It's the City Girls High Class reunion. They all finished school together. But because they all grew up in a big city, this isn't a normal timid little "girls' school" reunion. They are all pretty streetwise. The reunion was to be held in City Cross (commonly known as 'The Cross') in the inner city near their old school. But evil has struck. Which of these ladies murdered that other classmate who didn't make it to the party? Yes – who did murder that card carrying skeptic and determined winner of every argument – Helen?
Mary: "But even that didn't stop her. Instead of ringing me, she started sending me emails – sometimes forty a day about what I should do."
What they've said
Kim Ganderton, Australia
This mystery was written for Kim and her group of girlfriends. Here is her feedback:
"Hi Stephanie – everything went really well – the girls excelled themselves – dressed up really well. It was hilarious. One person guessed the murderer... It was great."
Carol George, USA
"I wrote to you a while back and ordered the murder mystery for a reunion of 12 women who grew up in a red light district. We had a blast! Everyone really got into their roles. Costuming was wonderful. My florist made a tacky arrangement with red carnations, a red light bulb, and fishnet hose for the centerpiece. We spraypainted lightbulbs with red and glitter for each person's placecards."
See photos no. 1, 2 and 3 above.
The party was 'One of the girls'. It was a great success and everyone had a fantastic time.
All the best
Wendy Frost, USA
Wendy used this for her daughter's party:
"My daughter's 12th birthday party was a great success! All 16 girls, 12 to 13 year olds, played their suspect roles perfectly, right down to the suggestions of dress. At the dining room table over appetizers, then dinner, then dessert the girls chatted through their acts with ease and excitement. Believe it or not only 2 of the girls guessed correctly. All of the girls thought it to be an "awesome" party!
Thanks for the fun.
Melanie Law, Dubai
"We are all nursery teachers working in Dubai.
What a great laugh we had with this party. Everyone had went to a lot of effort with their costumes. No-one guessed who the murder was although there were a lot of accusations flying around.
Bonnie Carlson-Green, USA
Bonnie sent in this feedback about her party (see photo no. 4 above):
Here's our entry for your photo competition from our "One of the Girls" party we had for our daughter's 11th birthday. We had a blast--all the girls had great costumes and took their roles very seriously. We organized it as a reunion for the Class of 2018 (their actual graduation year) and decorated with sports wear and school colors from their high school. We decorated cheap wine glasses (from IKEA) with each of the girl's character names and "Class of 2018" so they knew where to sit at dinner and could take the glass home as favors.
The girls had a bit of trouble getting started with Act I and were a bit confused about who speaks when and when to provide their clues and ended up just going around in a circle and reading their clues. By the time we moved to Act II, they had figured it out and all went swimmingly after that.
My only comment about using this with 11 year olds is that there is a lot of reading involved and some kids were not that proficient with some of the vocabulary ("psychologist"). In the future, I might want to edit it a bit or give out the scripts in advance of the party so the girls could review them. They howled about Myrna being CEO of an underwear factory or Diana and the sweaty footballers.
There had been a snowstorm that day, but many of the parents remarked there was no way their daughter was going to miss the party because they had been very excited about the party. We ended up giving the website to a couple of parents who thought they might like to purchase a party for themselves. We would definitely do this again--who knows, maybe it will become an annual birthday tradition??!
Thanks again for making a great birthday party that was super-easy to execute (no pun intended).
(purchaser and mom)"
Dawn House, USA
Dawn sent in this feedback about her party (see photo no. 5 above):
"I purchased the play, "One of the Girls" for our Red Hat Chapter. We performed it for a group of 35 red hatted ladies in May and they were all so happy to have the challenge of "who dunnit". This was our fifth play, but the first purchased from you. They all said, it was the best yet. We would like to enter your contest and I am attaching a picture. You can see that the gals had fun dressing the part and using props to enhance the story line. Hope to hear from you.
Lindsey Ashmore, USA
Lindsey sent in this feedback (see photo no. 6 above):
"I purchased the "One Of The Girls" dinner party kit and hosted it for my "bunco" group last month. Everyone had a blast. They really got into their characters and had a great time with the costumes. It took us a bit to figure out how to make the clues flow but I think we got the hang of it. One of the girls gave your web site to her mother so that she can host a party for a group that she belongs to. We'll definitely do it again.
I'd like to share our photo attachment: Bunco girls.
Kim Muoio, USA
Kim sent in this feedback about her "One Of The Girls" party (see photo no. 7 above):
"My name is Kim Muoio. I purchased the “One of the Girls” party kit for my neighborhood girl’s night that I hosted on January 19th. There were 21 women who all had a blast at the mystery party. The costumes and acting really made the party! Some of the ladies were having so much fun that they forgot to try to figure out who was the murderer! Thank you for the very entertaining evening! The pictures that I have attached are Angie Mary & Madelle [shown above] and Petunia.
Note: The reading levels of each kit (not just "page" as it says below) were determined by copying and pasting the kit (the meet and mingle version for 17 to 30), into The Readability Test Tool (see www.read-able.com).
Some of the characters
The people present at the meeting are:
I'm a long-range weather forecaster. I read clouds and tell their future. I'm the nation's top weather forecaster. I'm even in the newspaper. I've known Helen since kindergarten. She used to always pull my braids. We were friends at elementary, but since high school we drifted apart. She hung out with the brainy kids. I hung out with the hip kids even though I was pretty brainy. Even at high school, everyone knew I had talent. I used to earn money predicting the weather for some farming friends even then. Once I remember, Helen came with some of her friends to find out my weather prediction for the next football match. Even then she was out to prove me wrong. I told her that it would rain so much the game would be postponed. She burst into tears. And it did rain. Of course, she never admitted I'd been right.
