The murder mystery web series with the longest name is now ready for your binge watching needs. Whether you prefer to call it Poe Party or Edgar Allan Poe’s Murder Mystery Dinner Party or my personal favourite Edgar Allan Poe’s Murder Mystery Invite-Only Casual Dinner Party/Gala for Friends Potluck, this web series recently finished all of its episodes and is now ready for binge watching on Shipwrecked’s Channel.
And what a marvelous binge it is.
The show works on a classic murder mystery dinner party premise, where all the guests try to solve a murder together, but with a unique twist: the murder is real and the guests are all famous literary authors.
There are so many literary puns, it’s amazing.
With 11 episodes plus an epilogue, there are more than 120 minutes of somehow-comedic yet murderous sleuthing. The show’s premise is that Edgar Allan Poe, the host of this dinner party, invites a number of his author friends to his mansion to have a traditional fun murder mystery party with fictional murder. The authors arrive, including the lovely Annabel Lee whom Poe is attempting to woe. However, before the fun can begin someone is actually murdered.
I won’t spoil any more than that. Don’t want to ruin your binge.
That said, the star of this series is not the murder or the mystery but the wonderfully engaging cast moving within the murder framework. It’s a large cast of authors and almost all of them have real life counterparts. With such an expansive cast and so much literary history behind them, we’re going to give you a rundown of who’s who in real life and how they’re portrayed within the series.
Just to give you a head start on your binge.
Edgar Allan Poe IRL (in real life): Poe was an American writer who specialized in Gothic poetry and short stories that were chock full of murder and dead bodies. He is often credited with creating detective fiction as a genre and all of his stories are somewhat dark but with an edge of romanticism. The Raven is his most famous work.
Edgar Allan Poe ITS (in the show): Poe is the host of our dinner party and channels a sort of lovable awkward naivety. With an obsession for ravens, he prefers to brood around his house alone but is too adorable to really reach maximum brood. He is in love with the ‘beautiful Annabel Lee’ but has no idea how to act around her or his other guests. Just the fact that he names his event Edgar Allan Poe’s Murder Mystery Invite-Only Casual Dinner Party/Gala for Friends Potluck should tell you everything.
Louisa May Alcott IRL: When I was 11, I read all of Little Women in three days to win a pizza party lunch and that’s the sum of my childhood experience with Alcott. However, Alcott is actually just a really cool person. A poet and novelist, she grew up in poverty to become one of America’s foremost abolitionists and feminists. Choosing to remain single for her entire life, she served at Union hospital as a nurse during the Civil War while writing firey female protagonists under both her real name and pseudonym.
Louisa May Alcott ITS: Soft spoken and a tad behind what’s actually going on, Alcott is possibly the only person at the dinner party who is actually excited to play the murder mystery game. However, once the murder occurs, her fiery nature comes out as she leaps to her feet and demands that they call the police. There’s some Jo in her yet.
Ernest Hemingway IRL: A novelist of few written words, Hemingway is best known for saying as much as possible in as little words as possible. A Nobel Prize winner, Hemingway is best known for works such as For Whom the Bell Tolls and The Old Man and The Sea. A man of contradiction, he’s best known for having a big personality while some of those closest to him said this was an act to cover his introversion. Also, he’s got a planet named after him which is so cool.
Ernest Hemingway ITS: Hemingway is everything George Eliot wants to be. Big, brash, and bold, he shouts a lot and talks about hunting. An avid fighter, he is Poe’s biggest competition for the love of Annabel Lee. Basically, picture your ‘Man’s Man’ and you’ve got it. Just a tad more lovable.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky IRL: A Russian novelist, Dostoyevsky’s work focused most on how troubled the world was. If you’ve made it through the lengthy work that is The Brother’s Karamazov, you know what I mean. A lot of gloom. A lot of doom. A lot of religion. A lot characters to keep up with. However, seeing as Dostoyevsky spent time in both exile prison and the army, we’ll give him the doom and gloom.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky ITS: Despite the size of his books, he’s a man of few words in the show. Constantly looking like a sad German Shepherd, he gives us occasional smiles as he’s kind to everyone around him and only occasionally falls into over-dramatic speeches about death and prison and sad. Someone hug him please. Also, he’s a Russian so he drinks vodka.
Agatha Christie IRL: The quintessential crime novelist and inventor of most murder tropes, Christie wrote more than 60 books about her fictional detectives Jane Marple and Hercule Poirot. With sales through the roof, she is one of the best selling novelists of all time and the most modern writer in our cast (died 1976). She also wrote the world’s longest running play, The Mousetrap.
Agatha Christie ITS: Christie’s novels always end with the ‘big reveal’ where the detective lays everything out plainly for the reader. This is exactly what is expected of Christie in our web series and our authors keep waiting for her to solve their mystery. Whether she succeeds or not, I’ll leave up to you.
Oscar Wilde IRL: An Irishman, Wilde was a playwright, poet, and novelist with works like The Picture of Dorian Grey and The Importance of Being Ernest. He’s a fascinating study simply because his life was so full and his memoirs so full of contradictions. An intellectual of the upper class, Wilde was famous, successful, and all about the aesthetic. Convicted of ‘gross indecency with men’ Wilde was imprisoned and, despite continuing to write, never regained his fame after his release.
