Imagine you're on a motorized amusement ride through a haunted house and at every turn something jumps out and shouts "Boo." Halloween is the best time of year for things that go bump in the night and you can easily visualize ghosts and goblins appearing after midnight. This time of year is also the psychological best to indulge in murder mysteries, the kind that keep you glued to the edge of your seat, ready to scream at the slightest provocation.


Stratford's Square One Theatre Company has just the perfect prescription for howls and hylaria and hysterics as it presents David Foley's intriguing drama "Deadly Murder" weekends until Saturday, November 17.


The action begins in the upscale Manhattan apartment of Camille, a fashionably successful jewelry designer, who has accustomed herself to the finer advantages life has to offer. Right now her attention is focused on Billy, a hunky young stud of a waiter she has picked up at a swank party for an evening of titillating pleasures.


Now the bedroom escapades, pleasant though they were, are over and Camille, a determined and polished Peggy Nelson, wants Billy to leave so she can get some sleep. Billy, a brash and bullying Josh Wills, has forsaken his charms for a new agenda. He wants Camille to meet his demands and they all come clearly under the heading of blackmail.


The resilient Camille does not crumble under Billy's insistent demands. She simply laughs in his face, calling his bluff and summons her security guard Ted, an accommodating Al Kulcsar, to come to her rescue. That's when motives get interesting, when the stakes are raised and when it doesn't seem like everyone is going to come out of the confrontation alive.


The past rears its ugly head as secrets are revealed and the stakes keep climbing higher and higher. If you ever fancied yourself a fan of "Murder, She Wrote" or "Matlock," you'll enjoy sifting through the clues and motives to see if you can figure out who will be standing, gun or knife or African statue, in hand. Tom Holehan directs this involving game of cat and rat and mouse.


For tickets ($20, seniors and students $19), call the Square One Theatre Company, 2422 Main Street, Stratford at 203-375-8778 or online at www.squareone.com. Performances are Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., Sunday at 2 p.m. and Saturday, November 17 at 4 p.m.


Be prepared to be surprised by the convoluted and complicated turns and twists this trio of talented actors have up their sleeves, in their pockets and tied behind their backs.


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