How to Host a Murder: The Chicago Caper
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Philadelphia, September 26, 1928
Coppone Released From Prison!!
Chicago gang leader Harold "Hal" Coppone was released today from Awsume State Penitentiary near Philadelphia after serving a six-month term. Coppone, who was jailed for carrying an unlicensed weapon, was met by a group of his men - among them was Chicago gangster Joey "The Rattlesnake" Ratello, chief suspect in the recent killing of Marco "Machete" Molino - and departed quickly in a powerful seven-passenger Lincoln Touring car. While he had nothing to say to the press, Coppone and his men were undoubtedly headed back to Chicago where, it is rumored, they have more than one score to settle.
Molly M. Awbsterr, Earnest ("Bet A Million") G. Ambler, "Silky" M. Adam, Eddie ("Socks") R. Gyle, Malissa F. Orrthot ("Scoop"), S. Treighton Harrow, Anna Maria Carlotta Sassine ("Torchy"), Billy "The Kid" Thrower.
MOLLY M. AWBSTERR
A society dame from New York, where the Awbsterrs are a prominent and respected family, Molly came to Chicago for the action and because, in her own words, "Chicago is a fun town." Molly is a flapper from the top of the feather in her hat to the tip of her satin shoes and she maintains an apartment on the top floor of Chicago's most exclusive apartment-hotel. She is a consummate shopper, driving herself about town in an elegant Packard DeLuxe Eight Sport Phaeton automobile. Friends and acquaintances call her "The Moll."
Costume Suggestions: Fringed flapper dress with bead necklace, cloche hat with feather.
ERNIE ("BET A MILLION") G. AMBLER
Chicago's most colorful millionaire gambler, Ernie parlayed a small stake into a stock exchange fortune early in the decade. He still actively plays the stock market, but his favorite game is poker and he can often be found at a table in the notorious back room of Chicago's Green Tables, where they play the "richest game in town." Ernie is flamboyant, outspoken, always ostentatiously dressed, and never without his diamond stickpin and Havana cigar. It's said that he will bet on almost anything.
Costume Suggestions: Flashy (ostentatious) suit, diamond stickpin, Havana cigar.
"SILKY" M. ADAM
Silky is a slinky and shady lady who owns and operates The Everlay Club, Chicago's most prominent private establishment situated in the exclusive Luxington Gardens district. Silky's father, "Champagne" Charlie McCorker, founded the club years ago, and his daughter, christened Penelope McCorker - known to friends as "Poppy" - took over management at about the time she married prominent Chicago businessman U. Penn Adam. After her husband's unexpected death, the young and beautiful owner became known as "Silky" for the elegant silk gowns she was accustomed to wearing in the evenings. Silky counts among the club's members the wealthiest and most influential citizens of Chicago, who, despite their busy schedules, often stop in at the club for an hour or two simply to pass the time in the club's elegant and relaxing atmosphere.
Costume Suggestions: Silk evening gown shimmering with glittery beads.
EDDIE ("SOCKS") R. GYLE
Smooth, fashionable and clever, Eddie is an avid golfer and spends most afternoons on the links at the exclusive Lake View Country Club dressed elegantly in plus fours and argyle socks. In the evenings he can be found at his exclusive gaming house in downtown Chicago, known simply as Green Tables, where the affluent, the trendy and the compulsive citizens of Chicago come to gamble. Those close to Eddie also know him as a deal maker and in certain circles as "Fast Deal Eddie," although what he deals in and with whom he deals is never mentioned.
Costume Suggestions: "Plus fours" (knickers) and argyle socks; bow tie and putter.
MALISSA F. ORRTHOT ("SCOOP")
As a young reporter for the city's leading paper, The Chicago Trumpet, Scoop quickly made a name for herself on the crime beat, later covering the political scene. Her considerable beauty and lively charm have undoubtedly helped further her career, and she enjoys a broad circle of influential and powerful friends on both sides of the law. She counts as a close friend and ally the editor-in-chief of the paper, Augustus Kohn - known affectionately to his staff as "Citizen Kohn." Recently though, Scoop has written a series of articles exposing corruption in government and, as a result, has antagonized several of the city's most powerful figures. Undaunted by threats against the paper and herself, Scoop has vowed to carry on the crusade "until I've exposed every crook in Chicago."
