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Mystery and Crime Fest a Drop-Dead Success

Thu, 04/20/2023 - 11:30
Participants in the Who Killed the Mayor? forensics program during the Hamptons Mystery and Crime Festival peered through microscopes and magnifying glasses and studied fingerprints as they sifted through evidence to find the “murderer.”
Durell Godfrey

Hamptons Whodunit, the first-ever crime festival in East Hampton Village, was a big success, according to Carrie Doyle, the village board member who, along with Jackie Dunphy, Mayor Jerry Larsen, and his wife, Lisa Larsen, co-founded the celebration of  mystery and thriller writers and fans.

“Immersive events sold out in a hot minute,” Ms. Doyle said in a phone call. “The escape rooms, the graveyard tour, and the mayor’s crime bus tour all were popular. I could have sold them all three times.”

She said 500 to 600 tickets were sold for the panel talks, and 130 were sold for the kickoff cocktail party at the Maidstone Club, but that many more people attended.

“People really want to engage,” Ms. Doyle said. Next year she promises there will be even more interactive gatherings. Surveys were sent out to attendees to get more ideas.

“We met people who traveled from New Zealand, Canada, three people from London,” she said. “We did this for the community, as some off-season programming, to help get people into the village.”

The Baker House, the Huntting Inn, and the East Hampton House were co-sponsors providing housing for authors, many of whom came from abroad.

“They couldn’t believe it was our first year hosting the event,” Ms. Doyle said. “It was fun, very successful. We couldn’t be happier.”

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