Where there is a fête, there is murder.
January 24, 2020 9:36 AM   Subscribe

Your guide to not getting murdered in a quaint English village: a list of people (e.g. the vicar, the impoverished aristocrat, the local historian who's just found something very interesting) and places (e.g. the village fête, local basements, and anywhere with a vat) to avoid if you find yourself in an English Murder Village and want to make it out alive!

"It’s easy enough to do. You may not know you are in a Murder Village, as they look like all other villages. So when you visit Womble Hollow or Shrimpling or Pickles-in-the-Woods or Nasty Bottom or Wombat-on-Sea or wherever you are going, you must have a plan. Below is a list of sensible precautions you can take on any trip to an English village. Follow them and you may just live."
posted by andrewesque (54 comments total) 58 users marked this as a favorite
 
as this otherwise suspiciously informative and helpful guide makes no mention of cunning and mischievous geese i must conclude that it was written by a goose as part of an avian long con
posted by poffin boffin at 9:42 AM on January 24 [52 favorites]


Avoid belong the local drug mule?
posted by thatwhichfalls at 9:46 AM on January 24


No luck catching them swans, then?
posted by tclark at 9:50 AM on January 24 [12 favorites]


HMMMM.....ANYONE SEEN WORDSHORE AROUND HERE LATELY?......
posted by mightshould at 9:51 AM on January 24 [28 favorites]


Should also avoid the local Supermarche. The discounts are criminal, and the owner is a slasher...of prices
posted by nubs at 9:51 AM on January 24 [22 favorites]


and also of people
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 9:57 AM on January 24 [5 favorites]


The sponge cakes are full of glass.

Ground glass in food as a murder weapon is currently top of my list of "preposterous ideas that persist in popular culture".
posted by pipeski at 9:59 AM on January 24 [2 favorites]


and also of people

For the greater good.

The greater good
posted by nubs at 10:02 AM on January 24 [12 favorites]


i must conclude that it was written by a goose as part of an avian long con

The author claims to like dogs, and geese do not like anyone, so perhaps not.
posted by GenjiandProust at 10:07 AM on January 24 [1 favorite]


Everyone's gone with Hot Fuzz but that's town. Midsomer is the home of the murder village.
posted by biffa at 10:08 AM on January 24 [26 favorites]


One should also be counselled to avoid fancy dress parties for safety reasons, as clearly a murderer could be behind any mask at any time, and also because they are dreadful.
posted by poffin boffin at 10:09 AM on January 24 [9 favorites]


More likely, there is a murderer behind every mask... except yours!

#keepmurdervillagequaint #doinnoseyoutsiders #incomerslaughterfestival
posted by GenjiandProust at 10:12 AM on January 24 [2 favorites]


"They are the xylophones of death"
posted by eckeric at 10:13 AM on January 24 [5 favorites]


avoid horsefuckers & their fans
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 10:23 AM on January 24 [1 favorite]


Their, uh, fans?
posted by mhoye at 10:25 AM on January 24 [1 favorite]


My wife loves watching Biritish murder mysteries. I haven't seen all of Midsomer Murders but I've seen enough at this point to know 75% of the people living in Midsomer are horrible assholes. I've dubbed it Asshole Murders.
posted by charred husk at 10:30 AM on January 24 [9 favorites]


There are two people in any Murder Village who are almost never murdered. Since the role of Murder Solver is usually taken already in any given Murder Village and also seems like a lot of work and bother, the simplest and most straightforward path to not getting murdered in a Murder Village is clear: be the murderer.
posted by Copronymus at 10:33 AM on January 24 [43 favorites]


The author claims to like dogs, and geese do not like anyone, so perhaps not

you really think a goose is not capable of faking you out like this?
posted by supermedusa at 10:41 AM on January 24 [5 favorites]


Since the role of Murder Solver is usually taken already in any given Murder Village and also seems like a lot of work and bother, the simplest and most straightforward path to not getting murdered in a Murder Village is clear: be the murderer.

The problem I see with that is that you probably have to go to a lot of work to set up your murders in such a way to not be caught by the Murder Solver. I would start my murders with the Murder Solver, I think. Has anyone ever tried to explain why nobody just came to Cabot Cove and killed Jessica Fletcher?
posted by nubs at 10:45 AM on January 24 [22 favorites]


you really think a goose is not capable of faking you out like this?

