Caught In A Spanish Web

Caught In A Spanish Web murder mystery imageThis is set in Spain. Arthur Seaton, owner of the Hacienda Hotel, has been stabbed to death in his office. He was the kind of boss you’d hate to have. Someone has made sure he’ll never bully again. Was it you?

Reading level: 7

Versions and samples:

  • Standard for 10, 11 (6f5m), 12, 13 (7f6m), 14 and 15-16 guests ($29.95)
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  • Play for 10-16 guests ($29.95):
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More details:

See the sections below for more details:

Overview

In the morning, they found the owner and director of The Grand Hacienda Hotel in Spain, Arthur Seaton, dead in his office. He had been stabbed to death. The four and three quarter star, luxury international establishment had only been in operation for less than a year, but, as you will soon learn, a lot has been going on behind the scenes.

Excerpt

Pascal: “I loved the way in Spain, there was so much color. The clothes people wore, the colors they painted their houses. Everything was so rich.”

What they’ve said

Balloons animation

Patty McDonnell, USA

“We had the party May 27th. It was a big hit! Everyone loved it and we have decided to make it an annual thing! Everyone loved getting dressed in character and the character packets were easy to follow and fun to play.

Thanks for everything!

Patty”

Kerreen Conley, USA

What a perfect evening it was. I invited 14 friends from my last place of employment who really needed a break and their new boss was driving them all nuts! I thought the theme was great!

Many of the characters had never participated in such an event but they came dressed and ready to have a great time.

The room was decorated in bright colors.

At our parties we actually seal each act in an envelope and place on a picture holder as a place card in front of each plate it keeps them out of the way and easy for people to read and not skip ahead. We also use a card system where 4 small colored cards are placed next to the persons place setting and once they have completed all of act 1 clues they turn the card with a one on it over leaving a 2 showing on the next card indicating you are ready to move on this helps the host to keep track of where the clues are and who might need to have time to speak just something we have done.

A night of fun, friends and many many laughs! We look forward to our next party. Annually our family does a party in the fall and we are looking forward to the upcoming event and maybe this year we will remember to take pictures of that one!

Thanks for adding great joy to an evening that could otherwise be boring.

Kerreen”

Invitations

Reading level

Note: The reading levels of each kit (not just “page” as it says below) were determined by copying and pasting the kit (the play version for 10 to 30), into The Readability Test Tool (see www.read-able.com).

Caught In A Spanish Web reading levels

Characters

Sample characters: The staff at the hotel are:

Fiona(co-owner of the hotel)

I met Arthur when I was at college. We became good friends. After we finished, Arthur asked me if I’d like to go into a business venture with him. He thought we could pool our resources to build a new hotel in Spain and then run it together. His family was very wealthy and so was mine. It was a bit of a gamble, but we both wanted to create something special and we both loved Spain. After a bit of persuading, our parents agreed to fund the project – 50{c5404b481ce54bf7e831d425bbd6654f08f6a552062b7046152ce561291ec381} each. Arthur didn’t fancy me romantically thankfully. We were just business partners. He certainly wasn’t my kind of man. Unfortunately Arthur has always insisted on working our staff far too hard.

Sebastian (concierge)

When I was in my twenties, I was lucky enough to be able to spend some time working in the USA because my mother had moved to California after she married an American man. I learnt how to speak English fluently and I learnt a lot about the hospitality industry. I obtained work in one of the finest hotels in LA and I was able to move up the ranks quite quickly. Unfortunately I didn’t get on too well with my new stepfather who seemed to treat my mother as some kind of slave. Finally my mother decided that enough was enough and that even a poor existence was better than one where you lost all respect for yourself. So we moved back to Spain, back to our old way of life. I must admit I was sorry to kiss all that money goodbye, but I was happy to be back in Spain. So you can imagine my excitement when I heard that a luxury hotel was being built in my city by an American couple. And it has been great, apart from the very long hours Arthur expected me to work.

Pascal (French chef)

I loved cooking and my mother soon handed the apron over to me. She said I could sense what a taste would be even before I had put the ingredients together. I won a scholarship to the most prestigious culinary academy in Paris. I cooked a soufflé. They said it didn’t just melt in their mouths; it melted their hearts as well. Then I worked in one of the leading hotels in Paris. I became the head chef of the hotel. French cuisine is without doubt the best in the world, but even caviar and truffles every day can lose their appeal. You need variety and new challenges. When I heard of this job in Spain, I knew it would allow me the opportunity to experiment not only with the colors and textures of Spain but also with a different cuisine.

Jose (Spanish waiter)

When I was younger, I dreamed of being a singer. I love singing ballads – the ones that make women weep. But I realized that although I was a good singer, I was no Caruso. So I became a waiter to make a living. Almost three years ago, I married Louisa, the most beautiful woman on God’s earth! She shines like the sun in my eyes. A year ago, she gave birth to our precious little Annietta. I worked at one of the restaurants in the city, but I found it hard to make enough money to support my wife and child. Louisa had to mind other women’s children as well as her own, just so that we could afford to pay the rent. I was very happy when I obtained a job at the new hotel, because it paid more and I was allowed to sing Spanish love songs to the guests.

