It was a dark and cold night on Friday, February 3, when students gathered for the Library’s 2017 Murder Mystery. The theme this year was Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and students entered the library at their own risk. They were enticed to come in though, as a wonderful spread was delivered by dining services that included dainty and delicious zombie brain tea sandwiches, chocolate covered zombie heads and sweetened zombie organs. Before the night was over everyone would be devouring the treats.
With the food set up upstairs, downstairs our zombies were being created by the talented Alyssa Schuster who is not only a circulation student worker, but a talented makeup artist as well. As brain caps were donned, and the fake blood was drying, the rest of the suspects, I mean characters, were donning Regency era costumes loaned graciously from our theatre department. Mr. Darcy brooded in his top hat and tails, while Mr. Collins mumbled from a book of prayers. Mrs. Bennet, who was delightfully played by Trevor Berreth, looked the part thanks to a bonnet, a dress, and the countenance of a great sport. His wife CamiAnne Berreth, a new addition to our Technical Services team, was trying to marry off her daughters, Elizabeth and Lydia, as they flited around the event too. The tour de force performance was given by Jennifer Williams, who graduated from our Theatre Department, and played Lady Catherine without breaking character all evening. Upon judging the artwork the students created she exclaimed, “I’ll never be able to decide who the winner is, as I like having all eyes on me like they are now and should be!”
Once the doors were the locked, the students dashed off all over the library to figure out who murdered our beloved Jane Austen using our library resources. As they read their clues that lead them to article abstracts, book titles, and library nooks, they were able to solve the mystery. It turned out Mr. Collins bludgeoning poor Jane Austen with a collection of her own works! The first group who finished correctly solved the murder, but it was a bittersweet moment. This was their fourth, and last, murder mystery as the team is graduating. After the prizes were awarded, the students and the characters lingered and snacked until the finally zombie ambled out into the night.
— Submitted by Amanda Sullivan, Research and Instruction Librarian