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How to Host a Murder: The Grapes of Frath
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Motor Yacht Le Voyeur:
As Archibald Frath's guest aboard Le Voyeur, you will be interested to know some of the details of the yacht and the cruise you will be making aboard her. \Le Voyeur is 142 feet in length, with modern facilities and luxuriously appointed throughout. She has eight guest staterooms, four to port and four to starboard, with Frath's stateroom aft. The Grand Salon and the canopied On Deck Lounge are the center of social activities on board.The yacht carries a crew of twenty-two under the command of Captain DeMeirre, a master seaman whose exploits in the Mediterranean are legendary. Equally famous is the ship's fare, concocted by a galley staff of seven, overseen by Master Chef Franois Pigout.Guests will board the yacht in Monte Carlo on 5 June 1928, between 9:30 a.m. and noon. Luncheon will be served in the On Deck Lounge at 12:30 p.m. and the yacht will depart at 2:00 p.m.
Cosette LeTorchier, Daimon R. Foreva, Donna Mata Tomei, Holden Von Piston, Captain Mal DeMeirre, Mona F'Amour, Sasha Sonovabich, and Upton Yors.
Cosette is the wife of Archibald Frath. Once an heiress to the greatest champagne vineyard in the world, she was devastated when the vineyards and family estate burned to the ground, killing the rest of her family. When the smoke had cleared, the land remained barren, and Cosette was left with nothing. As the wife of the richest man in the world, she is once more reclimbing the ladder of European society-although it's been a rocky road, since everyone believes she set fire to the vineyards herself. Of course, it has never been proven, but many people feel they can read guilt in the emotionless face she shows the world.
Costume Suggestion: Tailored, business-like dress or suit.
DAIMON R. FOREVA
Daimon is Monaco's most respected dealer of fine jewelry. The toast of the Continent, Daimon could charm the shine off a ruby and the gown off a princess. He is often seen in top hat and tails, with some sequined goddess by his side-a different one, they say, for every day of the year. Needless to say, Daimon thrives on the Monte Carlo nightlife and has flocks of admirers who are perhaps attracted to the allure of his jewels, which he wears on almost every appendage of his body. Daimon comes aboard as a guest of opera star Donna Mata Tomei, with whom he shares a platonic friendship.
Costume Suggestion: French beret, turtleneck, jeweler's loupe.
DONNA MATA TOMEI
Rising from total obscurity, Donna is now Italy's leading prima donna and melts her fans with her sultry contralto voice. Most recently she brought the house down playing the title role in the famous American opera, Madame Superfly. Off stage, the diva is shy and reclusive, but once beneath the burning lights, her arias affect the emotions of her audience with a professionalism seldom seen in the world of opera. She is a star. She knows it, and she expects everyone to treat her like one.
Costume Suggestion: Demure, but slightly theatrical, attire.
HOLDEN VON PISTON
Holden is the most successful race-car driver since the invention of the automobile. Last year he drove his Bugatti as a private entrant on the Grand Prix circuit, and placed first at the Grand Prix de Monte Carlo. This amazing feat brought him worldwide attention and rescued him from the post-war poverty that still grips his native Germany. Now Holden cavorts with royalty, spends money like there's no tomorrow, and has just been signed as the spokesman for Toxico Petroleum-a job that will reap him a handsome salary to match his handsome physique.
Costume Suggestion: Jaunty cap, white scarf, dark sunglasses.
CAPTAIN MAL DEMIERRE
Captain Mal DeMeirre is the master of Frath's yacht, Le Voyeur. A seaman of renown, he was decorated in the Great War for his heroic exploits as a warship captain. He is most famous for sinking the dreaded German battle cruiser Das Grinpull. As a result of injuries sustained in the war, he walks with a limp and often uses a cane. People say that Captain Mal has a sixth sense about navigation. Rumor has it that all he has to do is look up at the night sky to instantly read his position on the globe. Unless his duties as captain interfere, he is always included in events aboard Le Voyeur.
Costume Suggestion: Nautical attire, medals and ribbons, cane for wounded leg.
Mona is a young Parisian tres a la vogue in Paris society. She has left a trail of broken-hearted Romeos, young and old, rich and famous, who have sought her hand in marriage. She is pure, virtuous, and swears to remain chaste until her wedding day, to the disappointment of so many men. Mona is still mourning the tragic death of her father, who was killed when his necktie got caught in the window of a moving car. Mona now lives by herself on the immense and lonely F'Amour estate.
Costume Suggestion: High-fashion "flapper" dress, long necklace.
Sasha Sonovabich is the deposed czarina of Russia and sole surviving member of her royal family, executed by the Bolsheviks. Only recently has her true identity come to light. She has been living anonymously in Paris for the past ten years, under the protection of the French government. Now a celebrity in Paris, Sasha runs a successful nightclub, the Mouton Rouge. Her personal charm and flamboyance have made the Mouton Rouge one of the brightest spots in an already glittering Paris. It is rumored that she safely smuggled the famous "Pink Puma," one of the largest diamonds in the world, out of Russia. She's never denied that rumor... it's good for business.
Costume Suggestion: Flamboyant, flowing dress, lots of rings and necklaces.
Upton Yors is a brilliant American businessman and entrepreneur with a record of financial success. Upton tends to be arrogant and aloof, but certainly has reason to act so, since he will soon join Archibald Frath as one of the world's wealthiest men. Currently he handles a number of Frath's investments and runs the F'Amour Foundation, a charitable organization set up to benefit the victims of neckwear-related accidents. Upton's most recent project is the financing of the most expensive movie ever made-a film of that great American classic Gone With the Trash, which promises to change the face of cinema forever.
Costume Suggestion: "Lounge suit," homburg, briefcase.
Weight: 700 grams (estimated)