Francis (Spanish gardener)

My father was one of the leading botanists in Spain and he taught me to love plants. Unfortunately, I inherited my mother’s emotional side rather than my father’s intellect, so I didn’t make it to university. After I left school, I became a gardener. I always knew I would because plants are the only things that bring out the best in me. There are few wealthy people in our city who can afford to have a private gardener, so I was employed in doing minor gardening jobs by various people. When I heard about the new hotel, I was very excited by the idea of creating a big beautiful garden from nothing. I was afraid that they would give the job to someone who had been to horticulture school rather than me, but fortunately they didn’t.

Antoinette (Brazilian masseuse)

My mother was a healer and she passed on a lot of what she knew to me. I went to massage school in Brazil and obtained my certificate in remedial massage. I worked in a health clinic. I developed a good reputation. But I found that there were problems I didn’t know how to deal with, so I went on an advanced training course in remedial massage in LA. While I was in LA, I heard about a hotel that some Americans were planning to build in Spain. I thought that because I know Portuguese, Spanish and English, that I would fit in quite well in Spain. I applied for the position and I demonstrated my skills on Arthur and he said he would be happy to employ me, especially if I did that to him once a week. It was agreed and I got the job.

Maria (Flamenco dancer)

I grew up in a respectable family. We thanked God for what we had. I dreamed of becoming a nun, but later I realized that my family needed my financial support. My family was so poor that it looked as if they would have to adopt out my youngest sister if I didn’t find work. Fortunately I was lucky enough to find work in one of the restaurants as a Flamenco dancer. But I am a bit shy and I found that the clients would generally tip the more bubbly dancers rather than me. So my wages were very low indeed. When I heard of the new hotel, I thought that it would be a better place for me to work – more tasteful and genteel. I was very pleased when I got the job at the hotel. Fiona seemed such a nice lady to work for. I didn’t like it when Arthur used to squeeze me, but I thought that this was just the way American men were with women.

Tom (Caribbean barman)

I wanted to be a famous cricketer, but don’t all young Caribbean boys want to be cricketers! I loved to dance and I loved to party, so when someone suggested my being a barman, I thought it sounded perfect. My parents sent me to a top bar school in the US. I memorized all the cocktail recipes as quickly as I could. Then I came to Spain and worked in a few of the bars. I was popular with everybody and I mixed a mean drink. Then I saw the movie Cocktail and it changed my approach to my career. I knew then that I wanted to include more of my love of dancing in my job. I started moving, really moving man! And they started to pay me even more, so I knew I was doing the right thing. Then I heard about the new hotel and they heard of me. You see I had quite a reputation around town by then.

Louis (Spanish porter)

My family was poor so I didn’t go to school for very long. That is why I can’t speak much English. My first job was as a bouncer at a bar. It was a tough job. I hated dealing with drunks all the time. I was lucky to get my position with the hotel. I think they liked my smile. They didn’t seem to mind that my English was a bit poor. I bring the bags and the meals to the hotel rooms. Sometimes the clients asked me to buy postcards for them, so now I have set up a little sideline business selling postcards. They are very pretty postcards.

Marilda (Spanish barmaid)

My mother was the kind of woman who lived for her children. She had nothing in her life besides us. I am determined to not end up like her. I want a life filled with excitement, not diapers/nappies. I went to a bar school and spent my nights in the kinds of bars I wanted to work in. I have never had trouble attracting men. I love to go out with men and have fun, but I don’t let them put their noose around my neck. I found a job at a classy bar at one of the hotels. I learnt a lot on that job about how to handle drunken men. I found that there are ways to twist men around your finger without them thinking the less of you. When I heard about this elegant new hotel I just knew it was the place for me. So I put on my red dress and my best perfume and fluttered my eyelashes at Arthur. Men are so easy.

Isabella (Spanish room service maid)

Over the years, when I haven’t been having children, I have been working as a maid for various rich people. But it seems the richer they are, the less they pay. My husband hurt his back when he worked as a builder’s laborer and he hasn’t been able to work since. He has to spend most of his time lying down. We have 4 children to support, so I have to work. In my last job the woman was a slave driver. She had me cleaning the cracks between the tiles in her house with a toothbrush. When I heard about this new hotel, I thought I would be given a job as a bed maker. I was very surprised when they offered me the job of room service maid. My English is not the best, so I am often in trouble when the guest complains that I am bringing him or her not what they ordered. They start drawing pictures in the air, trying to get me to understand what it is that they want. I feel like a child in class.

Juliolla (Spanish cleaner)

When I was younger, I dreamt of marrying a man and never having to work again. But when I grew up, I realized that nobody gets to just be at home these days. My husband works as a carpenter. His wage isn’t enough for us both to live on. I was unable to have children, so there isn’t much for me to do at home anyway. I have been working as a cleaner for most of my life. I used to clean large office buildings at night. I didn’t really like this because it meant that I never got to spend time with my husband. When I heard about the hotel, I was determined to work there. Arthur, believe it or not, timed applicants on how long it took them to clean a double room. Of course I won hands down. At first there weren’t many guests, so the work was easy. The other cleaner and I used to mess around and laugh a lot. She said I can make beds so quick, I ought to be in the Guinness Book of Records.