Thursday, March 7, 2013

A Legendary Murder Mystery Party

How to throw an amazing Murder Mystery Costume Party that will be so legendary  that friends and family will be talking about it for years to come…I know this because I’ve done it and am now able to brag that I am in the Hall of Fame as far as party throwers go!

Last year for my husband’s 34th birthday I wanted to do something really special. He was getting ready to leave for a one year deployment and I wanted it to be memorable and fun…something completely unique. I thought why not a Murder Mystery Party!!!! I’ve never done one nor had any of our friends or family.

Here is how I did it with links and many many must do tips….

First off, since nobody I knew had ever thrown a Murder Mystery Party, let alone had ever been to one, I started with the internet and settled on This website had sooo many amazing parties to choose from it was difficult to narrow it down. I did eventually and went with The Roaring 20’s Murder at the Juice Joint!!! The best part about this website is that the parties are NOT scripted; they give each person a character description and traits…no robot voice reading the prewritten lines.

Each package is a downloadable PDF file for anywhere from $45-$80, depending on the amount of people. The PDF comes with detailed direction of how to exactly host the party from the Invitation template, character descriptions and printable decorations!!

So I narrowed it down to, for sure attending, 22 people, assigned characters and mailed each person (about 2 weeks before the party to enable enough time for them to buy or rent a costume) their character descriptions and the background of the ‘”Story” in the form of the Gangster Gazette.

Tip #1-Make sure you provide chauffeured service!!! We did it in the form of two teenagers, all dressed up of course, in my gigantic Suburban!  Completely worth $$ to have the kids drive around pick everyone up at their houses and dropping them all off at the end of the night. It gave our guests the ability to drink and not worry about how to get home…plus how fun is it to be driven around all dressed up!!

Tip #2-Take photographs of each couple as they come in the door. We provided a brick wall plastic backdrop and boxes to look like alcohol crates, with the PDF decoration printouts.


Tip #3-Have drinks ready!!! Most people are not naturals in drama class. It’s going to take a drink or two to relax and get into character. And yes start the night out in character!! I had a tasty concoction of one part Whipped Cream Vodka and one part Orange Juice in a few ice tea dispensers.

Tips #4-As the host make sure you start drinking with everyone else!! I don’t know about others but hosting 22 people, some of which flew in from other states, is very stressful. So calm the nerves and have a drink, it will be fine!
Tip #5-Provide dinner if you can. It makes the experience so much more memorable! I used pretty plastic ware, plates, napkins, center pieces, table clothes and cups from the Party Store.  I rented or borrowed fold out tables and chairs from a nearby Events & Party Store, the tables were $5/day and chairs were $1/day.
For an elegant dinner, yet surprisingly easy we started with a raspberry sunflower seed spinach salad (shredded cheese and cherry tomatoes) with strawberry vinaigrette....YUM! Cornish game hens sliced in half (spiced with cajun seasoning), bacon wrapped brown sugar asparagus, and garlic mashed potatoes. I prepped all of this before everyone arrived and had it cooked and warming in the oven…all while I sipped my delicious drink.  My servers were also my teenage drivers ohhh yeah!!

Tip #6-Make sure you keep the plot going, as the drinks flow and the characters take over, it may become hard to focus and solve the mystery. At that point most did not care who dun-it, they were having too much fun. But once solved, all can just mingle, and if you so choose to, stay in character:)

Take lots of pictures!!! There cannot be too many pictures with a Party like this!

This was by far the best party I have attended and/or hosted. I can’t wait to do it again….my only fear is that I won’t be able to top this one. GOOD LUCK!!!!





  1. I want to throw one of these now! I heard somewhere that they were quite popular "back in the day", whatever that means, but I think we can bring it back! Also, I happen to have a bunch of 20's style clothing. Costumes are the important bits ;)

  2. Great article and the pictures are wonderful,It looks like such fun I wish I were invited!

  3. SO MUCH FUN! My husband and I attended a murder mystery weekend about 20 years ago. It was great fun! I can only imagine how much fun it would be to host one!