East Lynne Theater's murder mystery weekends

The award-winning East Lynne Theater Company and The Henry Sawyer Inn's Murder Mystery Weekends and Playwriting Getaway return this winter.

The first of four Murder Mystery Weekends begins Friday, Jan. 18, and Saturday, Jan. 19. Retired Philadelphia police detective Frank Smith is on hand to provide just enough information to keep the investigation going. Packages include Friday night appetizers at the inn, dinner at one of Cape May's restaurants, breakfasts at the inn and a dessert reception on Saturday evening - all while guests continue to gather clues to solve the crime. Cost is $349 for two people (plus tax) in a deluxe room; upgrade to a two-room suite for an additional $50. Additional mystery weekends will be held on Feb. 22 and 23, March 8 and 9, and March 23 and 24.

Reservations are made through The Henry Sawyer Inn by calling 609-884-5667, 800-449-5667 or email henrysawyerinn@verizon.net.

For information about the Playwriting Getaway, call East Lynne Theater Company at 609-884-5898 or go to www.eastlynnetheater.org.

Free book reading at Seaview

A journalist who worked to uncover the truth behind a crime family in Oakland, Calif., paid the ultimate price when he was gunned down in 2007. Author Thomas Peele tells the story of slain journalist Chauncey Bailey in his latest book, "Killing the Messenger, A Story of Radical Faith, Racism's Backlash and The Assassination of a Journalist."

The author, a former reporter for The Press of Atlantic City, will perform a reading of the book 7:45 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 20, in the presidential ballroom at the Seaview Resort in Absecon. The reading is free and is part of the 20th annual Winter Poetry and Prose Getaway, an annual writing conference taking place Friday, Jan. 18, to Monday, Jan. 21, in partnership with The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey. Special guests Stephen Dunn and Dorianne Laux, both well-known poets, will also be participating.

Peele is an investigate reporter for the Bay Area News Group newspapers in northern California and a lecturer at the U.C. Berkeley graduate school of journalism.

For more information, go to www.wintergetaway.com.

Wildwoods Annual Polar Bear Plunge for Special Olympics

The Special Olympics New Jersey 2013 Polar Bear Plunge, below, returns to the Wildwoods 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19, on the beach behind the Wildwoods Convention Center. The annual plunge into the icy Atlantic Ocean will benefit more than 22,000 athletes of the Special Olympics New Jersey.

Plungers must raise $100 in pledges to participate in the event. Early registration can be done online by going to www.sonj.org. Additional registration and donations will be accepted on-site the day of the event. Check-in will take place from 10 a.m. to noon in the Wildwoods Convention Center lobby. Immediately following the plunge, participants can enjoy a free lunch inside the warm Wildwoods Convention Center.

For more information regarding the Special Olympics Wildwoods' Polar Bear Plunge, call 609-896-8000 or go to www.njpolarplunge.org.