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How to Host a Murder Mystery Dinner Party Game

what is it? why do it? and how?

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Getting started
How do I get started?
Kit and caboodle
Recommended reading
Spoil yourself
Holidays and Vacations
Getting more out of....murdery mystery games
I've got the basics, what next?

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JJ's Home a murder mystery?

One's come as 'Colonel Forbes' - arch suspect - starchy and moustached and acting in a highly suspicious fashion!

The other has arrived as 'The Cheshire Cat' - feline, furry and purring her way around the assembled guests!

Then you announce -

"MURDER! Most Foul -
what's more,
(you continue)

One of YOU did it!"

Yes, this is a murder mystery party

The plot thickens, the culprit is among you - but who did it? Why and how?

It's chaos - its mayhem - but heck, it beats a boring old dinner party any day

So much so that you'll soon think:

"A Dinner Party without a mystery?

It's a crime!"

What good is a dinner party without a juicy mystery to solve, you'll wonder?

After all, if there's no crime, why even have a dinner party?

I mean, really - which would you rather be invited to:

  • a dinner party where you actually have a fairly good chance of having fun, or
  • one where you sit around all night discussing the relevance of the Wittgensteinian theory of language in the 21st century?

Click here if you answered "I want Dinner Party fun!".

If you answered "But I prefer Wittgenstein !", switch off your computer and go and do something else!

Fun is addictive and playing these sorts of games instead of discussing 'house prices' at dinner party may turn you into a more fun loving kind of person.

THERE! You've been warned!

Any one already addicted to dressing up, speaking in silly accents and doing funny things is advise to click here!

Tell us what got you interested in murdery mystery games.

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Getting started

Choose your game carefully

Here are JoJaffa's key tips to getting it right:

A Murder Mystery Dinner Party Game has 3 steps:

  1. Invite your guests
  2. Prepare the evening
  3. Hosting the evening

Does it have to include a murder?
No! Not all murder mystery games have a murder - but all have a mystery! Usually it will involve a disappearance or a theft.

Typically, the murder/ theft/ disappearance will have already occurred - and then all the suspects (each played by one of your guests) is invited to

If you've seen the films of Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot - you'll know how it all ends - all the suspects in a single room - as the maestro of detection pin points the murderer(s), thief/ thieves or other unsavoury characters!

By the way - you don't have to play the game in the evening. Any 3 hour stretch will do (ie tea party etc). It's just that most people prefer evenings.

Invite your guests / Send out the invitations

Preparing the game

A quality game will include good instructions advising you on how to prepare well for the game. Essentially, the more you can do in advance - the better you'll enjoy the evening.

Click here to view the instruction of the Internet enabled 'Who Stole the Jam Tarts' murder mystery game.

Hosting the evening

Make sure you have place names - it helps every remember who they (and the other characters) are!

Then choose your menu.

Here are some example games and suggestions

  • Who Stole the Tarts - Mystery Game - based on the characters from Alice in Wonderland - you get to dress up as the Duchess, Mad Hatter, White Rabbit, Cheshire Cat and so on to solve the mystery of the missing Jam Tarts (or diamonds!).
  • Brewing Trouble - based on a beer festival that leaves a nasty taste! A murder has been committed - who murdered the micro brewing entrepreneur?
  • Who Dunnit Mysteries for 50 plus people - ideal if you are organising a large event.
  • An excellent source of ideas and links about murder mystery games can be found atOpen Directory's list of Murder Mystery Games. This list also includes companies who will come and 'perform' the murder mystery for you!

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Getting more out of....murdery mystery games

Here are JoJaffa's Top 10 hints for a successful Murder Mystery Party!

  1. Please remember this is an adult game with adult themes so it is only suitable for over 18's.
  2. Make sure that you have right number of guests. Often games can accommodate extra people and they can play the roles presiding over the proceedings.
  3. It is good fun to dress up, try to encourage everyone to come in costume. (Some people think this is the best bit!)
  4. Persuade everyone to ad lib and develop his or her characters.
  5. Make sure that none of your guests have previous convictions for murder!
  6. Try to pick characters that your guests will feel at ease with.
  7. Try to organise the food as a buffet or a three-course meal with one round for each course. If you have time decorate your food according to the theme of the evening.
  8. You can add to the ambience of the evening by adding props that you think may be appropriate for the use by the characters through out the evening.
  9. The atmosphere is often helped by decorating the room to reflect the English Manor house or the Beer Tent or Alice in Wonderland theme etc...
  10. Remember parties are fun, so make the most of opportunities to put your friends on the spot and watch them try to squirm out of it.

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Kit and caboodle

Need a good book, video or more advice? JoJaffa has picked out the best for you. For each book/ video just click on the amazon link find out the price and get more information.

If you can suggest any good books about murdery mystery games, let us know.

Recommended Reading

Books : Alice in Wonderland
by Lewis Carroll
Lewis Carroll's timeless tale with rich mysterious meaning.

Amazon UKin association with...Amazon US

Books : The ABC Murders
by Agatha Christie
One of the famous crime writers top novels.

Amazon UKin association with...

Books : Hercule Poirot Complete Short Stories
by Agatha Christie
All the great stories about Christies super sluth!

Amazon UKin association with...Amazon US

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Spoil yourself

If you are in love with mystery - you can find great reviews and links to book at Mystery Net. You can even join in a online mystery!

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Open Outcry

Are you hooked on fun? Ah! Then here's the antidote - a discussion board for Fun Lovers:

Got a question? Get an answer!

Post a message to the murder_mystery_dinner_party discussion board.

You might just

  • have a general question about murdery mystery games?
  • want to make a comment
  • want to share tips and advice with fellow JoJaffa-ers?

... Then why not use our murdery mystery games chat board

Maybe someone has already asked that burning question you're longing to find the answer to ...

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