Library Mysteries

Welcome to Library Mysteries. Our unique whodunits are set in libraries and feature 8 to 12 suspects, played by your local community leaders and luminaries. We originally wrote the first mystery for our local Friends of the Library as a fund-raiser for the Danville Library of Contra Costa County and the Dublin Library of Alameda County. They were so successful that soon libraries all over the country began ordering scripts for their fundraisers. We've been offering our Library Mysteries since 1987 and libraries have made thousands of dollars for their branches. We now offer 4 different mysteries.

Murder in the Library
This tongue-in-cheek mystery begins with a book signing party by a rather unpopular mystery author, Agatha Mystery. When all the suspects have toasted her – and she has given her scathing response – Agatha Mystery suddenly drops dead between the book stacks. Whodunnit? Suspects and characters include:

Agatha Mystery, the celebrated author
Lotta Books, the head librarian
Dell Doubleday, the writer’s publisher
Dalton B. Walden, the local bookseller
Page Turner, the cynical book critic
Alexa Dynasty, the trashy mini-series star
Ron Bonzo, the local politician
Sam Slayed, the chief of police

Murder of the Loaded Librarian
When the wealthy old library patron leaves her fortune to her twenty-something gigolo, the rest of her family and staff all have a motive for murder Rocky Stallion – when he turns up stiffer than, well, a happy gigolo. Whodunnit?

Suspects and characters include:
Mason Rumpole, the shyster attorney
Heathcliff Bux, the ungrateful son
Madonna Bux, the money-grubbing daughter-in-law
Nurse Ratchet, the live-in nurse
Porky Prudhomme, the tasteless chef
Guy Happy, the gay poodle groomer
Indy Kowalski, the macho chauffeur
Jane Bronte, the retiring nanny
Rocky Stallion, the gigolo
Lt. Columbus, the local law enforcement
Lotta Books, the hosting librarian

Murder of the Mystery Detective
When the world’s favorite mystery detectives gather together for a game of Klew, the eccentric game-show host turns up dead in his Clue inspired mansion. Whodunnit? Suspects and characters include:

Lotta Books, the hosting librarian
Hemlock Bones, the know-it-all criminologist
Agatha Mystery, the nosy neighborhood snoop
Sam Slayed, the hard-boiled gumshoe
Nancy Prude, the teenage girl sleuth
Hercules Perot, the foreign intrigue
Kutesy Millstone, the tough gal detective
Sir Arthur Conan Hoyle, the game-show dick
Chief Inspector Adam Dogleash, flatfoot in charge

Murder, Maestro, Please
The trend-setting library is featuring a special jazz event, complete with radio broadcast, live from the library – until the music – and the Duchess Ellington, the famous jazz singer – died. Whodunnit? Suspects and characters include:

Oprah-Lee Gifford, radio show co-host
Regis Rivera, the other radio show co-host
Tangerine Lipgloss, makeup artist
Jellyroll Goodman, sound engineer
Clarinetta Fitzgerald, talk show producer
Gopher Clueless, radio errand boy
Danielle Savoy, program scriptwriter
Earl-Fatha Spielberg, program director

How to Host a Library Mystery

If you’re interested in hosting a Library Mystery, we’d be happy to send you one of the four, for one-time-use only. They’re fully scripted and easy to produce, and each package contains:

  1. Complete scripts for individual suspects to read (no memorization required) and costume suggestions.
  2. Complete information on stage direction for the suspects and the basic production of the mystery.
  3. Police Reports, props, clues, crime scene layout, name tags, and other necessary materials personalized for each mystery.
  4. Complete instructions for additional props needed for the mystery.

We are available to answer any questions and help with the production as best we can over the phone or via email. The fee for the mystery is $150 (we love libraries!), but we also offer the package on a sliding scale, since some smaller libraries may have more limited budgets. (It’s up to you to decide the final cost.)

Our Library Mysteries are always well attended and wonderfully received, according to the many thank-you letters we’ve received. Fremont Library raised $3,000, welcomed 200 people at $15.00 a ticket. Sure beats those overdue book fines!) Many libraries return year after year for additional packages. Since we began writing the mysteries in 1987, we’ve sold over 500 packets, and raised countless money for libraries across the country.

