This blog post starts with a riddle and ends with me stealing a hat

Sherlock and Watson are in a pub. Sherlock arrived late because he got distracted by some eyeballs on the Jubilee Line. When Sherlock finally arrived he saw that Watson was drinking whisky on the rocks and had four empty glasses sitting next to him. Not wanting to be shown up, Sherlock orders five of the same and necks them in under a minute. All of the drinks that Sherlock and Watson had that night were poisoned, but only Watson was to die that night. How come Sherlock survived? All of the drinks were poisoned, all in the same way.

I love a good riddle don’t you? I managed to solve the one you just read while standing out of breath in a side street just off Covent Garden as I held an iPad in one hand and a lollipop in the other. What can I say, I’m great at multi-tasking. This entire escapade was a result of a murder mystery night run by Mega Bus – yes that Mega Bus.

On a freezing Thursday night (just before I was meant to hop on a plane to Florida) I found myself with a team of five other women running from Westminster, to Trafalgar square to Covent Garden to try and solve Moriarty’s devilish plot – I think he had gotten his hands on some weapons of mass destruction? Or maybe he had just spoken to someone on the tube…same same. I didn’t have high hopes for my team after they all got lost on the straight line from the Tube to the starting point. But turns out we were the dream team, who were destined to go on to win the entire shindig and head home with champagne – oh and I also stole a hat.

I hadn’t done a murder mystery event like this one before. As a team you had an iPad with three different types of challenges to complete. Some were pictures of statues or blue plaque, and when you reached the icon the answer to your clue would be within a meter of the statue. The next puzzle type was finding characters in secret locations and ‘interviewing’ them. That worked out well until the robber, who just quite simply ran away. The rest of my team took off in hot pursuit, but I only run for doughnuts. The last challenge was finding evidence along the way, such as a monocle or evidence of a dog – let’s just say we had to use our imaginations for some of those.

Back to me stealing the hat, a moment I shall forever refer to as my finest hour. One of the pieces of evidence we needed to collect was a deerstalker hat. Obviously we were not going to find one of those on the streets of London on a Thursday evening, so we were hoping to come up with something pun based to use instead. Keen detectives among you will have clicked that I mentioned meeting characters earlier, and yes of them was wearing a deerstalker as shown in the photo below. The actor was well practiced, and kept a firm grip on his hat at all times so no scheming teams could get a hold of it.

Enter a curly haired kiwi hyped up on sugar and hypothermia. When we were back on the Mega Bus driving back to the drop off point I waited till the actor was taking a photo for another group. Then I snuck (yes, imagine proper cartoon sneaking) up the isle of the bus and with lightning reflexes grabbed the deerstalker and hightailed it back to my team – victorious.

Anyway, it was a really fun night full of hijinks and problem solving, like an escape room if Central London was the room. Thanks for having me Mega Bus – I will try not to steal things next time.

Oh, and the drinks? The poison was in the ice.