Costume Suggestions: Long loose jacket with a tight skirt; business suit.
S. TREIGHTON HARROW
U.S. District Attorney and chief opponent to the criminal element in Chicago, Harrow is single-handedly responsible for bringing to justice several of crime's most despicable practitioners. Foremost among those convicted through Harrow's efforts are mob hit man Charlie "Golf Bag" Marconi (who carried a machine gun in his golf bag) and Maximillian Buccher, alias Max the Butcher, alias Max the Knife. Amidst the corruption and complacency that characterize Chicago law enforcement, Harrow stands out as a shining example. Harrow carries on a tradition set by his renowned trial attorney father, Clarence D. Harrow. Nobody knows his first name.
Costume Suggestions: Sharkskin suit; briefcase.
ANNA MARIA CARLOTTA SASSINE ("TORCHY")
Currently the featured singer at Eddie Gyle's Green Tables, Torchy has also appeared in many of the exclusive night clubs of Chicago and has sung with many of the town's top jazz bands. While she brings to music an exuberance of style enjoyed by fans of the modern sound, it is her rendition of the more traditional blues melodies and so-called "torch songs" that have earned her the nickname "Torchy." Her smoldering beauty and sultry voice contribute to Torchy's appeal, as does an extensive repertoire that includes the latest in Chicago jazz, as well as more traditional blues numbers.
Costume Suggestions: Sultry, shimmering sequinned gown.
BILLY ("THE KID") THROWER
Star pitcher for the Chicago Stock Kings major league baseball team, Billy was born to play baseball. His grandfather was Bulford "Bull" Thrower, famed for his dreaded "mud-ball." Termed "almost impossible to hit," the pitch suffered the disadvantage of requiring a muddy field or, in the alternative, a well-endowed cow pasture. Grandson Billy has carried on Bull's tradition and in his first major league game struck out 11 batters. He currently holds the league strikeout record. Off the field, Billy is as fun-loving, hard-drinking, warm-hearted, lustful, brawling and hell-raising as a baseball player can be. He won 22 games for the team last season and is on a faster pace this year.
Costume Suggestions: Baseball uniform, glove and ball.
This game is great. This was our groups first murder mystery and everything was laid out so easily that anyone can do one. All of the people who came dressed up and acted the part. We also turned my friends patio area into a speakeasy with a craps table a bar and poker. All of these extra things added to the fun and let us stay in character for longer. No one completely figured out who done it, but it was all still very fun and the ending did make sense. We are going to do the 70's themed one next. any suggestions?
For years, I have been eagerly waiting to be able to host a murder party for my birthday, and "The Chicago Caper" was definitely a surprise. I had expected the story itself to be weak, but its complexity and intrigue had me wondering why the authors hadn't pitched it as a film script instead!
The characters are all very exciting as each of them has a thoroughly believable motive and the way in which they have all had interactions with each other adds layers upon layers to the plot.
It might have just been our group, but none of us managed to completely solve the case, and so I am inclined to think that this episode is probably one of the more difficult stories. However, that didn't stop us from enjoying it. And hey, hopefully we might get the chance to do another.
This was one of the most enjoyable parties we have hosted - everyone came in costume and acted their parts to the hilt - but we were so busy laughing at all the double-entendres and insinuations that we neglected to closely follow the time details of the clues , which were imperative to the solving of the mystery...none of us guessed the correct murderer, but we all left laughing. Perhaps a bit less of the bathtub gin next time.... I would highly recommend this game - every character is well-rounded and fun to play. The solution is tricky, but makes sense. I will definitely play more of the 'How to Host A Murder' line.