If you’re interested in receiving a Library Mystery packet, email or call us and we’ll send it along for you to look over.

Tom and Penny Warner - 925-837-7089

Letters from Libraries

“Enclosed is $150.00 for Murder of the Loaded Librarian. We had a wonderful time with your first play and have been anxiously awaiting another.”
- Miami Public Library, Oklahoma

“Please fine enclosed $150. toward the purchase of the script for Murder of the Loaded Librarian. Since our last highly successful murder mystery, we've had numerous requests to repeat the event.”
- JV Fletcher Library

“I recently attended a Library Mystery Night at the Missouri Library Association’s annual convention, sponsored by the Springfield-Greene Library. It was WONDERFUL!! I had so much fun I talked about it at the next three Friends of the Library Meetings. Now everyone here wants to have one and the enthusiasm is building.
- Macon Public Library, Missouri

“Murder in the Library was a smashing success. We had over 80 guests, which is good for our small town library. Thanks for helping us create such a fun evening and benefit the townspeople who use the library. I’m enclosing some more items for your scrapbook – it must be filling up rapidly. I think you’d better ship me the sequel. Check enclosed.”
- Ligonier Valley Library, Pennsylvania

"The Rockland Memorial Library has performed two of your mystery plays and they have both been great hits. The nights went so well, we expanded to 2 evenings and both nights were sellouts, standing room only. If you could send us a new one as soon as possible, we’d love to start planning.”
- Rockland Memorial Library, Massachusetts

“We had another success on our hands with Murder of the Mystery Detective. We were able to get the State Senator to play Sam Slayed and the President of the Chamber of Commerce to play Bones. We are now ready to work on next year’s show.”
- Ann Arbor District Library, Michigan

“We all had great fun doing Murder of the Mystery Detective which we presented at the La Plata Public Library. We look forward to more mystery plays, since they emphasize that not all library activities are geared to children. Thank you not only for writing the play, but also for all the suggestions and materials you provided to help us produce and stage it.”
- Charles County Public Library, Maryland

“We had a performance of Murder in the Library this pass fall. It was a tremendous success. As a result the Friends of the Woburn Public Library is interested in producing another play next year.”
- Woburn Public Library, Massachusetts

“Last year our Friend of the Library purchased Murder in the Library. It was a huge success and we all had a ball putting in on. I understand that you have another play – Murder of the Loaded Librarian. I would appreciate any information about his play. We are crazy enough to put on a second performance!”
- Lady Lake Library, Florida

“We are in hopes that you have another mystery we can put on this year. We have had so much fun putting on these plays and we have helped our library out so much, we hope you have one more for us this year. Thank you so much for all you have given us over the past 3 years.”
- Villa Grove Library, Illinois

“Our Friends of the Library group is interested in purchasing one of your mystery plays to be presented as a fund-raiser for the Library. Last year we present your Murder in the Library which was a big success.”
- Houston County Public Library, Tennessee

“Back in 1993 we received your third mystery. The Friends of the Round Lake Area Library hosted Murder of the Mystery Detective. Everyone that attended really enjoyed it. Do you have more mysteries available? We are looking to host another mystery. Thank you.”
- Round Lake Area Library, Illinois

“We are definitely interested in purchasing the scripts for the play, Murder of the Mystery Detective. We have used two others that you have produced and they have been a lot of fun for the cast as well as the audience. Please send the scripts and whatever other instructions we may need as soon as possible as the cast is anxious to get started!”
- Tyngsborough Public Library, Massachusetts

“I would like to inquire about scripts available for a future event. Last month the Warren-Newport Public Library did Mystery in the Library using your script – it was a great success (although our Mayor Bonzo – the REAL Gurnee Mayor) ad-libbed so much, Sam Slayed was worried he would miss his cue!”
- Warren-Newport Public Library, Illinois

“Please send us the script and accompaniments for your mystery production, Murder in the Library. Needless to say, we’ve already got a co-chair in place and lots of enthusiasm. A check for $150 is enclosed, but we must compliment you on your generous sliding scale for smaller, less able to afford, groups.”
- Morse Institute Library, Massachusetts