Oscar Wilde ITS: The show lets Wilde be the flamboyant gay man that history wouldn’t let him be. Between his flair for fashion, hand movements, and giggling, he’s the expected LGBT stereotype. And it works.
George Eliot IRL: George Eliot was the male pen name of prominent Victorian novelist Mary Ann Evans. Although many female writers had begun writing under their own name during this time, Eliot never did. Entirely self educated, Eliot’s most famous work is the comedic realist novel, Middlemarch. Under her own name, she was one of the first female editors of a literary journal. Which is awesome.
George Eliot ITS: George Eliot is totally a man doing manly things in the most manly way and it’s foolish of you to ever call her a woman. In an amazing bit of comedy and a fabulous fake mustache, Eliot spends the entire series blustering about and trying to be ultra-manly while all the other characters indulge her as they try not to slip and call her ‘Mary Ann’. It’s amazing. She opens with “the name’s George Eliot. It’s two male names. Easy to remember. Now show me to a billiard room or a voting booth!” Just yes.
Charlotte Bronte IRL: One of the three Bronte sisters, Charlotte is the eldest surviving sister and the one who wrote Jane Eyre. Wealthy and well educated, Charlotte spent most of her time in boarding school or as an English governess before self-publishing her first works. Sadly, she couldn’t just use Amazon. Often switching between her own name and her male pseudonym, Bronte passed away while pregnant with her first child and left a number of unfinished works such as the well known Emma.
Charlotte Bronte ITS: This is your rich, slightly snobby but horribly entertaining member of our cast. Often appalled at her lesser authors, this is a lady of refinement with a no-nonsense attitude. Rolling her eyes, she is often the voice of reason. With her fine dresses and English accent, we believe her.
HG Wells IRL: With The Time Machine, War of The Worlds and the Invisible Man as his most prominent works, this English biologist is the king of science fiction. With drawing skills as strong as his writing, HG focused on ‘scientifically plausible fiction’ and worked to make unfamiliar science concepts real.
HG Wells ITS: Probably the author brought to life most frequently by modern media, this HG is a timid but brilliant man who would rather be working on his next invention then looking at dead bodies. Get him talking about his inventions and his eyes light up. Get him talking to real people and he sticks his face in the soup. Nervous and awkward but with a sincere side, this HG and his steampunk monocle are everything you’d expect from the Father of Science Fiction.
Mary Shelley IRL: Frankenstein. With one novel, she literally invented the genre of science fiction. Sorry HG. With a Gothic sensibility that put even Lord Byron to shame, Mary’s life and work was all about death and rebirth. One of the few female writers taken seriously in her time, Shelley also wrote a number of works outside Frankenstein that look at gender and politics.
Mary Shelley ITS: Our author will never escape her most famous work; it’s all Frankenstien puns. Portrayed with a serious nature to fit her Gothic style, Shelley tells jokes with hardly a smile and the deadpan nature works for her. With a creepy air but an astounding amount of confidence, she’s a delight to watch. And you totally believe that she’s got a body in the basement to resurrect.
Emily Dickinson IRL: A reclusive American poet, Dickinson quietly wrote nearly 2000 poems of which only a few were published during her life. Most were never even sent out and only discovered after her death. Working with themes like death and morbidity, she’s very similar to Poe himself although she offers a much larger breadth of style.
Emily Dickinson ITS: When I tell you that I forgot to write this one, you should know that this is an in-show joke that I’m not going to spoil. I forgot this one.
In addition to our cast of actual writers, our murder mystery dinner party also has three fictional characters sitting at the table.
Lenore the Lady Ghost: Pulled from the poem Lenore by Edgar Allen Poe, Lenore is a ghost who lives in the mansion with Poe. Spunky, sassy, ready for fun, and recently dead, Lenore delights in bothering Poe and forcing him to keep in touch with the real world. Together, they make for quite the dynamic pair.
Edmond Dantes: Although referred to as Eddie or Eduardo Dantes, it seems likely that this character was pulled from Edmond Dantes in the Count of Monte Cristo. The date of the lovely Annabel Lee, Eddie’s literary equivalent is framed for a crime he didn’t commit. What’s his role here? Spoilers darling. Spoilers.
Annabel Lee: Another character pulled from Poe’s poems, Annabel Lee is the girl that everyone wants. Poe has been trying to ask her out for years but has been foiled by her relationship with Dantes and the attempted affections of Hemingway. Annabel herself is kind hearted and soft spoken while still determined to solve the murders.
So there you have it. Quite the large cast for a web series but each one so necessary the farther you move into the show. Who dies? Who lives? Who is the murderer? Who will Annabel choose? What manly thing will George Eliot do next? Who will Hemingway try to punch? What is HG making now that he’s completed the microwave? Will Poe ever get his ravens?
All important questions. All can be answered with a well deserved binge of Edgar Allan Poe’s Murder Mystery Invite-Only Casual Dinner Party/Gala for Friends Potluck, you too can know what happens when you get too many writers in a room.
Chaos and puns.
You can binge the entire series now!