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Local authors Jack Gannon and Cyndi Williams-Barnier.

Spend a day full of mystery at ARTworks

Get into the spirit of Halloween early at ARTworks this Saturday, Oct. 11 with two murder mystery events.

From 2 to 6 p.m., Beaufort authors Jack Gannon and Cyndi Williams-Barnier will be holding a book signing and conducting readings from their popular series of murder mystery novels. Then, at 7 p.m., ARTworks will present “Death of a Designing Diva”, an interactive murder mystery play where the audience gets to guess who they think the murderer is, the motive, and other crucial details before the final scene is played out.

Local authors Jack Gannon and Cyndi Williams-Barnier.
Local authors Jack Gannon and Cyndi Williams-Barnier.

Local authors Jack Gannon and Cyndi Williams-Barnier have completed four books together, so far, which form their “Task Force” series and are currently working on a fifth book in that series, as well as an historic book, a science fiction novel written in “B movie style”, and a Christmas-themed book set in Beaufort. This prolific duo were best friends at Beaufort High School, where they dreamed about writing a best-selling novel together immediately after graduation. After moving away from Beaufort and losing touch, Jack and Cyndi re-united 32 years later, thanks to Facebook, and in 2012 that dream became a reality when they self-published their first book, “Murder In Twos and Threes.” That book was the first in the “Task Force” series, made the Amazon best sellers list for five weeks in a row, and has now been picked up by PDMI Publishing, which is set to release both of their first two books with new covers and redesigned interiors, and also as Kindle versions. The publishing house has also agreed to release the rest of the pair’s books as well.

Since ARTworks was the site of the original “Murder In Twos and Threes” book release, Jack and Cyndi though that it would be the perfect place to celebrate their new relationship with PDMI and the re-release of their first books, as well as letting Beaufort readers get a sneak peak at excerpts from their upcoming works.

“Death of a Designing Diva” is being directed by Sue Stanny as a fundraiser for ARTworks and will be performed by a cast that includes both professional and non-professional actors who are donating their time to the project. Auditions were held in late August, and since then the cast has been rehearsing weekly in preparation for amusing local audiences with this 1930s radio play style mystery.

There are several twists to the play that will make it an unusual performance. First of all, the actors will stop the

“Death of a Designing Diva” Murder Mystery will be at ARTworks on Oct. 11 at 7 p.m.
“Death of a Designing Diva” Murder Mystery will be at ARTworks on Oct. 11 at 7 p.m.

show before the final scene and allow the audience to break into teams which will decide who they think the murderer is and their motive. During this time, the audience will get to nibble hors d’oeuvres that are provided as part of the event. Lastly, even the cast doesn’t know who the murderer is. When quizzed after rehearsal recently, cast member Ann Arrington said, “Sue doesn’t want us to know, so we’ll find out along with the audience, I guess.”

If you go: ARTworks is located at 2127 Boundary Street, in the Beaufort Town Center shopping plaza. Admission to the book signing/book reading is free. Tickets for the murder mystery play can be purchased in advance from the ARTworks website or in person at the box office. The cost is $25 each.

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