Fedora Noir

This week we played Fedora Noir by Caroline Hobbs using the abbreviated version on StorySynth. Our hard-nosed Detective is Scarlett Lane and her protégé is Jimmy Olsen. The client and intriguing new flame is Simon Worthy.

The case begins with Simon bumping into Scarlett as she’s exiting her office. He explains that he is part of that Worthy family, and his older sister, who is being trained to take over the family business, is missing. Their father seems blithely unconcerned with her whereabouts, insisting that he’s spoken to her and she’s fine. Scarlett agrees to take the case, but both she and Jimmy are preoccupied by what went wrong in the last missing persons case, when they found a body instead of somebody.

Black and drawing of a fedora in dramatic lighting over the words 'Fedora Noir'.
Fedora Noir logo from Less Than Three Games.

The next morning at the Worthy estate, they interview the house staff and determine that Miss Cora Worthy planned her absence, packing enough for a few days, and was supposedly headed downtown when she drove off in her car. Also, someone visited the elder Mr. Worthy a few days after her disappearance, and it wasn’t a friendly exchange. Simon keeps trying to impress Scarlett with tales of his archeology studies at Princeton, but she’s too preoccupied by this case and the last.

Scarlett decides, against Simon’s wishes, to go talk to the father. He’s a stocky plutocrat who goes on about how his family built this town from nothing thanks to their transport investments. And his son, who’s obviously put us up to this, isn’t worthy of the Worthy name. He claims again to have spoken to the daughter and explains that she is away negotiating an important business deal for him, which he is not at liberty to discuss.

Back at their office, Jimmy confronts Scarlett over her failures in the previous case and how this one seems to be going the same way. Scarlett thinks how he’s right and she’s going to lose another one. Awkwardly, the return to the investigation and focus on researching the Worthys and their business, trying to determine where Miss Worthy may be; could she be working on a merger of the Pholly and Worthy transport lines?

Simon calls and asks Scarlett to join him downtown at the end of the subrail lines. When she gets there he leads her into the tunnel still under construction and shows her an amazing archeological find, an old structure buried below the surface of New Hudson, and right in the way of his family’s latest tunnel project. As they ponder what to do, Cora Worthy steps out of the shadows and admits she was working with their father to hide this discovery and save the subrail expansion.

Simon seems almost wounded when he reproaches Cora for being so like their father, but then Mr. Worthy arrives pointing a gun at us. As Scarlett steps into the line of fire to protect Simon, she begins regaling Mr. Worthy with information she’s gleaned from the investigation, still peppering him with questions. Unbeknownst to Mr. Worthy, Scarlett aims to distract him from the approaching Jimmy, who beans Mr. Worthy with a shovel taken from the dig. Scarlett springs for the gun and tells Simon to get the police.

Later, Jimmy and Scarlett make up from their argument earlier, thanking each other for their work and their partnership. And Simon finally convinces Scarlett to meet him outside the confines of the case, but she only agrees to a quick bite at Andy’s Diner.