I love putting together Murder Mystery Dinner parties! I do them more in the fall and winter, when I don’t really want to go outside. I feel like October is the best month to do them because of Halloween. I’ve hosted about four in the last year, and everyone always seems to have a good time. It’s a great way to set people up on blind dates and get together with your friends.
I’m not very good at decorating for them, I always want them to be so much more than they are, but sometimes something simple is the best idea. I did “The Last Train From Paris” two weeks ago, and it was fun and fast. They usually take up to about 3 hours, but if you don’t do dinner but more of a desert night, it doesn’t take quite as long. I like to use paper or plastic plates and utensils because it makes for an easy clean up! I like to use fake champagne glasses, because they make me feel fancy. I usually fill them with sparkling cider or apple juice. I also got an idea online to put a grape with a toothpick through it in each glass, so that it looks like a green olive.
All murder mystery games are a little violent and a little scandalous, but they’ve never been scandalous enough for me to want to rewrite parts, or edit things out. I went to one Murder Mystery Party where they ordered out, and just had everyone bring about $8 to pay for the meal. That worked out nicely as well. The boxed sets can be fairly expensive if you get them online.
I usually find them at second hand stores, and just make sure they have all of the pieces in them. I also let my friends and family know that I’m looking for them, so if they find them they can grab them for me. They’re usually between two to five dollars. That’s a great price to pay for a few hours of fun for eight people. The murder is the same every time, so it’s fine to play it with different groups, but if you’ve already played it, just be a different part and don’t tell everyone else who the murder is.
The only problem I’ve found buying them from second had stores, is that sometimes they’re missing the CD or tape that go with them. You don’t really NEED these, but they’re fun to get everyone in the mood for the game. Each game also comes with a “report of the investigation” which will tell you all of the information that comes on the CD or cassette tape. There has only been one game that I’ve played that had two parts of the tape that needed to be listened to. This means that you can still play the game if you’re missing this piece. There are also some recordings on Youtube, and if you’re missing the CD or tape, you might be able to find it online.
You’ll always need 4 girls and 4 boys. Costumes are a MUST! It just helps everyone else get into character. They have invitations that come in the box, but I never want to send them out, just in case I want to play it again. You could scan in everyone’s part, but I like to leave a little mystery. I type up the invitation on Facebook and tell them their name, what to wear, and an item of food to bring. This is an example of the invitations I send out to my friends:
"Hello! I hope you're super excited about this weekend, because I totally am! Here's Everything you need to know:
IF YOUSE WANT TO LEARN DA SECRET OF "HAL" COPPONE'S WHEREABOUTS, BE IN DA "BACK ROOM" AT S.P.KEASY'S PLACE TWENTY-THIRD STREET AND MICHIGAN AT 7:00 TONIGHT.
REFRESHEMENTS'LL BE SOIVED
DON'T TELL NOBODY
*** Youse is really invited ta da home of Elysha on Saturday October 19 at da hour of 7:00pm in da role of Anna Maria Carlotta Sassine ("Torchy") at dis address – my house.
RSVP by texting, calling, or sending a message back on here.
I will be providing the main dish, and a few other things for our dinner. It would be very helpful if you could Please bring: dinner rolls.
Also, we dress up, so your costume suggestion is a Sultry, shimmering, sequined gown. (if you have a problem finding this outfit don't worry about it, wear what you have, be creative!) I'm sure any sort of dress will do. Ask your friends!"
I also like to put my Pandora station on one of my playlists softly in the background. Sometimes it’s jazz music, music from the 1940’s or 80’s music. It just adds to the atmosphere of the night.
I’ve participated in Hoo Hung Woo, The Chicago Caper, The Watersdown Affair, Powar and Greede, The Last Train From Paris, The Good The Bad and The Guilty, and Hot Times at Hollywood High.
There are two main boxed sets that I’ve found. There’s a bigger boxed set that’s got an older look to it, and a smaller boxed set that’s a lot newer. While the boxes, maps, and pamphlets all look a little bit different, the content is the same in both. So if you find one set that’s missing a tape or CD, and then you find another set with the pieces you need for your other game, you can mix and match the pieces to have a full boxed set.