As I mentioned before, I had a murder mystery party in 2010 for NYE and it was so much fun we decided to do it again to ring in 2012. This year the murder mystery party was 1920's themed and took place in a speakeasy/night club called The Four Deuces. We took a ton of pictures so this is definitely going to have to be a two-parter so check back tomorrow for part 2.
For now, let's start at the beginning. Last year our murder mystery game was a kit bought at a game store in the mall. This year after some Google searching, I found our game Murder at the Four Deuces from a website called Dinner and a Murder. They have several different games on their site, but we chose to take it back to the 20's and head to The Four Deuces (which can accommodate 10-20 guests).
We chose to download and print the materials ourselves. My friend Kelly made our nametags and they turned out awesome! She made them out of playing cards to fit the Four Deuces theme and glued little clothespins to the back so that we could clip them on.
I laid them out along with each character's booklet so I could just hand them to guests as they arrived.
I also printed out a 1920's slang dictionary, which I found on the Dinner and a Murder website. I messaged the dictionary to all the guests before the party, but I also placed on the entry table so that people could review it as they liked during the party.
Kelly made a sign for us to hang on the front door with the name of the club.
In the 1920s, it was common for speakeasies to require a password, so of course we requested that our guests give us the password before they entered.
To set the mood for the party, we found a 24/7 online radio station that plays only 20's music and set that up to play during the party. We have Netflix streaming and found a Charlie Chaplin collection so we played that on the TV.
For dinner we had traditional 20's food. I discovered that Chinese and Italian food were very popular during this time. This led us to decide on ravioli as the main course for dinner (it helps that it's quick and easy to prepare). After more research we came up with a full menu for the evening that was all completely 20's inspired:
Devil's Food Cake
My friends Bobby and Kelly purchased our decor from Party City. They purchased wall decals and card suit streamers that were perfect for setting the 1920's club mood. We also bought red balloons and put those around the room (we didn't have 99 red balloons, just about 14).
After dinner we got to talking to everyone and getting to know each other's characters.
And then..... a murder! Fortunately we had an Inspector there to keep things under control.
After this bribery, blackmail and rumors ran rampant as we all raced to get to the bottom of things.
After talking for a bit, I passed out a weapon's clue sheet to each guest for them to fill out in order to get clues as to where they might find one of four 'weapons' in the house. I had hid those earlier in the day and it was fun watching everyone racing around the house hoping to find a weapon. If your character discovered a weapon, you had the opportunity to murder another character during the game if you felt it was necessary. This was something we didn't have the option to do in the game we played last year.
What's this? Another murder! *gasp!*
Upon arriving, each guest received game money that they could use to bribe or buy secrets/information from other characters. Money was crucial to finding out what you wanted to know so if a character was killed, everyone raced to get the money from the 'dead body.' That was pretty funny to watch.
What happened next? More drama, drama, drama. Come back tomorrow for part II!
* Note: I was definitely not perked for mentioning this game. We just found it and enjoyed playing it. =)