This year to celebrate our birthdays, Matt & I hosted a dinner party with a twist.
A Murder Mystery dinner party!
We invited 8 of our friends who are real sports. They enthusiasticly accepted our invite and played the part to the letter. We could not have wished for a better way to celebrate turning a year younger…endless belly laughs, cheesy costumes, martinis, hearty food accompanied with flowing red wine and the best company ever – real friends do not come around easy!
I usually like to plan our birthday party, but this year I had little time at hand, so reluctantly delegated the organisation to Matt, who pulled through and planned every minute detail to perfection; from choosing the theme, Murder in Las Vegas, assigning the characters, printing the invites, delivering them, decorating the table to preparing dessert. I took care of the menu, cooking and drinking myself into oblivion…joking aside..I might have drunk a whole bottle of wine on my own!
If you are not familiar with how a murder mystery dinner party works, here’s a brief introduction. Firstly let me assure you that it is very simple to organise and it’s a guaranteed light-hearted pleasurable evening.
I would advise to start by inviting friends who are happy to dress up & role play. Not everyone is happy and willing to play fancy dress, so the choice of the guest list is crucial to the success of the party. Next assign the characters, and promptly inform the guests with details of their character. Give them at least 2 weeks notice so they would have ample time to plan out their costumes.
A few days before the party decide on the menu; choose food which can be prepared a day ahead so you are not rushing on your feet all day. For starters I cooked French Onion Soup with homemade croutons. The main course was a meatloaf served with steamed vegetables. On Friday evening I prepared both the soup and the meatloaf. In the morning I chopped and prepped the vegetables. Matt took care of dessert. We timed the cooking and all I had to do was to reheat the soup before serving it. And then while we were eating the soup, the main course was cooking. It was all hassle free and I had time to relax during the dinner without having to check the oven.
Setting the atmosphere to the theme helps the guests to get into character and mood instantly, as does playing the music of the era, adding a few props and greeting the guests already in your character. Take a couple of minutes to give clear instructions on how the game will evolve and if you can play the short DVD which is included in the game. Matt read out the instructions again because during the DVD we could not stop giggling. Everything is provided in the game; from invitations to menu suggestions. We bought a downloadable version of the game from MurderMysteryStore and printed everything out. Each guest has a personalised booklet with a step-by-step of how his character will proceed. The person who is the murderer will know immediately as soon as the game starts. The game takes around 1.30 hour in total but you can drag it as long as you wish. We started at 8pm and the murderer was revealed at around midnight. I’ll not divulge the name of the culprit for obvious reasons:)
The key to a successful & entertaining night is organisation. I hope you will be inspired to organise a murder mystery party with your family or friends. I cannot recommend it enough if you are considering to host a dinner party with a difference. We had a ball!
To put you in the picture, this was the story line of our game:
It’s the first anniversary of the launch of the multi-million dollar Sweaty Palms hotel and casino. Only a few hand-picked guests are invited to celebrate by the hotel’s owner, Roland Ewynn. But during the big event, Roland is found dead, slumped over his office desk.
Find out who cashed in Roland’s chips!
Be warned: it’s a heavy photo post. Get comfortable, grab a drink & take a minute (or two) 🙂
TOMMY GUNN – Mobster (he shoots first and asks questions later!) // JEN EWYNN – Casino Hostess (Roland’s daughter does anything to keep the punters coming!)
Matt & I
BET BLACK – Pit Boss (give her a spin, you just might win!) // SHEIK ALEG – Arab Billionaire (a wife a day makes the sheik want to play!)
AL SHUKUP – Elvis Impersonator (he’s a hunk a hunk of burning love!) // CANDI TASSLE – Showgirl (she shakes her booty to earn booty!)
CHIP LEADER – Poker Ace (he’ll flip you on the turn and take you down the river!) // SHERRY STRUNK – Cocktail Waitress (she’ll serve drinks and herself on the bar!)
SCARLET O’DEARA – Hollywood Starlet (quite frankly, she doesn’t give a damn!) // HARRY HOU’DIDME – Stage Magician (he likes to disappear in a poof!)
Uncle Tommy Gunn with Mini Candi Tassle
The moment when one of us discovers that he/she is the Murderer of Roland!
Matt reading out the instructions
Playing the part
The Sheikh was the best!
Dinner is served!
And it continues….
Our mini Candi Tassle as the house magician
Surprise dessert : Chocolate Fountain served with fresh strawberries and marshmallows!
The birthday love birds:)
Another great birthday party thanks to our dear friends!
If you are interested to have a peak at how we celebrated our birthdays last year – this is the link to the original post. This year we ate cake on the day of my birthday – this is the link to original post of my birthday cake with a printable recipe.