Mark A. Ridge, signed by author
In the vein of ‘And Then There Were None’, ‘Clue’ and ‘Murder by Death’, ‘The Vultures’ puts a modern, comedic, gay spin on the haunted house/ mystery genre. The story takes place at Westmount Estate, on the 20th anniversary of the death of publishing magnate Simon West. As his six remaining relatives gather for the reading of his will, the mysterious housekeeper declares, “The relatives are swooping in like a wake of vultures ready to pick the carcass clean.” When the will is read, Hunter West is named as the sole heir, on the condition that he doesn’t suffer from an insanity curse that has plagued the family. If Hunter is declared of unsound mind, a second envelope of the will must be opened, and it will designate an alternate heir. As the night progresses and the storm rages, Hunter’s sanity comes into question and one of the group goes missing. Who will ultimately inherit the fortune? Will it be the charming realtor, the handsome male model, the dimwitted nail technician, the bitter old woman, the gay hairdresser, or the mild mannered accountant? Throw in a priceless pocket watch, an androgynous housekeeper, an escaped mental patient, and a pair of reunited lovers and the result is murder, with a hefty dose of laughs.
‘The Vultures’ is a modern day adaptation of two classic works, by John Willard, Mary Roberts Rinehard and Avery Hopwood. These plays, which are both in the public domain, have delighted audiences for nearly one hundred years and were ripe for an update and re-working.