Over the last six weeks, the team at Brookside have been performing a meticulously creative experience for their residents.

Each week they have acted out an instalment of their murder mystery, which saw the residents travel the route of the famous train as they hunt for clues to solve the case of a grisly murder. This was accompanied by a themed lunch to represent each of the countries they would visit along their hunt; a truly immersive experience.

Week 1

November 8th, 1930 - The body of Head of Care, Paul Feddery was found at the foot of the stairs. This was an untimely demise and the residents suspected foul play. Enter Captain Hastings, played by Home Manager Jamie Carter. As a good friend of Mr Hercule Poirot, he investigates the grisly scene and finds a clue: a torn ticket to the Moulin Rouge dated one week prior. Captain Hastings hot-foots it to Victoria Station and catches the next available train to Paris: The Orient Express.

Residents enjoyed a London themed lunch of roast dinner followed by jam roly-poly and custard.

Week 2

The residents arrive in Paris which is still gripped by the frenzy of the roaring 20s and the Gatsby era of the 30s. The Moulin Rouge is filled with flappers and gangsters listening to Jazz and watching the Charleston. The residents stay for the show. Captain Hastings interrogates suspicious people in the crowds he reaches the dancers and asks them if they know anything from the night in question. One of the dancers, played by Head Housekeeper Jeanette, seems frightened and is reluctant to answer the Captain’s questions. Just as he moves to interrogate her she grips her stomach and falls to the ground; at the hospital it is discovered that she has been poisoned! The last thing she ate was Emmental cheese and at the hospital, she tells Captain Hastings that she received it in a hamper from her aunt in Lausanne, Switzerland; the next destination

Residents enjoyed lunch of Boeuf Bourguignon and Crème Brûleé.

Week 3

The residents arrive in Switzerland and Captain Hastings travels to visit the aunt of the dancer who was poisoned the week before, hoping for some more clues. The home is empty as he approaches but a dark shadow of a figure seems to be watching him. As he searches her home he spots two Venetian masks on the table; Masquerade masks and an invitation to a masquerade ball. The date of the ball is one week from today.

Residents enjoyed a lunch of beef in mushroom sauce with vegetable gratin. Later they sampled a selection of swiss cheeses and chocolates.

Week 4

The residents arrive in Venice and they enter the masquerade ball. Behind their masks, Captain Hastings and the residents blend in with the guests. The Captain surveys the crowd. He spots ‘the Siren’ dancing the tango, seduced, he joins her and together they do the dance of jealousy. When the music fades the captain grabs her hands to ask some questions, but she slips away into the crowd, but she leaves behind a clue: her purse. Inside he finds a vial of holy water and a silver crucifix.

The residents enjoyed a lunch of moussaka or Pizza Venetia.

Week 5

The residents arrive in Belgrade: Vampire County! The captain stumbles upon the same group of dancers as he’d seen the week before in Venice, dressed as vampires. Hastings thinks he is getting close to the truth of the murder of the Head of Care, but he needs an interpreter to speak to a male dancer. Captain Hastings recognises The Siren and overcome with passion the two dance together once more. The male dancer is visibly jealous of the pair and before Hastings has time to interrogate him he slips away, heading for the train.

Residents enjoyed a lunch of spicy kebab or chicken stew

Week 6 – The Finale

Residents find themselves aboard the Orient Express headed for Athens. Captain Hastings is searching the carriages looking for the male dancer. As the train enters the station a dark figure leaps from the train and charges away with Captain Hastings in hot pursuit. He wrestles with the stranger and pulls off his hat and scarf to reveal none other than Chris, Brookside’s Handyman! Captain Hasting helps the police to apprehend him and he is placed under arrest.

So the murderer is revealed. After a confession from Chris, Captain Hastings explains that Chris was fed up with painting, gardening, fixing things and being told what to do. He didn’t mean to kill the Head of Care but he had questioned his whereabouts the week before when he should have been at work and wasn’t; because he had been to watch the love of his life, The Siren, perform at the Moulin Rouge. The Head of Care had found the ticket and wanted to know how he could afford a trip to Paris on a Handyman’s wage! He said that he had been moonlighting as a chef in a restaurant to earn extra cash. The two had argued and the Head of Care attempted to give Chris a formal warning about his behaviour. He stormed past the Head of Care but bumped into him and he stumbled. Chris tried to catch him but he fell and so he met his end. Chris was scared and so he fled to his love, but she rejected him. In fear of returning to Brookside he caught the train to Athens to be with his Mama, she would know what to do.

The case is cracked.