Murder mystery trail turns Hook Norton into crime drama

Hazel and Kevin Hope with their murder mystery trail brochure, which is in aid of Hook Norton Primary School NNL-180506-164745009
Hazel and Kevin Hope with their murder mystery trail brochure, which is in aid of Hook Norton Primary School NNL-180506-164745009

A Hook Norton couple have turned their village into a crime drama with a murder mystery trail to raise money for the primary school.

The Hook Norton Murder Mystery Trail is a fun tour of the village, looking for clues to solve the crime and win a cash prize.

Hazel and Kevin Hope devised the trail as a way to support Hook Norton Primary School which can go on indefinitely.

Kevin said: “The trail is a great way to see Hook Norton from a new perspective, whatever age, whatever the weather, and whether you live here or are just paying us a visit.”

The trail uses enduring elements of Hook Norton to guide wannabe sleuths around the village in the hunt for clues to solve the mystery.

Locations could range from gravestones and house names, to iconic buildings and scenery.

Kevin said they were inspired after enjoying murder mystery trails elsewhere in the country, and recent live board game events such as Monopoly and Cluedo for the school have been popular.

So they scoured the village searching for potential clues for their original crime drama, designed the booklet and it is now ready for the public to enjoy.

“It was a lot of fun, literally we did a lot of walking around Hook Norton to identify venues, properties, places of interest, public buildings, for the trail,” he said.

“We needed things that had a clue that could form part of the answer that wasn’t going to change.

“Not a poster in a window or something that could change next week, only permanent things that could be used as a clue for people to observe.”

The trail starts with a Banbury Guardian front page calling for help in the mysterious murder of a ‘well-known and well-liked ale taster’ in Hook Norton which has police stumped.

Clues include trying to find a four-digit number to decipher the murder weapon and looking for a two-digit number to get the location.

The approximate-two mile route takes around two to two and a half hours to complete – all of the locations are accessible too.

Only one booklet is needed per family/group of up to four to six people, costing £5, and each booklet has a unique reference number.

Every year, those who solved the mystery will be entered into a draw to win the cash prize, made up of a £1 from every booklet sold.

The rest of the money will go to the primary school which Kevin said will most likely be put towards a particular scheme.

Booklets can be requested by emailing

The booklet will be emailed to be printed at home but a copy can be requested for an extra £1 to cover printing and postage.