Dead on Time...

Words by Belmond Editors

Dead on Time...

Eccentric and glamorous, this woman is wearing high-waisted red trousers with a frilly blouse, long scarf and brown trilby

One train. Five courses. Ten suspects. A new immersive murder mystery experience on board the British Pullman sets off from London for a wildly entertaining whodunnit.

Murder mysteries are an iconic British tradition. The secluded English manors stuffed with shady stock characters; the moustache-twirling detective; the third-act twists and turns that keep readers and audiences rapt in their seats. We’re proud custodians of Agatha Christie after all, with her iconic play The Mousetrap staged continuously (pause for a certain pandemic) since 1952 – the longest-running production on London’s West End.

But it’s the author’s 1934 novel Murder on the Orient Express that remains the most iconic example of the genre. Readers were gripped and charmed by the snowy environs, the dastardly deeds, the glamorous setting of the famous train and shock ending. It’s no surprise that the novel was so popular; the Golden Age of Travel, during which chic adventurers traversed Europe’s finest cities in plush locomotive comfort, also coincided with the Golden Age of Detective Fiction, the era of classic murder mystery novels released in the 1920s and 1930s.

That’s not to say that the genre has fallen from favour, however. Murder mystery dinners and events are on the rise, and in the last few years alone, we’ve seen an influx of sleuthing stories hit both the big and small screen: take the Daniel Craig-starring whodunnits Knives Out and Glass Onion, as well as TV shows The Afterparty, White Lotus, Mare of Easttown and Only Murders in the Building. Some iconic movies set on trains feature a murder mystery—think The Lady Vanishes – and this new trend of Millennial desire for the murder mystery, coupled with a heightened desire for slow travel and experiential luxury, means that a young generation of armchair detectives are craving their own puzzle to solve. Enter: Dead on Time, a brand new murder mystery train experience aboard British Pullman, A Belmond Train.

Bedecked in antique marquetry, vintage lighting and heritage upholstery, the restored 1920s British Pullman train transports keen adventurers across England throughout the year to vibrant cities, ancient castles, stately homes and celebrated sporting events. It also embarks on beautiful round-trips around Kent, which forms the round-trip route for this wildly entertaining Murder Mystery journey.

Dead on Time is designed by Private Drama Events for a truly immersive and bespoke experience, and this is a murder mystery unlike any other. Each of the actors embody characters based upon the train’s carriages. There’s Angela Lucille, the sketchy assistant based upon the Lucille car that was built in 1928. Stiff-upper-lip philanthropist Gordon Vera is inspired by the Vera carriage, which survived an air raid hit during the Second World War in 1940. Or perhaps you’ll suspect Catarina Ione, the high society butterfly who takes her name from Ione car, which served as a First Class kitchen carriage in the 1920s. As each fascinating character makes their way through these historic carriages, they’ll be eager to share clues, red herrings, scandals and mischief with you.

With a gold ribboned trilby pulled low, this man peers around the edge of a corner, hands in pocket in feigned insouciance
0 minutes 36 seconds

English whimsy, right-royal mischief and spirited shenanigans are on the menu. But while revenge is a dish best served cold, rest assured that your enticing, five-course English lunch will be just the right temperature. Anticipate jolly, seasonal fare from across the British isles such as slow-cooked Romney salt marsh lamb and Cornish haddock rissoles, paired with fine wines – and, of course, a touch of champagne will no doubt assist your detective skills.

Allow our actors to transport you back to the Festival of Britain in 1951, where one unlucky visitor will meet an untimely fate. As the mystery unfolds, you will encounter the suspects dispensing specific plot details, facts and tips to help and hinder your efforts to identify the culprit. Between courses, read through your private copy of Luxury Locomotive Magazine, which is riddled with secret clues. Interrogate every passing suspect, and examine every intriguing detail around you.

And by George, when you think you know whodunnit, ensure you don’t spoil the fun for future spies, sleuths and gumshoes!


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