If there is one thing a goose cannot hide, it is it’s essential spite and hate. If there are two, the second one is poop.
posted by GenjiandProust at 10:47 AM on January 24 [16 favorites]


could you not also fake your own murder in the hopes that the real murderer will panic and try to find the other murderer to murder them first?

really i can't believe i'm revealing all my best murder avoidance secrets in what could very well be a hotbed of murderers.
posted by poffin boffin at 10:54 AM on January 24 [24 favorites]


Being the murderer is, in my opinion, not a winning strategy, unless you want to be arrested, tried, and (it's always set circa 1920-1955) hanged.
posted by cstross at 10:57 AM on January 24 [9 favorites]


If you are hanged, you can come back as a vengeful ghost in the horror spinoff series.
posted by GenjiandProust at 11:06 AM on January 24 [4 favorites]


You know, I was just planning a vacation in Murder Village. I hear the chalk outlines are just lovely this time of year.
posted by sexyrobot at 11:18 AM on January 24 [8 favorites]


what could very well be a hotbed of murderers.

Or geese.
posted by soundguy99 at 11:20 AM on January 24 [3 favorites]


Their, uh, fans?

The only thing more dangerous than an English villager who's into fucking horses is an English villager who is into horsefucking but doesn't have the moral courage to actually fuck horses him- or herself, and so is just an enthusiastic spectator.

Or a goose, yeah.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 11:22 AM on January 24 [7 favorites]


Well you could always go to Cabot Cove or Summerville
posted by Burn_IT at 11:49 AM on January 24 [2 favorites]


The pub

No one would defile the pub.


Ok, you're safe in the pub - at most they will sing inappropriately erotic folk songs at you, but the pub is how the Murder Villagers know you are their mark. If you enter a pub, and an eerie quiet descends, you should leave this village immediately.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 12:13 PM on January 24 [9 favorites]


And me, the constable with the enormous bulletproof vest and giant taxi-cab hat.
posted by bleep at 12:23 PM on January 24 [2 favorites]


Ok, you're safe in the pub

Grab Liz, go to the Winchester, have a nice cold pint, and wait for all of this to blow over.
posted by nubs at 12:41 PM on January 24 [11 favorites]


I want a cozy mystery series where it's always the solver of the last book or episode's murder that's murdered in the next. Who needs the sleuth to be a recurring character?
posted by asperity at 12:44 PM on January 24 [13 favorites]


Father Brown (90 episodes) has only a fraction of the body count of Jessica Fletcher (264 episodes).

The quaint home counties towns may be violent dens of murder-cults (q.v. Hot Fuzz), but I'm planning my vacations around staying as far as I can from Maine. You can keep your psychic teens and ancient burial grounds with ill-advised memorials to the family dog.
posted by bonehead at 1:26 PM on January 24 [4 favorites]


I want a cozy mystery series where it's always the solver of the last book or episode's murder that's murdered in the next.

Not a cozy mystery, but the Beggars in Spain sci-fi series sorta did that with main characters (hated that, actually).

I love this link very much, though.
posted by jenfullmoon at 1:39 PM on January 24 [1 favorite]


Huh, I don't remember that at all and I read that series at least once. Probably a couple of times for the first book.
posted by asperity at 1:55 PM on January 24


what could very well be a hotbed of murderers

Apparently the 'guise' is at least partly working if there is any doubt.
posted by twidget at 2:31 PM on January 24


I've been murdered several times in quaint English villages and so has the missus.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 2:33 PM on January 24 [9 favorites]


Stick with the dogs.

In A Murder Is Announced, it was Character Name Withheld For Reason Of Spoiling going to pick up their dog from the vet that resulted in Other Character getting themselves murdered. So dogs aren't safe either.
posted by dannyboybell at 3:10 PM on January 24


In English villages, vats only exist for drowning people—in beer, in pickling brine, in whiskey, in jam. This is doubly true if the vat was built by 14th century monks. If anyone offers to show you a vat, say you need to get something from your car, then start the engine and run them over. The police understand this sort of thing. Tell them about the vat.

But then they'll think you're involved in some baroque tax-avoidance scheme and refer you to HM Revenue.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 3:39 PM on January 24 [1 favorite]


The village fête is a fair, a celebration on the village green. They toss coconuts

Nonono, we toss wooden balls at coconuts. Get it right.

