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"Malice in Wonderland" Murder Mystery

On Feb. 23, 2024, the Carlyle Campbell Library hosted its annual Murder Mystery, with the theme of this year's event being  “Malice in Wonderland.” Planned and organized by Research and Instruction Librarian Amanda Sullivan, the life-sized game of Clue delighted those in attendance as they utilized the library’s resources to uncover the next clue.

According to Sullivan, “the first [murder mystery] took place in 2008.” Sullivan said that “one of [her] big summer projects is to start work on the next murder mystery.” Throughout the Fall semester, Sullivan reviews the clues from the previous year to ensure that they will work with the library configuration. Sullivan shared that due to the new furniture and book sections like trending reads, some of the clues had to be redone, pointing out that there are “15 groups, with 10 clues each, so that’s 150 clues!” 

The attention to detail and effort put into everything from catering to costumes has been planned in line with the theme selected. Allyson Bell, an MBA student said she “loved the decor” and that attendees could “really feel how much effort the staff put into [the decor.]” According to Sullivan, “It really takes a village since there are ‘acting’ roles and other positions that need to be fulfilled before, during, and after the event.” Sullivan also recognized the contributions of her team of student marketing workers,Claire Stowers, ‘24, Rebecca Daggerhart, ‘25, Melissa Ramos ‘25, and Hayly DeWitt, ‘27, who came up with the branding and marketing campaign of the murder mystery, as well as “catching the action by taking photos and videos during [the event].”

This year’s mystery opened with the murder of the Cheshire Cat at the Queen of Heart’s tea party. After the Queen of Hearts got over her initial shock of the Cat “expiring without her permission,” attendees split into groups and began their search for clues. Utilizing the library's facilities, such as the Creation Station and Ask Desk, and databases, mystery-goers track down the clues and solve puzzles to narrow down the who, what, and where of the murder. 

Riley Heeb, ‘26, one of the student library workers, said that “everyone loved it” and stated that the murder mystery was a “good way for people to come together and meet new people, and let loose during midterms.” Heeb also gave a shout out to Sullivan and the other student library workers for their work in organizing the event. Rebecca Simmons, who identified her class as ‘23½,’ said that her favorite part of the event was “getting five plates of food.” Simmons, who is a wheelchair user, said that the library had “made accessibility improvements from last year.” The event included several specific accessible groups that had their clues presented in such a way that they would be more accessible to those with mobility concerns.

From the decor, to the food, to the cast this year’s Murder Mystery provided opportunity for the Meredith community to relax and have fun during the semester. Featuring a coloring contest and a costume competition, there were plenty of prizes to be won and fun to be had.

Spoiler alert: it was Alice in the Croquet Court with Poisoned Tea.

By Lola Mestas, Copy Editor

Photo courtesy of the Carlyle Campbell Library


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