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Last Saturday night there was a murder at my house. It was part of a drama as outlined in an old boxed set of How to Host a Murder. While cleaning the basement three weeks ago, I discovered the slightly mildewed white box. It was last opened in the summer of 1987 in an old family manse on Cape Cod. I remembered how much fun we had dressing in costumes and portraying scripted characters during the three courses of an evening dinner. Perhaps it would be fun to do it again?

After much preparation – assigning parts, planning the dinner, selecting a maid’s costume and setting the table – the guests, er, suspects arrived. The body of their host had just been discovered and it was their duty to proclaim their innocence and find out who was the murderer.

It was all great fun; I don’t remember when I’d laughed so hard. Everyone stayed in their parts all evening and when the murder was finally solved we took group pictures to remember our time of murder, mystery and mayhem.

Upon reflection, I wonder wherein lies the fascination of whodunits? In our group the other night there were at least three of us who had lost a child or children. Wouldn’t you think we’d had enough of death? Perhaps it was an exercise of laughing in the face of death. It was a chance to use our leetle gray cells  and it was certainly a form of escapism, sorely needed in this real world of mayhem. Whatever the reason, we left our worries behind for about four hours and lived as though there were no personal pain or uncertain futures.

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