The Case of the Kiss-Kiss Diamond

  • Cast Number: 9
  • Run-time: 75 minutes
  • Bible Reference: Ecclesiastes 3:4
We are hot on the heels of the stolen diamond and the gulty party may be YOU!
This is an interactive mystery dinner theatre presentation, with the audience participating as legal counsel and jury. Select four people in advance sitting in the audience, (may be at separate tables or sitting together at one table). These persons will serve as lawyers, reading off questions which are provided to them. Following the questioning all tables will fill out a ballot, (one ballot per table), on which they will vote for the couple who they feel are most likely guilty. Since there is no clear "guilty" couple, the results will be different each time, and the outcome is swayed substantially by the characterization of the four couples.
No special sets, are required, a follow spot would be very useful although not essential.

Cast
Tommy-Jo Larmer
Lorna Sanderson
Tony Truffles
Tessie Truffles
Joey Tennebee
Flora Flowers
Carman Kane
Kandi Kane
3 Lawyers
any number of jailers (may also be played by lawyers)
Off stage voice/ host for the final scene

Sample of script:

Tommy-Jo enters through side door, looks around, becomes reflective.

Tommy-Jo: It was an evening, much like this one. Scene, sleepy little town of Lubec, Maine. Tide was washing in, bringing the feel of damp to the bones of all who ever lived near to the ocean. And right out there it was, the big one, the Atlantic Ocean. Stretching out, far as eye can see. There in the distance, Grand Manan Island. Nearer, Roosevelt Campobello International Park. Campobello Island, in Passamaquoddy Bay. Passamaquoddy. Just like it sounds, okay?
Locals proudly speak of being owners of, (emphasize), "largest whirlpool in Western Hemisphere"! As if whirlpools make any place special! Yes, and just right over there, New Brunswick. Canada. If a feller had eyes sharp enough, maybe even see "the Rock". Newfoundland.
Why am I making mention all these things? Simple, actually. Don't understand this, you never understand the story behind the story I'm about to tell.
What is it I'm about to tell? Most difficult case I ever did do, that's all! What's that you say? Who am I? Just maybe heard of Larmer? Tommy-Jo Larmer? Yes, yes, I guess you do, see some flicker of recognition in your eyes now, don't I now? That's me .. .no one 'cept! Tommy-Jo Larmer. In the flesh! Gumshoe extraordinaire I am. One of the world's best known private eyes I am. Never once did I fail to solve a mystery. Not once . . . well, 'cept this one of course.
It was her fault, really. Like I always said, no place in the PI business for women. Not right, that’s what! Private investigation. Man’s work. No room for females. Not likely!
Lorna Sanderson. (pause, look out in audience) Well, sure, so maybe you’ve heard her name now and then. Canadian, she is. Hails from just across the way, St. Stephen, New Brunswick, she does. She’s been in on a couple of cases, hear her tell it she cracked them wide open single handed. I don’t think so!
Yeh, right! Lorna Sanderson! Tell me, will ya? What kinda name is that for a PI? Double 07, James Bond. Now there’s a name. Sherlock Holmes. Mannix. Joe Friday. Mike Hammer. Yes, and Tommy-Jo Larmer. Now those is names! Lorna Sanderson? I don’t think so!
Like I said, all her fault. Wasn’t for that female, K-K never would have been stolen. If stolen, it would have been recovered right quick. (pause, look into audience) K-K. The K-K diamond. (pauses, looks incredulous) You gonna stand there, try to tell me you never herd of the K-K diamond? The biggest, most perfect, most expensive diamond ever to be smuggled outta Africa? I’ll be . . .can’t see how you coulda missed hearing about the Kiss-Kiss diamond! (pauses) Well, yes, that’s what the K-K stands for. Kiss-Kiss. (pauses) Oh, not as in, (puckers as if to kiss), kiss! No, that’s what threw her, Lorna Sanderson, the amateur, that’s what threw her off track too. Me, well, gotta get up awful early to get the best of a veteran like old Tommy-Jo Larmer!
Where was I? Oh, yeh, how this all came about. See, the biggest, most perfectest stone ever mined in all of Africa! Perfect! Total perfect! Mined at Kiss-Kiss Mine in Sierra Leone, it was. Right away, old Joey Tennabee, Kiss-Kiss mine manager at the time, why old Joey he sez, ‘this here diamond one in a zillion’, he sez, ‘only right we name it after this here mine.’ That day forth, it was known as the Kiss-Kiss diamond, it was.
About the time that there was a break-in at the Kiss-Kiss mine and the Kiss-Kiss diamond, along with 30 or 40 others, was stolen. I was called in to track down who done it. Old Joey, he sez, ‘Larmer, don’t you worry none ‘bout those other diamonds, you see to it, get me back the Kiss-Kiss diamond, why you can just forget all those other 30, 40 other diamonds, stick em in your back pocket all I care. Old Joey and his secretary, they was beside themselves, I tell you! Trail led from Africa, across the sea in an old scow, to the shores of Newfoundland. From there the trail became less clear.
I finally heard about a prime African diamond being fenced in pawn shop in Fredericton, New Brunswick. And after some checking I found a fisherman out of St. Stephens, there on the Canadian side, remembered a couple who had come by asking to be brought across to Grand Manan Island. So, now it becomes a truly international thing.
I head out to the big island, I’m getting’ close, I can feel it, and then what? Two words. Lorna Sanderson! Goes plowing through the underbrush, scares off the mark, whole scene explodes in my face! That . . .woman!
But have I got news for you! (gestures as though telling secret) Can you keep something under your hat? I got this tip, tells me the . . . person . . . or persons unknown, what stole the Kiss-Kiss, why they are. . . . . (pause for effect) . . . they are . .. . here! Here in this very room! Here! And maybe it might be . . . . (points to a guest, gets right in their face) . . you! (turns, points at another guest, laughs diabolically) . . or is it you! Those beady eyes, that shifty smile! Yes, yes, I shall be keeping a sharp look out on you, I shall!
Now all of you sit back, relax a bit while I go nose around out back.

