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A 1920’s Murder at Castello Sessantanovo
Set in the midst of the flamboyant roaring 1920’s, a gathering of elite socialites meet at the remote Italian Castle of ‘Castello Sessantanovo’. Their host is the world-renowned Italian portrait artist, millionaire Gusto Lollorosso. The promise of fine wines grown in the Castle’s Vineyards and the rumored unveiling of the revered artist’s most recent exquisite work of art – together with an exclusive invitation hinting at an opportunity to socialize with the revered artist at one of his notoriously hedonistic parties has brought the group of influential socialites together.
The attraction of an invite to the opulent Castello Sessantanovo aroused curiosity and excitement amongst the guests. Gusto was long rumored to be the host of the most sensational parties in Italy where inhibitions were abandoned and commissioned along with the finest cocktails and cocaine was the most decadent and epicurean entertainment and a harem of beautiful admirers.
Since his return from Colonial Kenya where Gusto had been a prominent figure at Muthaiga Country Club where he had hosted many of his exclusive parties, Gusto had kept his bohemian lifestyle at a lower key more befitting of Italian society. However, on this particular occasion he was keen to recreate the hedonistic times spent at the Wanjohi Valley social scene where parties had begun with champagne and dancing but then quickly spiraled into abandoned inhibitions.
However at his particular event amidst the haze of decadence, the mood of the party suddenly degenerated into confusion and chaos. The party crowd’s high spirits are quickly sobered when the dead body of host Gusto Lollorosso is discovered. Shot through the head at close range, the guests realize that they are now all murder suspects. Someone amongst them has committed the murder and it is each guest’s role to seek out who has committed this ghastly deed and why.
Born into humble beginnings, celebrated Italian portrait artist Gusto Lollorosso rose to celebrity status with his daring and opulent artwork coveted by the rich and famous Italian elite. The critics revered his art as innovative and unique and he mixed contemporary ideas that courted scandal and notoriety with ancient mythological and classical scenes. Along with the fame and celebrity that Gusto courted, an entourage of appreciative artistic worshippers of his art – and his lifestyle – followed.
Gusto had returned to his Italian homeland to retire from the scandalous exploits of the socially elite set he had associated with in Colonial Kenya, where he had lived for two decades in the Wanjohi Valley. There, the Irish and British aristocrats who had colonized Wanjohi Valley had attracted notoriety for their epicurean exploits and decadent lifestyles where recreational drug use and promiscuity was prevalent amongst the ex-pat community.
Aged 53 years, Gusto had all but retired from commercial art as arthritis had cruelly started to affect the artist’s dexterity. However, Gusto still retained his passion for recreating on canvas the beauty that he found in life and he was like a to the socialite crowd who continued to lust after his exclusive pieces hoping to persuade him to create one final masterpiece for them. Whilst many had remained in Colonial Kenya a handful of his entourage had followed him back to his home in Florence.
For years rumors had abounded that Gusto had been attempting to create a masterpiece depicting the Cult of Opis, featuring scenes of decadence, hedonistic riches, prosperity and abundance from Ancient Roman mythology.
Excitement now abounded in the celebrity world of the artistic elite, when Gusto invited his rich, aristocratic friends and influential patrons to Castello Sessantanovo with the promise of a ‘delightfully sparkling evening’ that they would always remember.