Tea Party : A Loophole in Van Dine’s Rules # 11 A servant cannot be the culprit (Forbidden Move)

*music starts*

This is how I reason they might get around Van Dine #11. Just for the record, the reader part of me finds these loopholes amusing but the deep rational part of me despite them for breaking the mystery of the story by confusing things. This is an example of twisted logic in this Tea Party.

…What is this place? How did I get here?

*using the Game master’s authority all pleasantries are skipped and everything proceeds as natural*


I take it you’re the Territory Lord of this Game board. I reason that there’s no use fighting back or arguing outside of what is required. Did those Witch send you?

Oh, no. I’m neither related nor associated to those Witches, at least not as it concerns them. At any rate, welcome Willard. Huntington Wright.


*skipped lines*

I see you’ve been summoned by Lady Bernkastel to take the guts out of
Beatrice’s tale. Or not. You’re in charged of solving the mystery itself. Magnificent.

There’s a slight difference in interpretation. Who is the culprit? Who killed Beatrice? That’s the task I’ve been given but it matters not at this moment. That’s not why I’m here, right?

Correct. I have something more interest in mind. You say that a servant cannot be the culprit, correct? Such bold remarks. Truly something, eh. But how are you sure of that, former Chief of SSVD?

Those are the rules we follow. We don’t forget them. There’s a procedure to find the real truth. I won’t allow for anyone else other than the culprit to be the one.

I see. This argument initiates who the culprit is. By that it’s inferred that the culprit must be someone we know of, someone we have read about and who is involved in the story from the very beginning. Is this person some unknown X character who is hiding? No. It isn’t. It can’t be. The true culprit cannot be some character who only appears much later in the story. It isn’t fair. It’s farfetched. It’s not sufficiently reasonable. Something like that. Of course, I wouldn’t know better.

Right. Therefore, Knox 1st: “It is forbidden for the culprit to be anyone not mentioned in the early part of the story.” I can’t accept the culprit to be someone we haven’t heard of. The reader must have equal opportunity with the detective for solving the mystery.

“Fully agree! We have established that the culprit can only be someone within a story who has been introduced in earlier parts of the story!” Seeing that it’s been established that all characters introduced in the first parts of the story are suspects. Only after being clearing out of suspicious by alibis, motives, and being both physically and theoretically possible for them not to be the culprit at all, we have the means of catching the culprit.

There’s who the culprit could be. There’s a list of possible suspects in each crime. Closed off islands happen to make spectacular places for that matter. Closed room murders often limit suspects to alibis. But it’s not anyone’s guess who the culprit could be. The culprit is someone we know.

Hmm, as far as real life crimes go the culprit can be anyone. In both a great deal of the time the culprit is someone the victim knows or a separate party, an actual unknown X character who we have little or no info at all, who possibly we doubt his existence in the first place. Although they follow similar premises mystery novels deal with solvable crimes where, Knox’s 8th “It is forbidden for the case to be resolved with clues that are not presented.”



You already know this. Where are you getting at? It’s been determined the culprit is someone within the story. However, that claim happens to half questions it even though you’re positive it is someone in the story. There’s a discrepancy in what that reasoning is implying.

None at all. Mysteries must be solvable for the reading to be worthwhile and pleasing. A real life crime can be impossible to solve due to many reasons, mostly because of the lack of evidence to work with. You see? But this is a solvable mystery. Therefore, the culprit is someone we know of. *Someone* in the story.

It’s been bugging me that *someone* is being emphasized in a different manner as if this someone is could be anyone within the story. That cannot be, after all I guarantee it that it cannot be certain people no matter how suspicious they are, otherwise it goes against the mystery premise.

Really? It can be conclude that this *culprit* must be one of the characters of the story. There’s no other way around it! You’ve said it yourself. Here is where the aberration of this culprit being servant could start. Oh, this is not even acceptable, right?

“Van Dine, Rule #11 : It’s forbidden for a servant to be the Culprit!” The culprit is not one of the servants. It’s too easy to guess and cheap on all levels. Van Dine Rules guarantee this as truth. I will not have it any other way.

“Be that as it may. Other than a rule for detective fiction and this rule there’s no full guarantee this game has been following this premise. It may be possible this game is different than others works of mystery.” It may be possible for it to follow Knox’s 10 as it was the first for works of the Golden Age, however, S.S. Van Dine’s rules came later on. There’s a possibility that Beatrice did not fully agree with Van Dine’s rules. In fact she may not agreed with it at all! It is still within the bounds of possibility that a servant could be the culprit. This red is only acceptable because it hasn’t been “challenged” yet.

“But, why they’re still servants. This is simply not possible as it goes against Van Dine Rules” I refuse to accept this as truth for a mystery. I demand a red truth to accept this reasoning. The servants are not the culprit. Y-You forget about THE HEART.

Knox’s Decalogue is still in order to solve the mysteries in this game thus it can help both help solve and bypass other shaky truths. Knox’s 8th : “It is forbidden for the case to be resolved with clues that are not presented.” Evidence of furniture to which this claim will extent to Shannon and Kanon is to be presented: Both furniture wish to become real humans has many presented multiple times. This is both metaphorically and psychologically possible within the story for them! More than ones the furniture has fully acquire the will to stop being furniture and obtaining free will. This could be interpreted as they becoming human and stop being furniture.

More evidence is needed.

[The furniture status is what makes them to be servants. If they wouldn’t work for the Ushiromiya family they would stop being servants. It’s the title of “furniture” and their inability to be people that qualify them as both servants and furniture. Therefore we are to conclude that once they stop being furniture they can be just as suspected as any other characters in the story.

I can’t believe what I’m hearing. The possibility of a servant being a culprit is denied because of the need for a proper mystery. This is unacceptable. “Your views may be different from the ones the author has in mind. It isn’t possible for it to accept or den…”

*as if waiting for the chance this whole time*

[…Knox’s 9th :]

“It is permitted for observers to let their own conclusions and interpretations be heard.” Clues, events, and evidence are subjected to the readers’ interpretation.  I have formed a truth the counters “Van Dine #11 it is forbidden for a servant to the culprit”according to the game’s rules! In case you try to deny it, “Let it be known that I have no obligation to defend this truth as it is a hypothetically possible outcome.”

In. Other. Words.

[“It’s theoretically possible for a servant to be the Culprit!”]



See you in the next fragment, Chief of SSVD. See you in the next fragment.

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