Lobbing the actual coconuts around like large hairy grenades is the preserve of over-excited Cub Scouts skiving their Tea Tent duties and hopped up on fizzy sweets.

I am a Morris dancer, and we perform at too many village fêtes.
posted by Morfil Ffyrnig at 4:23 PM on January 24 [20 favorites]


The quaint home counties towns may be violent dens of murder-cults (q.v. Hot Fuzz)

Hot Fuzz isn't set in the home counties. Neither is Midsomer Murders. It's SW England where you should be wary.
posted by biffa at 4:39 PM on January 24


Oh, so libraries are safe now, are they?
posted by The corpse in the library at 5:04 PM on January 24 [23 favorites]


This will be helpful for my South Downs Way walk in June.
posted by mollweide at 7:02 PM on January 24


The Vicar, library and garage.
Causton, just drive around until you find a live police officer by the yew tree.
posted by clavdivs at 10:48 PM on January 24 [1 favorite]


Just to point out that we don't have BASEMENTS, we have CELLARS, which are much creepier.
posted by quacks like a duck at 1:07 AM on January 25 [8 favorites]


Midsomer isn’t SW, it is filmed in Dorchester-on-Thames, in Oxfordshire. Morse was also set in Oxfordshire. Clearly the people who of Oxfordshire are the ones to avoid, those of us in the SE and SW are fine.

And Hot Fuzz was very clearly set in Gloucestershire, as anyone who has ever lived in Gloucester could tell you. Aside from the murders, it is almost a documentary (including Timothy Dalton the Flash Git from Cheltenham).
posted by tinkletown at 2:21 AM on January 25 [8 favorites]


we have CELLARS, which are much creepier.

ooh true. bit damp, often spidery. mysteriously full of pointy rusting agricultural tools which haven't seen use in at least a century, except for a recent murder.
posted by poffin boffin at 6:22 AM on January 25


Yarp.


One of the more mind blowing moments I’ve had was realizing that that was none other than Sandor Clegane.
posted by Ghidorah at 6:26 AM on January 25 [3 favorites]


My guide to not getting murdered in a quaint English village: don't go to a quaint English village. For all you know, the whole damned village is in on it.
posted by chrominance at 8:22 AM on January 25 [3 favorites]


Hot Fuzz was very clearly set in Gloucestershire, as anyone who has ever lived in Gloucester could tell you

Gloucester is technically in the SW. Hot Fuzz was filmed in Wells and based on Edgar Wright's experience of being raised there.

I looked up midsomer and was quite surprised. The name is obviously from Somerset as are some of the village names. While it's filmed in Oxfordshire and a few other places there are apparently clues that it's supposed to be Hampshire and Berkshire.
posted by biffa at 10:04 AM on January 25


You can keep your psychic teens and ancient burial grounds with ill-advised memorials to the family dog.

Oh, yeah- but the lobster rolls, though! THE LOBSTER ROLLS!
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 11:21 AM on January 25 [1 favorite]


Midsomer, Miss Marple and Rosemary and Thyme make this abundantly clear: never visit the village manor. Villages with 200 people in will have a manor house. 197 people in that village have never been inside the manor. Ask yourself what it is they know.
posted by How much is that froggie in the window at 11:38 PM on January 25 [3 favorites]


#incomerslaughterfestival

Just taking a moment to enjoy the ambiguity of this hashtag. Incomers' laughter festival! How lovely!
posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 1:40 AM on January 27 [2 favorites]


#cometothefêtebringafriend
posted by GenjiandProust at 12:13 PM on January 27 [1 favorite]


HMMMM.....ANYONE SEEN WORDSHORE AROUND HERE LATELY?......

Good afternoon,

This is Gerald, the valet to Wordshore. One is messaging on The Social Media by proxy due to his travels and lack of online availability. To remove doubt, Wordshore wishes to inform that he has relocated to Sweden after watching the cinematic movie Midsommar and deciding that rural events there are of more interest than those here in rural England.

He has some pictures of his current Swedish adventure here.

One will occasionally update in future commenting. However, for now, one must return to washing, pressing and returning the Nordic knitwear which Wordshore occasionally sends.

Good day to you,
Gerald.
posted by Wordshore at 5:44 AM on January 28 [5 favorites]


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