A cloud of mystery

"Sleuths will seek clues in Langley death of prominent citizen, while witchtailers look for their own sign of the witch. It's all part of Langley Mystery Weekend.Langley Mystery Weekend*Sleuths will take over the streets of Langley again during Mystery Weekend, Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 26 and 27, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. Cost to enter the fray is $1 an entrant. The dramatic solution will take place at 4:30 p.m. Sunday. For more information, call the Chamber of Commerce at 221-6765.*New York Times bestselling author J.A. Jance will be on South Whidbey on Sunday, Feb. 27 as a Mystery Weekend special guest. Jance will be at the Book Bay in Freeland from 1-3 p.m. discussing her new book, Kiss of the Bees, and signing autographs. Copies of all her titles will be available. At 4:30 p.m., Jance will select the winner of the Langley Mystery Weekend contest at Langley Middle School auditorium, followed by more book discussion and autographs at 5 p.m. *Kids ages 5-12 are also welcome to join the fun of Langley Mystery Weekend at the Langley Library. There will be stories and mysteries to solve and I Spy games to play on Saturday, Feb. 26 at 11 a.m. Call the Langley Library at 221-4383 for more information.February trouble is returning again to the village of Langley, when the sleuths at Mystery Weekend will try to solve the murder of an alumni high school class president for which another class president has been arrested. And it may all be related to the Witchtailers who have formed a cult surrounding a new novel set in the woods surrounding the town.Are the murder and some mysterious disappearances just some sort of millennium madness or the result of a witch's curse? Who will solve the murder and expose the villain?There will be hundreds of would-be detectives in Langley this weekend to try. And in their midst will be alumni of Saratoga High School, classes of 1955 and '65, witnesses -- or suspects -- all.The body discovered in Langley Park by Langley bookstore owner Josh Skippy Hauser is that of retired stockbroker Richard Stockswell, president of the class of '55. Nearby is a spade tinged with blood and some dead honey bees. The spade belongs to Stockswell arch-enemy Abby Freeman, president of the class of '65, but he isn't talking. The bees have come from a group of young witchtailers who release them in their search for the sign of the witch, a clue drawn from the recent best-seller The Witch of Whidbey Woods. The witchtailers believe they will discover medical miracles if they can hear insects and talk to plants.Author Herminie Witchtailum is also in town, defending her book and its heroine and trying to avoid the witchtailers.I never said she was a bad witch, Witchtailum said. Complicating matters are the arrival of movie producer Steven Spielgood, publisher Booker Scribner, and independent videographer Sterling Screener, all at odds over a film of the book that is expected to star Brad Sits and Madrona, as well as a documentary for the Sci Fi Channel.Murder and mayhem notwithstanding, plans continue for the double reunion of the Saratoga High School classes of '55 and '65. Both classes point to alumni that reinforce their claims to fame: Singer Tony Pennant, actress Elizabeth Baylor and jazz musician Busy Golespee in the class of 1955; Andy Borehal, Pablo Micaso and Bella Azgood in 1966. And they say the riots at the last double reunion are a thing of the past. We're coming together to celebrate our talent and diversity, said the event organizers.Will the reunion succeed despite suspicion and deceit? Will Abby Freeman ever speak without his lawyers? Will developer Birley Forrest succeed in building a Happy Lands Resort Hotel chain?Someone will discover the truth, and all will be revealed on Sunday afternoon, in a dramatic solution to the mystery -- along with a high school cheer for the cast, the detectives and the dear departed."

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