. for the general public.
This year’s mystery was concocted by head writer Rachel McDougald of Clinton and co-writers Mike Hill of Oak Harbor and Loretta Martin of Langley. The trio will be playing along as minor characters in the mystery.
McDougald plays Bee Hive, who she described as a busybody.
“She knows everybody’s business and she’s very concerned with rules and regulations,” McDougald said.
The three writers spend about a year plotting the annual murder mystery, which is in its 39th year.
Hill plays Major Ira Tent this year.
“Bring a camera loaded with Kodachrome as this looks to be quite a colorful weekend,” he advised.
Langley Mystery Weekend happens to align with the Whidbey Island Center for the Arts’ run of “Sleuth,” a staged screenplay by Harold Pinter and based on the Tony Award-winning play by Anthony Shaffer. Directed by David Churchill, the production runs through Feb. 24. For more information, visit wicaonline.org.