This is an English language lesson with a difference. It’s a murder mystery and your task is to solve the murder.
Last night, Master Dobson was killed at his home Raven Castle while hosting a dinner party for some guests.
There are questions to be answered by you the student.
- Who are the suspects?
- What is the possible murder weapon?
- Where did the murder probably take place?
- Who committed the murder?
- What could have been the motive of the murderer?
This is the sequence of events which will help you decide and solve the murder.
At 7pm, the first guest, Mr. Smith arrived at the dinner party. He brought a bottle of wine and a corkscrew. Master Dobson led Mr. Smith to the games room.
Master Dobson left Mr. Smith to answer a phone call from Miss Jenkinson who was going to be late for the party. She needed to stop at the garden shop to buy weed killer.
The phone call lasted about five minutes. At 7.45pm, Mrs. Crump and Professor Barrett arrived together and joined Mr. Smith in the games room.
Just before 8pm, Dr. Jones and Sir I.P. Knightly arrived. A rose enthusiast, Dr. Jones inspected the rose garden before he arrived.
Fifteen minutes after the guests arrived, they left the games room and went to the dining room.
On the way to the dining room, Mr. Smith went to the toilet.
Two men were heard arguing near the kitchen.
The noise worried Mrs. Crump and she told the guests she was going to check on Master Dobson in the kitchen. She walked out of the room.
When Mr. Smith returned (to the dining room), he noticed that Mrs. Crump was missing from the table.
Miss Jenkinson hurried towards the dining room where she met Mrs. Crump.
All the guests took their seats in the dining room and asked why Miss Jenkinson was late.
As Miss Jenkinson apologized, Professor Barrett suddenly got up and left the dining room. He said he was ill.
At 8.30pm, Master Dobson brought the first course to the dining room and left.
After fifteen minutes, everyone had finished the first course.
Professor Barrett returned to the dining room at 9pm. He said he was not feeling well and went home.
Master Dobson had not returned to collect the plates from the first course.
Sir I.P. knightly and Dr. Jones went to look for Master Dobson in the kitchen but he was not there.
Before Knightly and Dr. Jones returned to the dining room, Mr. Smith got a phone call and went to the games room to answer it.
Knightly and Jones returned to the dining room and told the guests they could not find Master Dobson.
At 9.20pm, Mr. Smith came back to the dining room and told guests he had an emergency at home and left.
After Mr. Smith had gone home, Mrs. Crump told the remaining guests she was leaving and it was the worst party she had ever attended. Dr. Jones followed her out.
While she was walking out, Dr. Jones saw Mrs. Crump pick up a pair of scissors and walk towards the door.
Dr. Jones was walking back to the dining room when the clock chimed 10pm and he saw blood on the floor.
Dr. Jones ran into the room screaming ‘Someone killed Master Dobson’.
There were six guests invited to the party.
All the six guests were in the dining room at one time prior to the serving of the first course by Master Dobson.
Master Dobson served the first course at 8.30pm
Professor Barrett left the dining room before being served with the first course and did not return until 9pm. He went home shortly after 9pm without having eaten anything and saying he was ill.
Mr. Smith left the dining room to take a phone call in the games room while Knightly and Jones were looking for Master Dobson. He left the house to go home at 9.20pm.
Mrs. Crump left the party shortly after 9.20pm.
Dr. Jones saw Mrs. Crump pick up a pair of scissors as she walked out.
Around 10pm, Dr. Jones saw blood on the floor and raced into the dining room.
By 10pm, Mr. Smith, Professor Barrett and Mrs. Crump had already left. The only guests left in the dining room were Sir I.P. Knightly and Miss Jenkinson.
The dinner party was in the evening and the phone call from Miss Jenkinson was around 7.40pm because it lasted five minutes before Mrs. Crump and Professor Barrett arrived. Miss Jenkinson said she needed to stop at the garden shop to buy weedkiller. It is most unlikely that a garden shop would have been open at 7.40pm when it was probably dark.
Dr. Jones did not arrive until just before 8pm. Weedkiller would normally be applied in the garden area and Dr. Jones spent some time in the garden looking at the roses. His inspection of the garden happened around the time Miss Jenkinson made the phone call. Using his medical and horticultural knowledge, it is not inconceivable that the weedkiller had already been purchased and had been passed by Miss Jenkinson to Dr. Jones for his use in the garden.
Dr. Jones says he saw blood on the floor around 10am and announces Master Dobson must have been killed to Knightly and Miss Jenkinson. The sight of blood would suggest that Master Dobson was killed with a sharp instrument and not by weedkiller.
Miss Jenkinson is the only person who can place where Mrs. Crump was while she hurried towards the dining room, having heard two men arguing. Miss Jenkinson had phoned to say that she would be late and was questioned about being late at the dinner table. In actual fact, the fact she was there for the serving of the first course confirmed she was not late at all and the phone call could have served as a muse for collusive acts by Dr. Jones.
In my opinion, the only two men who could have been involved in an argument were Mr. Smith and Master Dobson because the other men were in the dining room – or on the way to the dining room, in which case, that would just leave Sir I.P. Knightly and Dr. Jones who may or may not have gone to the dining room via the games room. The information provided suggests they did not. Mrs. Crump, of course a woman, had gone to the dining room with Professor Barrett. The proximity of the toilet to the kitchen would help to decide whether Mr. Smith was the man in argument with Master Dobson or whether he could possibly have heard the argument which might have occurred between Knightly and Jones.
Mr. Smith got his phone call between 9pm and 9.20pm because it was at 9.20pm he told other guests he would be leaving.
The information suggests that Master Dobson was killed between 8.30pm and 9pm.
But who did it? And how? And where? And why?
Now it is up to you.