Last week I began a series of posts on creating a unique murder mystery dinner party. I started with tips on writing the mystery itself. If you missed it, you can read it here. This week I’ll give tips on logistics, so your murder mystery dinner party will run smoothly.
Part 2—Murder Mystery Logistics
Tip #1—Establish clear rules.
I gave each guest a program. Because my mystery involved the Indiana Tumbler and Goblet Company that manufactured pressed glass in the early 1900s, I included pictures of the glass pieces and fun facts about the glass factory. This was important because it helped the guests understand some terminology I used in the story.
However, the program also contained crucial information: rules for playing the game, a key for solving puzzles, an obituary for the murder victim Lydia, and a section to take notes.
I did have quite a few rules, but they helped the game progress. The most important rule was that they had to figure out who murdered Lydia and why.
Tip#2—Get everyone involved immediately.
At the beginning of the party, I gave each guest an entry from the victim’s journal. They had to work together to piece together the journal so they could understand murder victim’s backstory. This information made it easier to figure out why Lydia was murdered.
Example Journal Entry
I was right. The interview with Mrs. Martin was a gold mine. I’ve stumbled on something big. There’s one more person I have to talk to, but if my theory is correct, I have to leave before I put the Shrock family in danger.
Tip#3—Hide help tickets for your guests.
I anticipated that my guests would have questions. (That’s a hazard of being a teacher.) To help them, I hid blue tickets around the living and dining rooms. Whenever guests found a ticket, they could ask me a yes or no question. I let them know about the help tickets in the rules.
Check back on April 15 for tips on how to serve dinner while all this fun is happening!