And now, he's been murdered.
Well, not really.
It's the plot behind this year's Langley Mystery Weekend, "Gone With the Tide," a weekend-long interactive play on Feb. 23 and 24.
The 29th annual game includes more than 30 actors, 33 clues at local businesses and participation from most of the Whidbey Island town.
"There are huddles all over town. They come to have a good time, regardless of the weather, and they like the fun of trying to solve the mystery with friends," said Marc Esterly, executive director of the Langley Chamber of Commerce, who helps coordinate the festival.
The story so far: Following the passing of the 19th Amendment, the women of Langley took control of city government to prove they could do a better job than the men.
Nearly a century later, the famed producer cruised to Langley on his yacht. When he heard the story, he decided to resurrect his favorite film genre, the western musical. The project was coming along fine until his body was found behind City Hall.
Now the city needs help in finding his killer.
Solve the case
The coroner's report will be delivered at 1 p.m. Feb. 23 at Langley Park, but participants can start trying to solve the mystery as soon as they purchase tickets.
Tickets are $10 for ages 18 to 64. Seniors 65 and older, veterans and kids 7 to 17 pay $8. Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Feb. 23 at the Langley Visitor Information Center.
The tickets include information about the case and a map of the merchants who hold the 33 clues.
Costumed actors will be all over town ready for questions.
Participants enter their guesses as to who is the culprit on a ballot and submit it before 3 p.m. Feb. 24. All entries will be put in a drawing for prizes, which takes place at 4:30 p.m. Feb. 24 at the Langley Middle School auditorium.
Winners don't have to be present to claim the prizes, which include a night at the Inn at Langley, the Saratoga Inn, a gift certificate to Prima Bistro, a blow-your-own-glass experience at Calahan Firehouse, a book from Moonrakers and a box of truffles from Sweet Mona's.
The culprit will be revealed when the drawing takes place.
For more information, go to www.visitlangley.com.
Ashley Stewart: 425-339-3037; firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 29th annual Langley Mystery Weekend play is "Gone With the Tide."
When: 10 a.m. Feb. 23 to 5 p.m. Feb. 24
Where: Langley Chamber of Commerce Office and Visitor Information Center, 208 Anthes Ave.
Cost: $10 for ages 18 to 64, and $8 for youth ages 7 to 17, seniors 65 and older and veterans
Information: 360-221-6765; www.visitlangley.com
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