Hello and welcome back to the Friday Fiction Feature! For this week’s selection, Tabatha has been inspired by the old standby- things I wish I had time to do instead of homework. This week there was a tie between “read some trashy mysteries” and “play Clue.” Because I’m lazy, I have decided to combine those two choices and give you a thrilling list of Who Dunnit mystery stories, each of which asks you to figure out which of the suspects is the murderer. We have more traditional examples of the suspected innocents who must clear their names, as well as some not-so-innocents who decide that clearing their own name only gets half the job done, and decide to do some besmirching on a friend’s account. You know, to be helpful. I invite you to curl up, enjoy the mystery, and see if you can guess Who Dunnit!
Clue: Who Killed Mr. Boddy? by Eric Weiner
To start us off with our series of Who Dunnits, I have chosen one of the best, and most fun, examples of the genre: the game Clue! Since the game so often constitutes the first introduction to the Who Dunnit, it seemed only fitting to include it in our lineup of notables. Fortunately, someone agreed with me and wrote Who Killed Mr. Boddy. Bringing the mystery off the gameboard, Clue offers the chance to find out which colorful character used the candlestick in which room without ever having to claim the dice landed wrong, and you deserve a second roll.
Mr. Boddy wanted to show his friends how much he cared so he gathered them all together to tell them they’d been included in his new will. The next day Mr. Boddy was dead. Who killed Mr. Boddy? Readers discover which of the characters from the popular board game, “Clue”, is guilty in each of sixteen mini-mysteries.
Murder Packs a Suitcase by Cynthia Baxter
Everyone who has ever wanted to travel with a camera around their neck, a fannypack around their waist, and a blinding Hawiian shirt can finally live out the touristy dream! Not in your own life, of course. Your spouse/child/sibling/parent/friend/stranger would never allow such a display no matter how handy fannypacks are!
But thanks to Murder Packs a Suitcase you can travel to all the obvious, glitter-coated, overdone tourist traps you wanted. The first in a series, the novel follows a tourist’s tourist from one landmark to another…crime scene. Finding herself on the short list of suspects, our tour guide must learn which of her companions is a killer before she can rebuckle that fannypack and start taking some blurry photos.
Mallory Marlowe is ready to turn a corner—one lined with palm trees, plastic pink flamingo lawn ornaments, and snack bars shaped like giant ice cream cones. Thanks to her new job as travel writer for the New York magazine The Good Life, recently widowed Mallory is zipping around Orlando, assigned to rediscover the glory days of “old Florida.” It’s the first of what she hopes will be many exciting adventures . . . but she’s about to discover that the Sunshine State has a dark side.
Settled in among the faux volcanoes and tiki torches of the Polynesian Princess Hotel, Mallory is on the lookout for quirky attractions like alligator farms and pirate-themed diners hidden amid the glitzy theme parks. But she’s not prepared to find a cranky journalist speared to death in the Bali Ballroom—or to find herself a suspect in his murder. With her trip coming to a close, Mallory has no choice but to figure out if one of her fellow travel writers is a killer. Because if she doesn’t get out of Florida soon, her career—and her life—are about to come to a dead end.
(Includes Mallory’s article for The Good Life, with tips and reviews of real Florida attractions!)
The Unfinished Clue By Georgette Heyer
The Unfinished is a Who Dunnit in classic style. Family and friends are brought together apparently just to annoy everyone to the point of giving them a motive, shortly before the discovery of a rich man’s body. You could not ask for a lovlier crime as the rich and beautiful compete to prove their innocence, and hide the fact that they all would have done it, if only they’d gotten there first.
The stabbing of irascible General Sir Arthur Billington-Smith fails to stir up grief in anyone, least of all his family, which is no wonder considering the way he had treated them all during the fateful weekend. Inspector Harding picks his way through a mass of familial discontent to find the culprit — and much more besides.
But He Was Already Dead When I Got There by Barbara Paul
The Who dunnit takes a turn in But He Was Already Dead When I Got There. Taking off in true Clue style, a body shows up and everyone knows it must have been one of the 6 suspects. But in this nasty little mystery the suspects aren’t content just to prove their innocence, they all pitch in and try to…”help” the detectives find the “correct” solution to the mystery. Well, anyone who’s seen a mystery show knows the police can’t be trusted to come up with the murderer, so where’s the harm in making sure they get the right wrong suspect? Right?
Styled on the old fashioned, complicated mysteries beloved by Perry Mason fans, this is the sort of classic tales where everyone’s story keeps changing and no one would dream of calling the cops.
Old Vincent Farwell announces at a house party that he will not extend his $1.5 million loan to Ellandy Jewels. The six young people assembled, all with varied interests in the company, leave to consider their options. Then one by one or in pairs, they return to Vincent’s house, find he’s been murdered, draw assorted conclusions about which of the others did it, and proceed to alter the scene according to their intentions.
Who Dunnit? How to Be a Detective in Ten Easy Lessons by Marvin Miller
What fun would it be if we showed you all these active versions of Clue, of people taking the Who Dunnit into their own hands and playing the old game out in real life, if we didn’t let you join in too? That’s why we have remembered to include you in our fun with Who Dunnit? How to be a Detective in Ten Easy Lessons so you can exercise your own investigative muscles. With ten practice cases laid out for you like real mysteries, Who Dunnit? challenges you to sniff out your own solutions. Just think, after reading this book you can set out to solve your own mysteries with ten cases already under your belt! With credentials like these, I’ll bet* there’s not a dumb cop out there who won’t let you run the investigation yourself! (*the FFF is not responsible for any “muddling about in police business” charges which may be incurred after reading this book).
The author of the popular “You Be the Jury” series of books presents ten case files in a work that encourages budding sleuths to examine the evidence and solve the crime.