Tommy-Jo leaves by side door, after a moment Lorna comes in through side door

Lorna: What’s all this? Had a call, a hot tip. Something about last chance to solve the biggie. Biggie? Can only guess that meant a big case. Not sure what that can mean . . . every last one of my cases all wrapped up, neat, tidy, tied with a bow! Maybe don’t know me . . . Sanderson’s the name . . .Lorna Sanderson. PI. Private investigator. Outta Canada, I am. But I work my magic all over the world. Yep, (speaks as if quoting), “Calls for a pro, Sanderson’s the one to know!” My slogan, on my business cards, letterhead, everything. More than a slogan, fact of life. No case ever got away from me. (pauses, thinks) Well, except the K-K case. That one, a niggling thing! Unsolved to this day! Hot shot PI, Tommy-Jo Larmer, to this very day believes I stood between him and success there on Grand Manon Island. Hot shot Larmer!
Have my own opinions, I do. But opinions don’t land liars in the lockup, I always say! There was three couples hanging ‘round the scene of the crime, I recall, kept showin’ up. Newfoundland. New Brunswick. Grand Manon..
Let’s see, there was, (spotlight on Tony and Tessie, who stand quickly, mime fear), Tony and Tessie Truffles. Tony and Tessie, they acted sneaky throughout the investigation they did! Claimed they both were at home with broken legs when the heist happened. Yeh, right! Broken legs, most convenient, ask me!
Then there was Kiss-Kiss mine manager Joey Tennebee and his secretary Flora Flowers, (spotlight on Joey and Flora, who stand quickly, mime fear), something not quite right about that pair, not sure exactly what it was. Just a little too squeaky clean, know what I mean?
Hot shot Tommy-Jo Larmer, he swore Joey and Flora, they was right as rain, strictly on the up and up. Larmer sez the thief was Tessie Truffles.
Maybe so, maybe no I says. Best we do some checking, don’t have things blow up like they did that day on Grand Manon Island says I.
Tell you what, I’m here for only one reason, I’m gonna solve this once and for all. Nothing gonna stand in my way! Not Tommy-Jo Larmer. Not Joey Tennebee or Flora Flowers. Not Tony or Tessie Truffles. Not Carman or Kandi Kane. Hey, that’s right! The Kanes! (light comes up slowly on Carman and Kandi) Why didn’t I think of them before! I just wonder what is goin’ on with those two. Could they be around here? I’m goin’ out back to check this out!

