All of Cordelia Smythe's mysteries come complete with no additional printing or assembly required. Read more.
This murder mystery is written with an all female cast. Male guests may be added as the male counter-point to most guests.
With the horror of the Great War behind them, the residents of The English country village of Chipping Sodbury are attempting to settle back into pre-war serenity. Mrs. Miriam MacGruder, wife of Humphrey, and Matriarch of the MacGruder family, will be acting as hostess of an afternoon tea, given in honor of Hattie Bailey-Wellington, the village vicar’s new bride. All the village “who’s who” will be in attendance. However, all in attendance do not harbor glad tidings and a hearty welcome for the new Mrs. Wellington. The serenity of English country life is about to be vexed!
Mrs. Miriam MacGruder: Wife of Humphrey MacGruder, a London Banker, and matriarch to one of the most prestigious families in the village. She, and her daughter Eliza, will be hostesses of today’s event.
Bunny Bloom: Childhood school chum of Mrs. MacGruder’s who has fallen on hard times. Mrs. MacGruder has provided room and board to Bunny in exchange for her “help” running the household.
Miss Eliza MacGruder: Daughter of Miriam and Humphrey MacGruder. Recently returned from France where she had been working as a nurse during the Great War. She had become engaged to James Griffiths, a local boy, prior to the start of the war. A wedding is expected in the near future.
Mrs. Ruth Griffiths: Mother of James, who is engaged to Eliza MacGruder. James had not been eligible for enlistment in the armed forces due to poor vision, something she is rather sensitive about.
Anastaiysa Smirnov: Impoverished Russian aristocrat: After the rise of the Bolsheviks, She and her family were forced to flee Russia with nothing but their lives.
Hattie Bailey-Wellington: Vicar Gabriel Wellington’s new bride. She and the Vicar met in a London hat shop where Hattie worked. The tea is being given in her honor.
Lucy Light: Long time companion and Ladies’ maid to Hattie Wellington. Rather high strung, and prone to threatening to kill herself. She carries a small bottle of arsenic, just for effect.
Misses Grace & Virtue Bennett: Unmarried sisters who own the local hat shop. They have lived in the village their entire lives. They know everything about everyone, past and present, and are always ready to spread a good, juicy story.
Mrs. Phoebe Marbles: Wife of village constable, and amateur detective.
Matilda: Mrs. MacGruder’s longtime maid. She runs a tight ship, and is well respected both by the village servant class, and the MacGruder family. She is accepted as an equal with all household members.
Miss Hester Wellington: Unmarried Sister of Vicar Wellington. She has dutifully fulfilled the responsibilities of “Vicar’s Wife” in the parish for the past twenty years.