Murder Mystery Party: What is it and how do you play?

Before going to our first murder mystery dinner party we did not know what to expect.  We only knew to dress up a little and that one of us was the suspect.  In this video I will help you know what to do at a murder mystery dinner party and how to play.
There is minimal dress up, absolutely no set up, and a script with background information to help you know your character.

mystery-dinner-party-dress-up

Why am I a number one fan of murder mystery dinner parties?  They have you laughing, you get to know each other better, the people who are shy feel more uninhibited because they are in character mind set.  If you are looking for team building exercises or things to do with other adults, plan a murder mystery dinner party.  I do suggest that this be kids-free because there is a script throughout the dinner party, and you need everyone at the table the entire dinner.  There is no time schedule though.  So you can be on task and then take a break to just talk while you eat the main course, for example.

Leader Responsibilities:

The leader of the party is the person who bought the kit.  She will send the party invitation in an email, assigning each guest a character.  You do need to know that that person can for sure attend.  The instructions in your kit will tell you how many people you can invite before you even buy it.  We had 3 couples and then the lead couple who had minimal talking.  Do not be overwhelmed by the menu the kit suggests.  It’s intense-giving you a grocery list and specific menu items to make.  Do what your group wants to do. 

mystery-dinner-party-kitYou can search online for murder mystery dinner parties, for singles, couples or for youth groups (some do not have the word murder in them; it’s just a mystery dinner party).  Ours had a theme, but this one also seemed fun. Some mystery dinner parties are available for download.  And some kits are mailed to you.

On the night of the party, we had the leaders bring roast beef, mashed taters and green beans.  The host provided lots of appetizers…cheese, crackers, cream cheese with pepper jelly.  Then we had a dessert.  I highly recommend having lots of appetizers. You will use those as people arrive as well as when you all sit at the table for the beginning of the mystery.  It was nice having lots of crackers and cheeses to pass around.

couplesSet up:

The leader will send an email invitation with all the characters listed with their info and suggestions for ways to dress.  The dress suggestions are simple ideas that people do not have to spend money on.  Depending on your budget, the leader can purchase party favors and decor, but it is really not necessary.

Here is an example of our Murder Mystery Dinner Party email information that I made up for this video; everyone receives this same list of characters.  It’s fun seeing who got assigned what.  Notice there is a theme.

Poor Caprice Wagon died three years ago, and each of you is a suspect.

Polkst Wagon: You were her husband.  You are a German car dealer whose company filed for bankruptcy 4 years ago but came out of it just a year later.

Costume ideas: sleezy car salesman pants and shirt/tie, greasy hair, German accent

Kim Carcashian: You are dripping in jewels.  You can buy anything you want.  After your car broke down on I-10 during a hurricane, you have been in the limelight ever since.  Hollywood loves you.

Otto Bond: You are a has-been football player.  For the past 3 years you have been dating Kim Carcashian but are rarely seen paying for your dates.  

Minny Cooper:  You have been the Wagon’s house servant for 10 years.  You have been a loyal household maid…always on time and you never call in sick.

Arrival:

As guests arrive, you talk, eat and then move to the dinner table or sofas with the appetizers.  

Background:

The leader who bought the kit will pass around booklets specific to each character.  You listen to a CD for 30 seconds, and it will tell everyone to read page one and stop when you see the picture of a stop sign, for example.  You all read the Background.  This gives you background of your specific character that only you are silently reading about-the good, the bad and the ugly.

When everyone is done reading silently, you all will read through a little script that each person is holding.  It leads everyone into the mystery by telling a story.  No ad-lib happens here, but each person reads their part in character and in order according to the booklet.

Round 1:

Then you listen to the CD for 30 seconds, and it will tell everyone to read page 3 and to stop when you see the picture of the stop sign.  Round 1 is where the fun comes into play.  During this round, each character will have something different in their booklet.  For round one in the mystery dinner party, people have scripted paragraphs of Accusations.  Your paragraph will tell you who to accuse.  You also have Responses.  It tells you like when you are accused by So and so, say this.  This is where you can ad-lib and ham it up.  

For example: 

Kim Carcashian’s page:

Accusation-

Accuse Minny Cooper of knowing where every one of the diamonds is in the Wagon mansion.  Point out that she is now the heir of Caprice Wagon’s billions.  Did she change the paperwork so that she would now be the heir?  Then you wait for her response.

Accuse Polkst Wagon-

No one knows but Polkst Wagon inherited $500,000 when his wife died 3 years ago.  Bring up the convenient happening of his company filing for bankruptcy a year before Mrs. Caprice Wagon died and then coming out of bankruptcy the year she died.

Response:

Respond to Polkst Wagon:  It’s true that is my real name.  It was a little embarrassing.  I was in shock that my dad was the captain of that Exxon Valdiesel leak.  I do not have ties to him any longer.  And there never was a cover up.  I share my hard earned money with my current boyfriend, Otto Bond.

Polkst Wagon’s page:

Accusation-

Accuse Kim Carcashian of her false identity.  Her father drove the ship that leaked all that oil from Exxon.  Her name isn’t Kim Carcashian; it’s Polly Valdiesel.  Maybe she was paid to minimize that story in the headlines.

Accuse Otto Bond that he knows she was paid millions, and Otto is dating her to find out the true story of the ship that leaked oil.

Response to Kim Carcashian-

The money you inherited three years ago was for household uses and couldn’t be used on the family car business.  You have the receipts to prove it.  Your business came out of bankruptcy because of Kim Carcashian’s video that went viral.  Now everyone wants that car that Polkst Wagon sells.

Minny Cooper’s page:

Accusation-

Accuse Otto Bond: Point out that Otto Bond just likes Kim Carcashian for her fame status from her unfortunate car video that rocked the nation.  He just wants to be popular again to fill a deep void.

Respond to Kim Carcashian-

The late Mrs. Caprice Wagon was a classic friend who felt like a mother to you.  You cannot help it if Mrs. Caprice Wagon looked at you like daughter and left you her millions.

STOP READING HERE.

Then it’s time for Round 2.  We took a break and ate dinner just talking.  Then we moved on to Round 2 in our booklets.  There will be similar scripting prompts, all the while giving more clues into the mystery.  Then during dessert, you will move on to Round 3.  Everyone can then guess who they think the murderer is.  

murder-mystery-dinner-party-costume
I hope you feel educated so you can host or lead your own Murder Mystery Dinner Party.  It’s so much fun and brings people closer together in friendships.  Thanks for POPping over to my channel!

Our mystery had a winery theme to it.  But there was also this one which looked fun and Italian.

Let’s be friends on Instagram!

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