Last weekend B and I packed up the dog and the bus and hit the ferry to Whidbey Island. Our destination, the small town of Langley, population 1,045. Island residents pride themselves on a slower pace of life as evidenced by this sign seen at the mystery weekend headquarters.
Langley has the longest running town murder mystery in the US, this was their 33rd year. It all started with the early morning discovery of a dead man in a Chewbacca costume behind the inn in the wee hours of Friday morning. The list of suspects were a combination of locals and out of towers representing three groups, ISFAT (International Society of Science Fiction) who were holding a convention at another local inn, the BFF,s (Big Foot Friends) and the Sasquatch Hunters.
There were lots of bunnies all over town too. And they were NOT afraid of us humans!
We met up with friends in the morning, got our packets which consisted of a map where we could get clues and the town paper with articles relating to the murder and other town happenings. There were 39 clues in all and to obtain them you consulted the map and visited the businesses that had the clues. Some businesses just left them out to grab and others would only hand out one clue per person. Later that day you could hear the coroners report in person or pick up a copy. All of the cast of characters were wandering town and you could talk to them in the hopes of gathering more clues.
This interesting prayer wheel with hand prints was near the center of town.
Some favorite shops we went in to were Music for the Eyes ran by a retired couple and feature Oriental rugs, tribal jewelry, beads, textiles, hats and so much more from around the world. I bought a knitted, felt lined hat and B bought knitted, felt lined fingerless gloves. Knitty Purls a local yarn shop featuring Rowan yarns. Whidbey Island Gem Gallery where I picked up some yummy polished rocks and our friend Krissy picked up some stones for her jewelry making business. Artisan Crafted Home had beautiful glass blown lamps and other high end fixtures for your home.
The floor lamp below is from a line made by two sisters in law who actually live across the country from each other. One of the women does the glass blowing and the other does the shades. If we didn’t have cats I would consider it – hmmmm maybe for my studio – eventually. All of the lamps by this particular artist have male names for the floor lamps and female names for the table lamps. The two below are Ed and Alexandra.
Krissy and I stopped in Ott & Murphy Wines for a tasting and to take a little break. The tasting room was playing Jazz and it was a nice little spot to have a snack if you so desired. The proprietor let me wear her wine goggles.
I loved Moonraker Books and one of the owners was a suspect with the nome de plume of Josh DeFax. The Star Store is billed as Langley’s market and fashionably fun mercantile had a bit of everything; reasonably priced clothing for men and women (clustered in color coordinated groupings), beer and wine, gourmet foods, etc.
After visiting shops around the quaint downtown gathering clues (in the form of paper slips) we took a lunch break at Village Pizza for sustenance. We sat at a great table overlooking the water. After lunch we returned to the bus to check on the dog and stop at the public library for a clue. They had a rather clever fund raiser going. You could buy a bag of brown paper wrapped books (all mysteries) for $5.
Among the crime scene items there were two different colored tranquilizer darts, a bag with apples and mushrooms in it, marshmallows, a Chewbacca mask, a business card for Joe Curr, etc. lots of clues, some real and some misleading.
The Tipsy Gourmet was another shop I really liked. They featured wine, beer, cheese, meats and crackers. We finally had all of our clues and settled in to the outdoor fires it at Double Bluff Brewing to sort them out and figure out who done it. Saw this great blown glass art outside too.
We could not come to a conclusion at the brewery and decided to sleep on it. Dug and Krissy filled in their information and left their ballots with us and we would drop them off after filling in who we thought the prime suspect was. B and I planned on camping on the island that night. We stayed at Fort Casey for the night. It was raining A LOT so we just stayed in the bus with the heater, made a sandwich, split a beer and poured over the clues, coroners report and suspects mug shots.
Some of the suspects names were hilarious like Daryl B. Moretocome, Al Betseroff, the previously mentioned Joe Curr and Josh DeFax, Hagatha Kisstea, Clara Bouyant, Maxine Factor (who looked pretty cheerful in her mug shot), Al Luzon, Natalie Drezed, Benton Wenning, Shari Fissure (understudy to Carrie Fissure from Star Wars and the now widow of the deceased Stone Fissure found wearing a Chewbacca costume), Douglas Ferr, Dr. Doolittle, Dr. Bambi Hunter, Red Herring, Harry Varmit. We narrowed our prime suspects down to Al, Shari, Dr. Doolittle, Natalie & Benton.
The next morning B and I went in to Coupeville to a favorite breakfast spot the Knead and Feed. We had communicated with Dug and Krissy on who they thought did it, filled in our ballots and headed back to Langley. On the way we did some Geocaching. We stopped for another beer at Double Bluff after turning in all four ballots and went back to some of the stores we had been in the day before. Dinner at Prima Bistro before we headed to the middle school to find out who the killer was. The killer unveiled, we were unfortunately wrong but stuck around in the hopes of winning a prize. Alas we went home empty handed but had a blast and we will be back next year!