The game’s a foot by Michelle Crowther

My love of Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle’s crime novels began when I was 14 and the school’s fiction library was converted into a classroom. With nowhere to move the collection of dusty novels to, the books stayed and the desks arrived. During wet lunch times, I read about Holmes, Watson and Moriarty, and immersed myself into the world of the violin-playing, opium-taking detective.

Years later, a re-read of the ‘Hound of the Baskervilles’ inspired me to rewrite the mystery as a game, adding new characters and changing the ending. I loved Holmes’ rather pompous, superior tone and Watson’s unfailing loyalty to his temperamental friend – they are such rich characters to work with.

When I tried the game out with friends, their enthusiasm knew no bounds. A guest who played ‘Hurrymore’ turned up sporting the most amazing bushy beard and carrying an ear trumpet. He maintained his character all evening, shouting “Eh?” every time he was asked a question.

The story of the ‘Hound’ has been enduring. Since it was first published in 1902 there have been over 20 film and television adaptations.

More recently Conan-Doyle’s stories have been adapted for the brilliant TV series Sherlock. Who can resist watching the talented Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman as they bring the characters of Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson to life? TV heaven!

You can find “Hound of the Biskervilles” – Michelle’s Sherlock Homes inspired game on the website as a small group dinner party and murder mystery for large groups.

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Flexible and fun!

We contacted Red-Herring-Games for a party for a special occasion. Why going to restaurants to eat is the preferred activity to mark milestones is beyond me and my friends.   The choice of mystery was obvious, looking at the options from New Zealand on the web Red Herring stuck out from the international options.  A quick look at the site and games showed subtlety as well a range of choices.  The numbers you could have for each evening was important,  Red Herring had scaling options a good range of scenarios but most importantly were Jo and team being flexible, responsive and helpful.

Rachel McWilliam, Arts Development Officer, Lincs Inspire

Thank you Red Herring Games for the marvellous 'Murder!  Cargo Connections?' event that you organised for us as part of Museums at Night at the Fishing Heritage Centre in Grimsby. The whole evening went so well and was brilliant fun.  I know from all the feedback that our visitors had a fantastic time. It was really good working with you and I have no doubt that we will do again in the not too distant future.  

A. Nonymous (council employee)

I would like to thank you and your colleague for helping contribute towards our successful conference last month.  Everyone really seemed to enjoy the evening and it was rewarding that so many delegates were able to participate in addition to the main "Actors".  Our conference evaluation froms included the following comments:
  • "Enjoyed the evening entertainment!"
  • The evening entertainment was great and the confusion made it great fun!"
With thanks and best wishes.

Sarah Spencer (Cleethorpes Chronicle)

I had no idea what to expect before purchasing a ticket for Old, New, Borrowed, Blue, which was being staged at a nearby hotel, and feared it might involve taking part in some way. However thankfully for me no acting was necessary, just some amateur sleuthing. "Wedding guests" of which I was one, were called upon to move from room to room in the hotel in groups, questioning a number of possible murderers with the aim of solving the mystery of the dead bridegroom. The interviewees were really fun characters and gave us all some good laughs. Of course they all had motives and it was a case of identifying the shiftiest. The wedding theme was particularly good, as it fitted well with the venue, the buffet that was part of the evening (with a wedding cake in the middle) and the fact that everyone had been able to dress up to fit in without going to the trouble of fancy dress. I didn't think I had enough "evidence" to actually accuse anyone but later regretted not even writing down my first guess as it wouldn't have been too far off the mark. The evening was great fun and everyone seemed to enjoy it and take part. I would definitely recommend Old, New, Borrowed, Blue as good for getting even reluctant or first-time mystery party-goers involved.  

Alan Young (Personal Touch Mortgages)

What a cracking nights entertainment! We don't get out much nowadays with 2 kids and this was exactly what we were looking for in a good night out. Lots of fun with tongue firmly in cheek and everyone kept guessing whodunnit right to the very end. Would definitely attend another!!!!!  

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