Tag Archives: murder games


toilet flowersToday’s blog is the character list for our upcoming murder mystery on Friday, May 13 starting at 7 pm. Wendy has way too much fun writing these. Jack fears she will snap one of these days on the line between fiction and reality…..

The bookstore lawn has long been the talk of the town. Some find their toilet flower container post-modern ironic, others call it disgusting. Then there’s the English garden herbarium, and something called heirloom seeds brought over from a Quaker Peace Garden in some remote Scottish village? All very quaint, but hardly up to standards. So the garden clubs have been sent in to help. John Bach, bookstore owner, finds himself caught between feuding clubs: the Superior Gardener Club of the Ladies of the United Methodists, and the Gardener Superiors of the Southern Baptist Ladies’ Society, Eastern Division, Virginia Chapter.

It’s gonna get ugly, and that’s not just the designs and still life in pot arrangements and perennials on a plate they bring to the meeting. When the Methodist president goes face-down into the fertilizer, whodunit? Come join the fun in PAXTON’S PUSHING UP DAISIES, the 15th Murder Mystery held at the Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap.

When you see the part you want to play, send Wendy a PM on Facebook, or comment here. We regret to say that all parts are assigned, so if you’ve not already asked for one, you are welcome to watch but we can’t offer you a live role. Also if a part is in bold, it has an assigned person. Thanks!

Superior Garden Club President (Methodist) – Paxton

Garden Club Mother Superior (Baptist) Peony  Large – As bombastic as the scent of honeysuckle, and just as strangling. Can you get a word in edgewise? Perhaps she’s the intended victim – people would certainly stand in line to do things to her with a trowel. VIRGIE

Assistant to Superior Garden club Baptist President, Violet Shrink – She has good ideas, if you could hear her. How can anything bloom in the shadows? And is it true she and Paxton were best friends in high school?

Earth Mom and fey Baptist, Hannah Hephzibah-Eleanora Smith – Never underestimate the power of Epsom Salts and good clean living digging in the dirt; but what else has she been digging up? VICKY

Loud Male Chauvinist Council Guy who keeps addressing everyone as ‘Dear’ Christopher Love – here to oversee the competition John Bach didn’t know he was running HARRY

Nerdy swinger just there to pick up girls: Jimmy – He’s like a bee in the flower garden, but maybe he’s the one getting stung (Jimmy Brown)

The Proper Horticulturalist, James, a widower – Is he one of the garden ladies’ fancy man, or does he really know that much about how to make something come to life? JAMES RYAN

Prepper, grow food while you still can, Primrose Evergreen – It’s all going to end badly, like, tomorrow. Of what use are flowers at the end of the world; produce ornamental edibles! Too bad she’s got the wrong idea about some of those poisonous blossoms.

Flirty girl, bimbo, Poppy Upster – Pushing up daisies? No, pushing up something else. Did Paxton’s husband really date her in college? SANDY

Peggy Dunn Good Bach – Margaret Bach, Girl Detective, brings her mom this time! She’s John Bach’s sister-in-law, this helicopter mom determined her little Daisy is getting in the Junior League, come blossom blight or high water. Her daughter will provide the winning garden design, or someone will die trying. The fact that Margaret isn’t interested in flowers is neither here nor there.

Hat saleslady, Ima Millner – Garden, schmarden, she just wants to sell hats and she’s got the wrong idea about this garden club thing. But maybe she’s got a couple of other wrong ideas as well; did she crash this party on purpose?

Sweetness and light to the point you want to drown her, Jonquil May– How can you not love this sweet child? Easy. Can anyone be this nice, or is she a plant? ERIN

Passive aggressive poisonous criticizer Ivy Sue Mac– “Oh, what an… innovative arrangement, dear.” If she said something nice to you, you’d know you had a terminal illness.

Overly enthusiastic gardener, Joy Abounder – The quintessential church lady; when she says “Bless you” it sounds as though it starts with “F” JERRY LOU BROWN

Social Climber Hyacinth Bucket – She came from the dirt, so it’s only natural she should use gardening to rake her way to the top; was Paxton in her way?



Filed under bad writing, Big Stone Gap, bookstore management, humor, Hunger Games, Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap, small town USA, Uncategorized, VA, Wendy Welch

OK, That was FUN!

DSCN0400Nothing clears the air like a good murder. So we had one last night at the bookstore–although I thought I might have to kill someone before it began.

It started badly: the victim (a secret to the rest of the participants) hadn’t gotten his character information, nor asked us to send it again. He arrived knowing nothing of what he was to do in his complex role.

The girl detective and her mom were detained by a few road adventures and pulled in ten minutes after start time – but we hadn’t started because another character with a big important part thought it was Saturday night, as he explained when my husband called him to ask, “Dude, WTH ARE YOU?”

In the midst of it all, Our Good Chef Kelley hauled me into the kitchen with a crestfallen look on her face. One of the desserts she’d made for the killing had failed – and the plot needed all three.

So Jack raced to Food City to buy a cake while the rest of us did some impromptu introductory activities waiting on the last character, and the victim locked himself in the bathroom to read through his part.

DSCN0402And then it all just came together. One woman used a fake French accent, and the first time she turned “Li’l Bubba” (the victim’s nickname) into “Leetil Boo-Boo” the group fell out laughing. The girl detective had to outline the body, and as she rounded his bum, the victim said, “Hey, that tickles!” Chalk and guffaws flew everywhere.

There were insider jokes (How many Mullinses does it take to change a light bulb?) as Garden Club President Lady Smythe was exposed as a fake from Bold Camp (uhhh, sorry, but Bold Camp is just too hard to explain if you don’t live here) and Guy Smiley’s oration from GOD BLESS THE CROOKED ROAD OF AMERICA was funnier each time he re-started it. (So was the aging ingenue’s audition line, “I don’t know nothing about birthing no babies.” Her husband in real life is an OB-GYN.)

And there were obvious jokes. Annie DoGood, chief protestor, held up a sign demanding “Reusable sanitary napkins” just as everyone was tucking into their dessert jellies. You never saw so many spoons hit the table at once. (But she had others. “Equal rights for cows” during the cheesecakes was generally acclaimed as the crowd favorite.) And then the rival chefs–Kellie Piercing of Third Time’s the Charm Cafe versus Lisa Cupcake of Gerry’s Deli: serving Big Crooked Road for forty years–bonded over a turkey baster.

DSCN0405At least, we think it was turkey baster….

The gang sorted Bulgarian prefab chocolate sauce from Bavarian chocolate sauce, and the poisoner got caught– except there were two poisoners working independently, and oh, who cares, it was ever so much fun!

Besides our terror that the whole thing was falling apart at the opening, some of the characters had arrived in full stress mode. One had a nasty altercation with her daughter’s coach. Another has such a high-powered job, a stress-less day would signal a coup d’etat. A third has been dealing with the terrible illness of a loved one.

So it’s true what I always say: nothing beats stress like a good murder. And last night’s was a real hoot. Just ask Leetil Boo-Boo.DSCN0403

Leave a comment

Filed under bad writing, Big Stone Gap, blue funks, bookstore management, crafting, folklore and ethnography, humor, Life reflections, small town USA, Uncategorized, VA, YA fiction