James Marston: I had a little Jerry Springer moment or two

James Marston tries his hand at flower arranging with the ladies of Woodbridge Flower Club.

James Marston tries his hand at flower arranging with the ladies of Woodbridge Flower Club. - Credit: Lucy Taylor

By the time it was all over I was exhausted.

And though I’d cracked the case at the murder mystery weekend in Buckinghamshire I found myself attending with my sister Claire – if you remember she’s the one who wants to marry a farmer – it took its toll.

Of course watching people being murdered – well finding their bodies in various states of gruesomeness brought about by liberal use of food dye and the like – is always plenty of fun and the food was good. I had the salmon though a red herring might have been more appropriate.

There were lots of arguments and every time we sat down to eat – which was fairly regularly – something kicked off between the characters.

Over breakfast – I enjoyed a couple of fried slices and a Cumberland sausage - I was nearly soaked when one lady decided to throw a glass of water over another because apparently she had killed her dogs with strychnine-laced steak – an idea that must appeal to anyone who has ever lived next door to a yappy pooch which won’t shut up.

During the buffet lunch – mushroom stroganoff – everything flared up again as we got some more clues and someone got some cream from the dessert buffet thrown at them Jerry Springer-style. It was such a mess, I decided to opt for cheese and biscuits.

Anyway on the Saturday night there was a disco during which we were all supposed to go in fancy dress based around the theme of game shows because apparently murder makes everyone want to dress up and move around to 90s pop.

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I went as “Our Graham” from Blind Date but despite performing a quick reminder no-one really knew who I was.

So on the day of the denouement – over morning coffee with a wafer – it turned out I guessed everything almost correctly, partly because I overheard someone clever discussing it and made notes in shorthand, which I later struggled to read back, and partly because there were so few suspects left it was in danger of becoming uncomfortably close to a massacre.

So by the time I returned to the west of the county to celebrate Mother’s Day with my mother who had cooked me a roast pork – because she knows I like it – I was glad to have a meal put in front of me.

I ought to have made her a batch of cheese scones but ran out of time and, to be honest dear readers, I can’t help thinking that all this mother’s day business is now verging on the out of hand.

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