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Why I love ‘Solve-Along-a-Murder-She-Wrote’, a night dedicated to Jessica Fletcher

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Photograph: CBS Photograph Archive via Getty Images

Pay tribute to the best of 1980s TV at bizarre London night out ‘Solve-Along-a-Murder-She-Wrote’

It’s heaven for ‘Murder, She Wrote’ geeks 

Whether you’ve been a hardcore fan of Dame Angela Lansbury’s amateur sleuth since she first clacked away at her typewriter in 1984, or you’ve just stumbled across a repeat on ITV3, you’ll be swept away with fabulous Jessica Fletcher feels at this themed night, which tasks you with solving a classic episode of the show. Quizzes, games, singalongs and party poppers are all thrown into the action. It’s raucous, silly and as wonderfully weird as its namesake.

It has THE BEST host

Not only does creator and host Tim Benzie dress up in recreations of JB Fletcher’s outfits – including that grey jogging outfit with the neck towel – he has an encyclopedic knowledge of its fictitious setting, Cabot Cove. You’ll be reduced to belly laughs as he lovingly mocks all the sketchy acting, ludicrous plot twists and wild 1980s hairdos (there are many).

It’s a wonderful nostalgia trip

Tim has a theory that the most famous guest star in each episode is most likely to be the murderer, so the audience ranks each cast member on a ‘Suspiciousometer’ according to how well-known they were at the time. The result is a satisfying deep dive into the world of ’80s TV. There’s also an ‘ad break’ filled with old-school ads that’ll take you straight back to your childhood.

JB Fletcher is a hero of our times

You’ll leave more convinced than ever that Jessica Fletcher is a smart, sassy, older lady who was well ahead of her time. She was trying on VR headsets back in 1993, for crying out loud! And she pulls the best facial expressions known to man. Fletcher is the crime-solving icon we all deserve, and every guest gets a mini placard of her face to take home.

You’ll find true camaraderie 

Each night ends with a group sing-along to the jangly ‘Murder, She Wrote’ theme tune. One look at all the drunken faces belting out the words with pure, unadulterated affection and you’ll know you’ve found your tribe. I’ve been humming it ever since. 

The next ‘Solve-A-Long-A-Murder-She-Wrote’ takes place at Royal Vauxhall Tavern. Tube: Vauxhall. Wed Oct 16. Limited tickets on the door for £8 on a first-come, first-served basis. Follow www.facebook.com/solvealonga/ to find details of forthcoming events

Find more quirky and unusual things to do in London

Find more great things to do this month with our October guide

Photography: Lea L'Attentive 

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