Carman: Oh Kandi, we are in trouble now! That private detective is gonna snoop till she finds whats up.

Kandi: So she snoops! So she finds! What’s that supposed to mean to us? We ain’t linked to nothin’!

Carman: What about that diamond cutter’s hammer we stashed away, what if they find it?

Kandi: The diamond cutter’s hammer . . . . You mean, . . . . . . it’s . . .

Carman: Yes! And I am scared, OK?

Kandi: Scared? Look here a minute! Only one thing you need to be scared about, that’s me. You travel one step outta line, I gotta bring you up short.

Carman: Tell me one reason you talk to me that way. I told you from the beginning, I’m in this for the long haul, I’m committed.

Kandi: Maybe best not be forgetful of that, K? . . . . Listen, someone’s coming! Duck down!

lights down on Carman and Kandi who sit down, up on Joey and Flora who stand

Joey: How many times have I told you, Flora? Blend in! Where did you get those clothes? Never saw you wear those clothes to the mine in South Africa.

Flora: Like em, Joey? Got them from the surplus store downtown.

Joey: No, Flora, I do not, repeat, do not like them. They scream out, “look at me!”

Flora: And that’s good, right, Joey? It’s nice when folks notice us, right?

Joey: Listen very closely, Flora, this is not what we want! Repeat after me: (talks slowly) . . . blend in, . . blend in.

Flora, mimes repeating): . . . blend in, . . . . blend in. Gotcha, Joey! Now then, I’m gonna go see if I can get a hat to match this vest.

Joey: Flora, you are not listening to me. I said blend . . . . .blend. Look around you Flora. Tell me, do you see anyone else in this room dressed like you are dressed?

Flora looks around the room carefully, turns back to Joey with big, contented smile on face

Flora: Nope, not one other person in this whole room is dressed like I’m dressed. Isn’t that something, Joey!

Joey: Listen carefully to me Flora. If no one else in this whole room is dressed like you are, how do you suppose you are gonna blend in?

Flora: Awww, Joey, I’m not gonna blend in, I’m gonna stand out like a . . . . ooops! I did a bad thing didn’t I, Joey?

Joey: Yes, Flora, you did a very, very bad thing! How can we move among the crowd when the thing is found?

Flora: The “thing”? What thing do you mean, Joey?

Joey mimes a heart shape

Flora: What are you doing there with your hands, Joey?

Joey mimes a heart shape again

Flora: You got a sore tummy, Joey?

Joey: No, Flora, I do not have a sore tummy! (whispers) The Kiss-Kiss diamond.

Flora, loud: The Kiss-Kiss diamond? Thought you told me not to talk about the Kiss-Kiss diamond?

In Laurel and Hardy method, Joey tries to cover Flora’s mouth, they both “shhh, shhh”

Joey: Will you tune it down? You want everyone here to know we are here for the Kiss-Kiss diamond?

Flora: Sorry, Joey, real sorry!

Joey: Ok, well, watch it, OK? Look, there’s a couple of seats here, let’s sit, now what did I tell you?

Flora: Let’s see, you told me to . . . can you give me just a little hint, Joey?

Joey: Flora, I told you to . . . .

Flora: I remember, you told me to sit, right, Joey?

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