It’s so easy to get stuck in an anti-social rut. My favourite evening pastime is getting into my pyjamas, eating dinner with some wine and watching TV. I might talk to my husband and browse social media, but that’s it. Saturday night is no different. I don’t like going out because it involves sitting on uncomfortable chairs, or standing, small talk and spending unnecessarily. I love socialising, just during the day is best. I’ve become a bit of a social hermit. I love eating out but that involves babysitters and again, leaving the sofa.
I’ve played dead myself in a murder mystery, and been a suspect in live murder parties which was great fun. I agreed to review the Murder Mystery party game from Paul Lamond Games so it would force me into inviting people round for dinner, in an aim to get me out of the rut. I do enjoy having people round for dinner and as we had a scripted element, it relieved the pressure of entertaining from me. There are different themes to the kits, ours was set in Casablanca, 1942 war time.
What you get in the murder mystery game box:
It comes with everything you need to throw a successful murder mystery party at home. You get a party planner, which helped me out no end, character booklets, recipe suggestions, place cards, invitations and envelopes, plus 6 secret clues. There’s also a CD with an introduction, scene setter, summary of events and solution to the crime. It tells you on the CD when to pause it.
Playing the game:
I got some french themed old music, and some forties war time tunes, and decided who to invite. I went for 10 people (including my husband and I), although you can add 2 more characters. If you want to play with less, you can, but you’d need to double up on characters. I managed to squeeze everyone in and used a large bed valance as a tablecloth! I used paper lanterns and tea lights to set the mood. I took the recipe suggestions and tweaked them a little, going for French onion soup, chicken cassoulet, bread and cheese and then asked a couple of my guests to bring pudding. I allocated the characters to my friends which was really fun, and sent out the invitations. I created an event on Facebook so I could keep people updated. In the invitations, it tells your friends the background, where the scene is set and a brief outline of their character and suggested costumes.
On the night, I was surprised and relieved to see everyone had made an amazing effort, not only with their costumes but with their characterisation – my american spoke in an american accent all evening and my german nazi officer had a monacle! I played the CD off my laptop. You start with the CD, which sets the scene, describing the murder. I played Edith Le Grandbutte and my husband was Huges Le Grandbutte (all the names are a bit tongue in cheek!) and we were the hosts of the evening. Our guest of honour was to be The Black Cat, France’s greatest living mime artist, but he has been murdered! The party planner guides you through the chain of events, and there are clues to be unveiled which trigger discussions, revelations and accusations. Once the guests arrived I gave them their character booklets. You can read the first pages, which gives you some revelations about your character, with some you can reveal and some you can only reveal when prompted. You can only advance through the individual books when prompted on the CD. The plot thickens, as they say, as you go along.
After the first clue, it was a bit unclear as to how to go about it, but after that first round, we got the gist of it. There was a typo in one of the scripts but it was fairly obvious. Then there are scripts to follow, so everyone has to be comfortable reading and speaking out loud. It was really good fun, we had all sorts of accents flying about! You are encouraged to make notes and at the end you make your guess as to who is the murderer. I managed to guess correctly somehow. Everyone has a motive though. The detective on the CD then wraps up and reveals the murderer and their reasons.
I’d really recommend getting a kit and hosting a murder mystery party, particularly if you’ve got into the habit of doing the same old thing. It made me remember how much I love entertaining, good food and a bit of drama. It was a great excuse to get dressed up too. I’m offering you my lovely readers the chance to win your own murder mystery game, you can choose which one you want from The Brie the Bullet and The Black Cat (my one), Diamonds Dagger and one classy Dame, and The Lady and Lizard. If you win, tell me how you get on! Enter via the Rafflecopter widget below, UK entry only. Winner’s name displayed on the widget once closed.
Disclosure: we were gifted the game in return for this review. All opinons are my own