“All the world’s a stage…” And we all have our part to play: some as victims, some as villains, and some as detectives trying to solve a decade’s old cold case. That’s how the phrase goes, right?
While Shakespeare might not have written it that way, it is an accurate way to describe the Hunt A Killer Curtain Call case.
I received Curtain Call as part of my HAK subscription, which my husband bought for me as a Christmas gift. Him knowing that I’m a true crime fanatic, he thought I’d enjoy trying to solve a case myself. (Little did he know that he was creating a monster, as I got hooked and have now bought several other cases including Moon Summit, Death at the Dive Bar, and Camp Calamity…)
Now that I’ve finished the six-month subscription to Curtain Call, I wanted to sit down and share my thoughts. In this Hunt A Killer Curtain Call review, you’ll learn about what comes in the boxes, how the case comes together, and whether I think it’s worth taking on the case (read: subscribing or buying it).
The Basics of Hunt A Killer Boxes
If you’re not familiar, I want to start with an introduction to how Hunt A Killer works. In short, there are three ways to get boxes:
- Box Sets – You get all six case files in the case at once.
- Subscription – You get one case file at a time for roughly six months.
- Retail – One-off boxes you can buy online or in stores.
Inside each Box Set or Subscription case file, you receive a number of things:
- A letter from the head investigator, Michelle Gray, who’s subcontracting this work to you.
- A letter from the client, which changes from case to case. In Curtain Call, that’s Julia Adler – the granddaughter of some characters in the story, who now runs her family’s Cadence Theatre.
- A checklist of all other items in the case file, which usually include a combination of documents and physical evidence.
- Access to an online workspace for digital evidence.
- A card detailing your objective for that case file, which you must complete before moving on to the next case file.
Before you start each case file, it’s super important: always check off each item on the checklist to ensure you’ve received all of the documents and evidence you need.
Okay, now that you’re oriented, let’s get into my specific review of the Curtain Call case from Hunt A Killer
As Curtain Call is currently only available as part of the subscription*, you can’t purchase it online and there is no description for it. However, I did find this video on the HAK Youtube that gives you an introduction to the story:
In short, your job is to solve a century-old cold case of a missing – now found – young actress, Viola Vane, and to discover who murdered her. While the evidence is almost all from the past, you’ll use some new technology – and a sense of urgency from your client – to narrow down potential suspects until only one remains. In the end, you’ll bring peace to the client and hopefully save the storied Cadence Theatre where she – and the victim – worked.
*Over time, Subscription boxes like Curtain Call become available as Box Sets. So if you’re seeing it as a box set in the HAK shop, you’ll be able to buy all six cases at once.
Files & Documents
Curtain Call, like most Hunt A Killer cases, has a lot of files and documents to help you solve the case. While they alone won’t provide the whole picture (hence digital and physical evidence are also provided), you’ll spend a ton of time wading through the documents in each box to determine what you need to know to meet that box’s objective.
As Curtain Call was the first HAK case I worked on, I found that I had a hard time keeping track of all the information in the case. I definitely had to use a notebook to sketch out an extensive timeline of events based on the dates on documents; this is especially important as you receive documents in each box which are chronologically out of order. (Just a hint to help you get organized!)
In addition to paper and physical evidence, there is digital evidence provided to correspond with each box of the Curtain Call case. My husband got annoyed a few times as some boxes were solved entirely with digital evidence (often with just one piece of digital evidence!), but I tried to keep him interested by reviewing all of the materials in each case anyway knowing we might need to know it for the next box or when concluding the case.
Regardless of this, the digital evidence is obviously important and you should absolutely review it each time you work on a new box in the Curtain Call case.
Curtain Call has a lot of physical evidence in each box, but most of it doesn’t help you solve any given box or actually affect the outcome of the case. (Unlike Moon Summit, where evidence was relevant to the case.)
Instead, you’ll find a number of items that help “set the scene” if you will: cufflinks, a lace glove, an old coin purse, a cigarette case, and an embroidered ladies handkerchief, among others. These pieces of evidence aren’t necessarily evidentiary but give you something tangible to hold and bring this cold case to life.
Ciphers & Codes
Ciphers and codes are what make Hunt A Killer cases so interesting! While they certainly step further beyond the realm of “true” crime (since most suspects, victims, and criminals don’t use ciphers nearly as often as they do in HAK cases!), they provide an extra level of intrigue that requires you to look beyond what the evidence says at first glance to decipher what it really means.
Curtain Call is ranked 4 (out of 5) for ciphers, according to Hunt A Killer. I don’t think this is because the ciphers are actually that much more difficult (for example, Moon Summit scores 3 of 5 and I found those ciphers a lot harder!) – I think this score is also because there are a lot of different ciphers in this case. For those who provided feedback that ciphers were too easy: Curtain Call is for you!
Be prepared to learn a number of different ciphers and apply them sometimes in layers to uncover the messages and secrets each character has.
Hunt A Killer Curtain Call Review: My Overall Thoughts
Overall, I enjoyed Curtain Call, but it wasn’t my favorite Hunt A Killer case to date. It was fun to work on a cold case and to decipher so many different codes (especially as they were all relevant, unlike in Moon Summit). The evidence was all compelling and perhaps this case would be more appealing to those who are a bit squeamish about true crime and want a bit of (temporal) distance between them and the brutality of the (fictional) crime.
Nevertheless, I think Curtain Call is a great case to start your Hunt A Killer subscription; it’s got intrigue, historic romance, and best of all a crime to solve! If you’re reading this while Curtain Call is still the first series in the HAK subscription, I recommend it!
You can start your Hunt A Killer Subscription and receive 10% off with code TRUECRIMEPODS:
If you’re reading this after Curtain Call has transitioned to be a box set, I’m a bit more on the fence. I think there are other more compelling and better constructed Hunt A Killer cases available.
Have any questions about Curtain Call or my review? Let me know in the comments!