What can go wrong among a gathering of friends, discussing the love of books and lunch?
How about murder?
Close to 100 students from Lee’s Summit, Lee’s Summit North and Lee’s Summit West high schools gathered at Longview Mansion last week for a murder mystery lunch and discussion revolving around the novel “Ten.”
There wasn’t an actual killing, but the Oct. 28 lunch included whodunit-type interaction between thespians from Lee’s Summit West and the audience as culinary students from each school prepared a feast.
“I think it’s really cool,” said Ogechi Ofodu, a junior at Lee’s Summit West. “You really have to pay attention. Our detective is telling us to take notes about certain things so that we can try to guess the murderer. It’s really fun.”
Each school’s book club read the teen horror fiction book by Gretchen McNeil. In the novel, 10 high school students are invited to a secret house party on a remote island, but discover there may be a killer among them.
The live-action mystery, produced by the theater department at Lee’s Summit West and rewritten by theater instructor Brad Rackers, ran parallel to the book in some ways.
Racker’s mystery was a take on Agatha Christie’s “And Then There Were None.”
“It has the same murder mystery elements with the teenagers, but I feel like this one more resembles older murder mysteries and not the modernized ones,” Ofodu said.
Jennifer Coleman, library media specialist at Lee’s Summit West High School, said the murder mystery lunch was a perfect fit for students involved.
“We’ve got three different departments working together from all three schools,” Coleman said. “It’s been fun. They’ve been working really hard.”
Mara Mueller, a junior at Lee’s Summit North, said she enjoyed being able to hang out with other book lovers for a couple of hours during the school day.
“It’s cool to be able to see that there are other book clubs and it’s not just a few of us that like books,” Mueller said. “Food, friends, books and murder. Those are all great things. I like it all.”