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Get a Clue: Murder mystery game draws teens to library

A body outline in the middle of the Red Wing Public Library was part of a live literary Clue game teens played Monday night. (Republican Eagle photos by Danielle Killey)1 / 2
“Steve Jobs” and “Columbo” race through the library to find the next clue.2 / 2

Batman, in the study room, with the Gryffindor necktie?

That was one of the potential scenarios during live literary Clue at the Red Wing library Monday night, where costumed teens played a twist on the murder mystery game.

The event was open to teens in grades 7 through 12, who were encouraged to wear costumes and pick their own characters, not just those from the board game.

“It’s a good, free spin on the murder mystery parties,” children and teen services librarian Megan Seeland said.

Attendees ranged from Burt Reynolds to Gandalf to James Bond. Potential murder weapons included Anduril, sword of Aragorn, Thor’s hammer and the sonic screwdriver.

“They’re a little more book-themed or library-themed,” Seeland said of the characters and weapons. The murder scene options were different areas of the library.

Participants raced through the library Monday searching for clues as to who the killer was, what was used as the murder weapon and where it took place. Library staff offered hints and other clues were hidden through the building.

Police tape and a “chalk” body outline decorated the library, which was open during the event, and drew a couple questions from patrons, staff said.

The idea for the game stemmed from discussions with the teen group at the library about activities they would like to see happen, Seeland said.

The group had played murder mystery games in the past, and Seeland also had seen it done at other libraries.

It is all part of an effort to offer programs for older kids in the area at the library.

There are many story times and activities focused on children, Seeland said, but teens sometimes get lost. And they can really benefit from staying active at the library.

“Programming is really important,” Seeland said. “We’ve traditionally had a lot of active programs for children but I think it’s good to get school-aged kids involved too.”

T.O.O.L., Teens of Our Library, is a group for those ages 13 through 18 or in grades 7-12. Activities earlier this year included a question-and-answer session with author Jacqueline West.

The next activity on the schedule is a party celebrating the release of the second “Hunger Games” film, including trivia, prizes, clips and trailers and music, according to the library’s website.

The library also offers a Tween Book Club for those in grades 4-6.

For more information on library programs, visit or call 651-385-3673.

Danielle Killey

Danielle Killey covers local government for the South Washington County Bulletin. She has worked as a reporter for other Forum Communications newspapers since 2011. She graduated from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities with a journalism degree.

(651) 459-4629