Wednesday 8 July 09:00 - Tuesday 14 July 17:00

The Custom House on the quayside in Exeter has a long history. And it’s darker and bloodier than people might think . . .

Back in the Eighteenth-century, a particularly grisly – not to mention ingenious – murder took place in the building. The Wharfinger was found dead in his attic room, the door locked from the inside. Who wanted him dead? And how did they do it? That’s for you to find out . . .

The Custom House will be turned – online – into one huge game of Cluedo. As you move from room to room there will be clues – or are they red herrings? – left in there. There’s also a cast of characters, some respectable some less so, to choose from. All you have to do is move around the Custom House gathering evidence and motives, work out whodunnit, howdunnit and whydunnit. Then write up as a short story.


Happy sleuthing . . .

Featuring a murder mystery masterminded by Quay Words Exeter digital writer-in-residence Martyn Waites, ‘The Locked Door Mystery’ will take place from Wednesday 8th to Tuesday 14th July on Slack.

Original content will be posted in channels which bring the Custom House to life online. Once you have booked your place, you will receive a link to join the Slack workspace for the Locked Door Mystery on Monday 6th July. You can engage with the content at any time between the dates of 8th – 14th July, there is no live element. The aim is to write a short story outlining who you think is responsible for the murder and how they did it.

Martyn will be looking for the super sleuths among you as he would like to invite you to read your stories at the Quay Words ‘Noir at the Bar’ event on Crowdcast on Wednesday 15th July.

On Monday 13th July
, Martyn Waites will run three Zoom feedback sessions for up to 4 writers per session at 11 am, 1 pm and 4 pm. You will have the opportunity to get some feedback on your story from others in the group and from Martyn. Martyn will also be selecting writers to read the following day at ‘Noir at the Bar’. These feedback sessions will be allocated on a first-come, first-serve basis. When you are emailed your joining instructions for Slack, you will be prompted to reply indicating your best availability for one of these sessions.

*Please ensure that you are available on both these dates before booking your place.*

Martyn Waites was born in Newcastle Upon Tyne. He trained at the Birmingham School of Speech and Drama and worked as an actor for many years before becoming a writer. His novels include the critically acclaimed Joe Donovan series set in the North East and The White Room which was a Guardian book of the year. In 2013 he was chosen to write Angel of Death, the official sequel to Susan Hill’s The Woman in Black, and in 2014 won the Grand Prix du Roman Noir for Born Under Punches. He has been nominated for every major British crime fiction award and has also enjoyed international commercial success with eight novels written under the name Tania Carver. He also writes Doctor Who audio adventures for Big Finish. He lives in Exeter.