chief suspect

The Murder Mystery Game

A mystery that has remained unsolved throughout the decades:
what happened to Lucy? A newspaper holds the solution!
(Click on articles to try and find clues)
ralph murder mysteryClick pic for the Sir Ralph murder mystery

Chief Suspect - The Free Online Mystery Game

This murder mystery game hinges on two simple questions – Is Lucy Lindo dead or alive? And, in either case, who is responsible for her disappearance? The pages of the newspaper you see before you do hold the information that will answer these questions. With enough patience, logic and lateral thinking the case can be solved. The solution is there before you – in black and white!

Murder Mystery Remains Unsolved!

Chief Suspect, the free murder mystery game, has been online for a little over a year now and I have to report that the Lucy Lindo mystery is still yet to be solved! Reading through the theories posted, however, I have to say that one person (who shall remain unidentified) did come quite close. There’s a little clue for you! But close isn’t good enough! And so into Chief Suspect’s second year I go, still awaiting for that solution to appear on the theories page!

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The Chief Suspect Trailer

A Very Brief History of Mystery

 From the First ‘Whodunit’ to the Online Murder Mystery Game

Edgar Allan PoeEdgar Allan Poe is widely thought to have published the first modern whodunit story with ‘The Murders in the Rue Morgue’.  The solution is a little far-fetched, but it does provide a sort of template that murder mysteries have, by and large, used ever since: A dead body (or two); a victim of a seemingly impossible murder; a cast of shady suspects for the reader to choose from; and, of course, a surprise ending and perpetrator!

Agatha Christie, The Queen of Crime, generally followed this approach also. We can have little doubt that solving a juicy murder mystery is a common pastime: Agatha Christie is the best-selling novelist of all time (around 2 billion copies sold), and is also responsible for the longest-running play in the world – ‘The Mousetrap’ which is still being performed today in front of packed houses in the West End of London – over 50 years after its first showing!

After the authors came the moviemakers and then the TV producers. The murder mystery was employed as a great way to intrigue the audience and get them thinking – usually answering their questions in the very last scenes like the whodunit books had revealed all in the last few pages beforehand! Over the last decades the camera has had us asking everything from who was the murderer on Orient Express to who shot JR?Agatha Christie

The stories appeal to the amateur detective in us all. If the author or screenwriter is a good one, he or she can manipulate us – bending our opinions page by page or scene by scene, whilst we determined sleuths retaliate by scrutinising every little line and seemingly trivial action – we know the devil’s in the detail! A war of minds ensues between the writer and the reader or viewer: she did it; he might have done it; she couldn’t have done it… Unless…

Nowadays, in the technology age, I am pleased to see that the whodunit is still alive and kicking. I am old enough to remember some of the early attempts at a whodunit on a computer screen: I recall with some fondness “Sleuth – A Murder Mystery” and “Cruise for a Corpse”. Although primitive, these games managed to convey a nice atmosphere as you went about solving the cases. They don’t write ‘em like that anymore! Ah… Nostalgia!

And so now we come to the online murder mystery game, of which Chief Suspect is, of course, one. The online platform is a natural progression for the genre – an interactive and social medium that can reach further and expand more freely than a one-off movie or book: Chief suspect, in its short life so far, has had a poll and theory page attached; has had a trial of the most publicly voted-for character; and even a supposed solution or two published! And there is still scope for more!

Despite the various formats that the murder mystery is delivered to us in, old and new, the fundamentals of the genre have pretty much remained the same. It’s a successful formula which will always hinge on that one question: Whodunit?
Copyright 2013-15
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