It's the 1840s, and a prominent Madisonian has just been murdered in plain sight.

Do you think you have the detective skills to pinpoint the wrong-doer and solve the mystery? If so, here's a starting clue: The answers lie within the Lanier Mansion.

The historic site will host a "Sweetheart Murder Mystery" from 7 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 9. The one-time, interactive event costs $15 a person. Reservations are required by Tuesday.

The program will start at the visitor's center in downtown Madison, and actors and actresses from the Little Grand Theatre Company will make up the cast of could-be murderers.

While at the visitor's center, the guests will be treated to "light snacks and a murder," said Shonica Hartless, of the Little Grand Theatre Company, who is helping coordinate the production.

The rest of the evening will involve the guests investigating clues at the Lanier Mansion and questioning the cast and hearing different pieces of the puzzle.

Hartless and Anne Fairchild, eastern region program manager for the Indiana State Museum, wrote the script for the murder mystery. The play was adapted slightly from the murder mystery "Lady in Red," which was held at the Lanier Mansion in August 2012.

"We kept the basic script, but made it a sweetheart murder," said Hartless, adding that the murder has the same characters but now includes a lover's twist.

"It's just a fun little event," she said, "not too terribly serious."

Because the event is at the Lanier Mansion, only 30 tickets are available, and more than 20 already have been sold.

An RSVP can be sent to Fairchild at (812) 273-4531 or All proceeds from the event will benefit the Lanier Mansion State Historic Site.