Wednesday, January 27, 2010

How to Host A Family Murder Mystery Dinner

On New Years Eve just before Isaac and I headed back to Dallas, the whole family had a murder mystery dinner party. Here is the one we played listed on Amazon - and because I'm linking to it, I'll try not to give anything away!

It was a Hawaiian luau theme, and the genius of it all is when you really get into the costumes and the characters. HILARIOUS. I mean, check out Isaac, who is supposed to be a surfer dude:

Even better was grandmommy and grandaddy, who went ALL OUT and were perfect for their beach-combing tourist characters. The entire family says they've never seen Grandaddy  in shorts before!

It was super fun. It's made for six people, but you can add in extra players if needed. That's a little deceiving though, since the extra players don't really play or have a part in the game, they just get to dress up and hang out while everyone else is playing. One person is the host and narrator (mom), and they help guide the flow of everything. Mom read through it all beforehand and attempted to edit out a few scandalous interludes that would have been a little too scintillating for our family-friendly group. ;) It's really made for a group of adults.

We were greeted with leis and drinks. Below you see my hilarious sister-in-law and her fiance. In her formal invite to the party she was told to be a swim-suit model. Given that this was a very family affair, she went ahead and transformed herself into a Turkish swimsuit model, who came wearing her "burkini". Now the genius of it is that she spent the summer in Turkey and had a brilliant accent, totally stayed in character, and the burkini is actually a real thing.

From christmas

Girl playing Beach-Ball

The game gives you recipes to make in keeping with the theme of the game. We took some of those suggestions and made up some of our own. You play the game in stages, and the narrator tells you when to break to get the next course of food.

From christmas

It was great fun. We weren't at all sure what to expect. Turns out you don't so much "play" the game, as you just follow the instructions and the script. You don't have to have to hide much and it's not necessary to act too much, but if you get into your character it makes it more fun:

Each character reveals things as you go, and if you follow things well you can figure out who the murderer is by the end (I did!). Everyone looks suspicious, though, and it's impossible to defend yourself! Thing is, the murderer isn't assigned..... the characters are just assigned, and the murderer finds out they are the murderer at some point in reading through their own script. That could catch you off guard!

In any case, it was fun. Good for a party... especially for a group of young people... like 20's and 30's. I think there's enough scandal in each murder mystery script that it can get uncomfortable if you're in a conservative crowd - hence the editing that Mom did to our game!


cclarebear said...

hahahahaha that looks like so much fun!!

Jaimie said...

Was the editing like, "So-and-so seduced me!"? Because if so, I swear we played that exact game for my birthday party a few years back. Maybe it's a different game, and worse than that, or maybe my Mom edited way more than I didn't see. It was a blast though.

(And yeah, there was that whole thing where 8 people COULD play, but it sucked for them.)

Kacie said...

Yep... that kind of thing. Incidents of skinny dipping and cheating and that sort of thing. Can be awkward when it's not expected, or can be funny - depending on the crowd!

Meghan said...

This sounds great. I love theme parties and am always looking for new ideas.

It seems kind of spendy though for a game you can only play once. Libraries should carry these games. Hmmm, now I'm giving myself ideas.

Alice said...

We did one of these at a New Year's Eve party, and I got to be the trashy Ms. Scarlet-type person and wear silk pajamas. It was great. :-) But yes, there was a bit of editing necessary.

justaweeblether said...

I totally agree that it is important for anyone to become more self-sustaining. I'm sure it can be very tough for a long time, though and any extra little bit can help to get one ahead. I'm glad they are at least getting food stamps. It is so good they have you, too. I was too late in signing up for a hospitality programme when we went to Scotland and was so sad we didn't have a native family to help us adjust.

I was wondering if there is anything he can be trained for that would not require too much expense or time off work that would help them be successful in the future, such as translating or something. I worked at a community clinic and had to get translators all the time for my appointments with clients.

marineswife said...

We did this once when I was high school! Sounds like you had a great time!

Kacie said...

Yeah, we are working on getting him into a church run program that helps refine English, puts him in a small group with other refugees working towards a community college degree in ESL, and preps him for the American school culture and expectations. From there we hope to help him get into the community college that works specifically with refugees (LOVE that they do that). From there, his options for a career should open up, and I think we can help him get that far financially!

I don't think his accent is good enough for a translator position now... but maybe by then?

Steph said...

can we PLEASE do this in our community group? do they have them for 10 people?

Kacie said...

None for 10, I don't think! We'd have to have a smaller group, which is a bummer.

mamaayanna said...

That looks like fun!! ha!

jennibell said...

This sounds like so much fun!!! Thanks for the link :)