Thursday, April 24th, 2014

Can you solve whodunit in ‘Death in the Stacks’?

Tickets and Show Time
Death in the Stacks will be staged at 7 p.m. Oct. 22 at London Public Library, 20 E. First St. Patrons are invited to enjoy appetizers, beverages and desserts while putting their detective skills to work. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at the library. For details, call (740) 852-9543.

History and mystery come together for the Friends of the London Public Library murder mystery production,Death in the Stacks, set for Oct. 22.

Written by Vicky Tabor Branson, wife of former London Library director Gary Branson, the show is inspired by the City of Londons bicentennial, celebrated this year. Branson sets the story in the present day and starts with a question for which even real Londonites dont have a solid answer:How did the city get its name?

Bransons fictional town leaders hire a researcher to settle the question, but the first quits suddenly, and a second follows, both without explanation. The third has been working on the seemingly simple project for eight months.

Add to this, a rare document has gone missing from the local library. The document, allowing Jonathan Alder, Madison Countys first white settler, safe passage across the Ohio frontier, is the only known document signed by Tecumseh, leader of the Shawnee Indians.

Oh, and somewhere in the storyline, someone ends up dead. (Its a murder mystery, after all.) Its up to the audience to evaluate the clues and figure out whodunit.

“Im really looking forward to the production, said Jana Edmunds, president of the Friends of the London Public Library and narrator forDeath in the Stacks.I have a little Indian blood in me, so I think the part about Tecumseh is really neat.

The signed artifact is wholly Bransons fictional creation, but some of her narrative about Alder is based on historical fact, as are some of the family names and places mentioned in the story. Presenting the blend of fact and fiction is a cast comprised of local actors:

• Khrista King as Lucy Burnham, a local girl and news television reporter;
• Mike Lynch as Samuel Burnham, a descendant of one Londons first families;
• Tim Stonecipher as Barney Squires, former London mayor and Bicentennial chairman;
• Jane Widen as Mathilda Meri-weather, library director emeritus;
• Lin Duffey as Cordelia Simple, direc-tor of the historical museum;
• Paul Oswalt as Jamie Ross, a Cali-fornia entrepreneur and co-owner of the new café/comedy showcase;
• Julie Oswalt as Gillian Ross, co-owner of Eat My Words Café;
• and Matthew Tlachac, playing both Matt and Pat Hyatt, identical twins hired to research Londons past.

The Friends of the Library will use proceeds fromDeath in the Stacks to help fund library programs. In recent years, the group has purchased for the library a new CD/DVD cleaner, large-print books, and books for children who completed the summer reading program.

In addition to Edmunds, Friends of the Library officers include Cheryl Baltzer as vice president, Marshall Geib as treasurer, and Becky Stickel as secretary. The group meets at 6 p.m. the fourth Monday of each month. New members are welcome.

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