The rest of the game took me less time than I expected. Once you’ve reached a crucial turn, a body turns up, and the game settles down into being a murder mystery for a while. This shift brings the return of the NPCs, who guide you through the rest of the plot. I kind of feel like I took longer to complete the self-directed snooping segment than I was supposed to, probably due to my reluctance to use the hint system (which actually proved very gentle on those occasions when I tried it). After the murder, you get to roam about looking for clues, accompanied by a character who comments on their significance. I had spent so much time poking around earlier that I had already found them all, except for a couple of final open-and-shut-case ones that I simply didn’t have access to before.
Overall, what we have here is a well-done shortish period piece. It’s also quite technically sophisticated, with such features as a pathing “GO TO” command and automatic spelling correction and conversation system that combines the best features of menu-based and freeform conversation without ever taking away the player’s ability to enter ordinary commands. Actually, these are all features that I’ve been seeing in other games this year and not commenting on. It seems like the state of the art is advancing incrementally, and that features that Infocom could only dream of are becoming standard — especially when you consider that this game was written in TADS, and most of the other games I’ve been playing were written in Inform. So no actual code libraries were shared between this game and the others. Ideas that seem good get imitated.