I married a mega rich man and I just love my condominium by the beach. My parents were poor. My mother worked as a cleaner and my father worked as a barman. Sometimes when I'm lying back on the deck of my condo, I can't believe that someone like Helen and I would have been high school buddies but we were. She was much smarter than I was, but I think she hung around me because I made her laugh. That's what Artie, my husband says. I make him laugh too. But Helen and I had a dramatic bust up of our friendship when we were 16. I'd discovered boys and when Helen found out I had a boyfriend, she said she'd never talk to me again. I think she was jealous. Helen was a plain looker then and she still is. Sorry – was – until yesterday. Oh. I'm getting so mixed up. I'm not used to talking about the dead.
I'm the latest mega-bombshell – first I was a model, now I am a singer and soon I will be an actress – my fans love me. Helen and I met at primary school. My parents had moved to the city from the country and we lived in an apartment two doors down from Helen. Helen and I spent a lot of time together trying to understand life. You know - we talked about our parents, our loves and so on. Of course we floated off into other circles at high school but we'd still pop around for a chat occasionally. When I turned 16, I won a beauty contest and my life changed. I got offered a modeling job after school and at weekends so I did it. I left school when I was 17, because they wanted me to go overseas modeling. I only saw Helen when I was home on holidays.
I stutter. I'm so shy that I never speak first and I have just inherited heaps of money and I haven't a clue what to spend it on. H-H-Helen and I m-m-met at high school. I think she felt sorry for me because I was so shy. I was pretty bright, so we were in the same classes and so we talked a lot about our homework and stuff. Helen's home life wasn't too good because her parents had split up. Helen used to invite me to stay at her house a lot. Helen's Mom was an executive in a big company. I really admired her. My Mom was just a housewife.
I have just had my 15th child and if God gives me another one I will have it too. Helen and I were friends from the beginning of elementary school but we weren't as close at high school. My husband and I started dating when I was thirteen. I used to see him on my way home from school. I still love him – kook that he is. My husband and I were both from strong Catholic backgrounds. I wanted to marry Pete when I turned 15, but our parents wouldn't hear of it, so I had to wait till I was 16. Soon after I married I became pregnant. I bumped into Helen around this time and her eyes nearly popped out of her head when she saw my big tummy.
I'm a bikie chick who is so pushy I could sell lipstick to a nun. Now ya might ask how a dude like me came to mix with a square-head like Helen. Well, it was 'cos our mothers were best friends. My Mom worked as a psychiatric nurse and she met Helen's Mom at a writer's group. Our Moms had some stupid idea that we should be friends too. But I was already way too cool for someone like Helen. I was already friends with a whole bikie gang. I tried to talk Helen into meeting them, but she freaked out and threatened to tell on me for spending time with them. I had to show her the more rough side of my nature to keep her trap shut.
I am the chief executive of one of the nation's largest corporations – oh and by the way – I am also married, when I get time to remember. Helen and I were both great at math and most subjects. Helen had gotten a bit into academic altruistic concepts. I think she was shocked when I said I planned to make it to the top and to make heaps of money. Both Helen and I weren't into boys so much early on. Mainly because we both weren't great lookers and the boys weren't interested in us. I've since spent a lot of my money improving my appearance. Poor Helen didn't. Even then, Helen had no concept of time. She was often late to class. I told her she wouldn't get anywhere if she wasn't punctual, but she ignored me.
I'm a true adventuress – my latest love is dancing with sharks and other sea creatures live on TV. I became friends with Helen at the squash courts, but even though she was into fitness, she was more into her books. She was such a wimp, such a chicken even then. I invited her to go rock-climbing with me one weekend. She agreed, but then she freaked out half way up a rock face. It took 2 hours to get her down. After that Helen declined all my invites. She wouldn't go scuba diving with me and my Dad, so I had to find another friend who would. Helen joined the Girl Guides and so did I, so we met up again. But she never finished all her duties on account of her being terrified of heights. One time at a Girl Guide camp, Helen told on me because I went off and explored a fenced-off dangerous area.
I am a good Hindu Indian mother and I always lower my eyes when speaking with strangers. I am married to a used car salesman, so it's just as well I lower my eyes. Helen and I met at high school. We were both good at science. I think Helen was interested in me because I was from such a different culture. Sometimes I invited Helen back to my family's house, but I wasn't allowed to visit hers. My parents were worried that Helen would corrupt me. I'll always remember the gifts she gave me. She knew I loved jewelry and trinkets. Helen told me about her parents splitting up. I had trouble relating to it, because my parents had been married for years. I had been promised in marriage since I was a child so I knew I wouldn't be allowed a career. But I studied anyway, because I enjoyed learning.
I'm a bouncy public relations officer for a football team – professionals, of course. Helen and I were elementary school friends, but not really high school buddies. I was too much of an extrovert and too much a social butterfly for Helen to catch in her net. But because I'd known Helen, I didn't let any of my new friends make fun of her and I think she appreciated that. Of course, because of my organizational skills and popularity, I ended up school captain. Helen's brother and I started dating. He was such a good looker, not like Helen. I think Helen couldn't handle having an old friend going out with her brother. She was always trying to start arguments with me to make me look like a bimbo or something to her brother, but he couldn't care less.
I'm a farmer. I can't hack this city stuff. I'd prefer to hack into those thistles. I always wanted to study agriculture, but they didn't offer it at City High, so I had to content myself with biology. I was always a bit of a tomboy. I still am. My grandfather had been a farmer and I knew it was in my genes to get back on the land. I spent a lot of my holidays at my Grandpa's and one time I took Helen along. She liked it, but she couldn't get the hang of riding a horse for the life of her. When my Grandpa cut up an old cow for a feast we were having, Helen threw up. I'd already killed lots of animals so it didn't worry me. Death is a part of country life.