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Downloadable Murder Mysteries: Murder at the Ivory Tower

Updated: May 24, 2023

Looking for a challenging brainy activity for a rainy day? Check out this fun downloadable mystery, available for just $5 on Teachers Pay Teachers.

Every year, a group of famous authors meet via time machine at their secret lair, known as the Ivory Tower. This year, eight authors arrive, but only seven live to see the end of the party. Can you identify the murderer using only witness statements?

This fun cooperative activity reimagines a world where renown writers describe a bizarre evening in their own words ... a party where seven wildly different female authors battle for the affection of the popular rogue, Edgar Allan Poe. Present that evening were Jane Austen, Emily and Charlotte Bronte, Mary Shelley, Shirley Jackson, Louisa May Alcott and Emily Dickinson. When Jane drops dead in the middle of a roomful of people, there are in fact too manysuspects in the case.

Download nine letters, including two missives from the local constabulary describing the scene and the clues found there, and seven letters from the surviving guests at the party. Each letter describes what the writer saw and did that evening, written with wry humor in their own inimitable styles.

Challenge your students to work together to find the means, method and motive of the killer. Everything they need to solve the case is included in the descriptions in the letters. Using close reading and logical deduction, students will be able to pinpoint the person who was able to commit a murder in plain sight. Letters and clues can be printed or viewed online, and can be read silently or out loud by students playing the characters.

A solution package includes a final letter from the Chief Inspector on the case explaining the answers to the mystery.

The initial download includes a PDF with a link to a Google Drive, where the rest of the documents can be found. Be sure to sort the files by "Name" and "A-Z" when you view them in the Drive.

Once you've solved it, please leave a rating or review on the Teachers Pay Teachers site :)


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