The ranch is quiet as a detective makes his way through the grassy knolls.
He’s attempting to solve a grizzly murder, or, more precisely, entertaining a crowd full of people during a murder mystery show at O’Keefe Ranch Sept. 8 and 9.
Ken Mather, author and curator emeritus, has portrayed Inspector Pourout, Father Brown Detective, Sheriff Blowhard, Rooster Crowburn, and a host of other sleuths who have solved murder mysteries at the O’Keefe Ranch for the past 20 years.
Beginning in 1997, in partnership with a local Rotary Club, he started writing, directing and acting in murder mysteries at the ranch.
“Originally, the murder mysteries happened once a year,” said Kelly MacIntosh, marketing and events coordinator of O’Keefe Ranch. “But, in more recent times, O’Keefe Ranch has put on two per year, one in June and one in September, much to the delight of the regular attendees and newcomers alike.”
The titles give an excellent indication of what to expect. Murder in the Hen House, Murder on the BC Express, and A Sheep in Wolf’s Clothing are just a few of the past mysteries.
The objective is to provide an entertaining and, at times goofy, story along with an elaborate mystery plot that will that will challenge the most intrepid amateur sleuths, Mather said.
Always set on a ranch or small Interior B.C. settlement, scenes take place at various buildings on O’Keefe Ranch, inevitably ending with a gruesome murder of some sort. Guests retire to the Ranch Pavilion where they are served dinner by Cattlemen’s Club Restaurant, and are given a set of written clues that allow them to get deeper into the plot.
After dinner, suspects are interviewed and more information is obtained, after which the guest are left to decide who is guilty. In typical murder mystery fashion, Mather the crime solver, in whatever persona he inhabits, reveals the details of how he arrived at the murderer.
The murder mystery show runs from 6 – 9 p.m. at O’Keefe Ranch Sept. 8 and 9. Tickets are $41.95 for adults, $31.50 for children 12 and under, and are available online at www.okeeferanch.ca or by calling 250-542-7868.