It was an evening of fun, frivolity and fatality at Whitehaven Library, as a murder mystery event got under way to mark National Crime Reading Month.

Cumbrian based performance company Highly Suspect UK delivered the event, themed around one of the greatest murder detectives of all times in literary fiction - Sherlock Holmes.

In their version, rumours abounded that he himself had met an unfortunate end but library staff say they are unable to reveal any more as the crime will be further investigated at other libraries as the event is repeated around the county this month.

This was the fourth time Highly Suspect have performed in front of audiences at Whitehaven Library, this being the first larger evening event since the pandemic.

Attendees reported they enjoyed the performance ‘The Death of the Great Detective’ and were entertained by the humorous actor performances and audience participation. They indeed had an active role in analysing the clues and guessing who the killer could be.

Highly Suspect UK said: “We had a blast kicking off our library tour with the detectives at Whitehaven Library. They were incredibly sharp-minded super sleuths who made the pieces fit.”

Catherine Clark, library and customer manager, said: “Libraries have always been a place for people to meet and discover new things and, coming out of the pandemic, many customers have been keen to add a social dimension to this and have a bit of fun.

“Highly Suspect always work with us to ensure their performance pieces have links back to literature and it may be some of the audience are now tempted to explore some of the classic tales of Sherlock Holmes.”

Central to supporting Crime Reading Month is free reading material and Cumbria Libraries are stocked with a wide range of historical, contemporary, and psychological crime books, supplemented by free e-books and audio books for library members via the Borrow Box app. Locals can join Cumbria Libraries for free to read or listen to explore crime fiction a little more.

Next up in Crime Reading Month will be an Author Talk with historical crime writer Deborah Swift at Whitehaven Library on Thursday, June 30, at 7pm. Tickets are £2 and can be bought at the library or online at