Murder Mystery Dinner Party

How To Host A Murder Mystery Dinner Party.

If you’re looking for a unique and entertaining way to gather friends over food, hosting a Murder Mystery Dinner Party is an ideal choice. However, cooking a ‘killer meal’ while also playing host can be a lot to take on, especially if it’s your first rodeo. Timing is key as you’ll need to act as a game facilitator, cook and host all in one! In this blog post, we’ll give you a step by step run down of how to go about hosting your own Murder Mystery Dinner Party (with some ‘Dos & Don’ts’ along the way). 

Step 1: Choose a Theme

The first step in hosting a Murder Mystery Dinner Party is selecting a theme. Themes can range from classic whodunnit scenarios set in a mansion to more exotic locations like a cruise ship or a mysterious island. The last time we hosted a murder mystery was from my Birthday, which also happens to be December so we choose a Christmas murder theme.

Step 2: Select a Murder Mystery Game

Once you have your theme, it’s time to choose a Murder Mystery game. Several companies offer pre-packaged Murder Mystery games that include character profiles, scripts, and clues. Look for games that match your chosen theme and cater to the number of guests attending. Some popular options on Amazon include “Cryptic Killers Unsolved murders”. The Game we purchased was Murderous Decisions at the Christmas below, however unless you really want a Christmas theme a better option is to go with Top Rated games. 

Step 3: Invite Guests and Assign Characters

Send out your invitations well in advance, including information about the theme and any costume suggestions if applicable. Ask your guests to RSVP with their attendance confirmation and assign them specific character roles. Each character should have a backstory, motivations, and relationships with other characters. Encourage your guests to embrace their roles and come dressed in costume for a more immersive experience.

Do: Encourage your guests to get dressed up and get into character and if your wardrobe allows have a few props in a box on the night that guest can add to their outfit from.

Don’t Worry about no shows, most games allow for flexibility on players and you can choose the ‘murder’ on the night. 

Step 4: Plan the Menu

The menu for your Murder Mystery Dinner Party should complement the theme and be easy to serve, allowing you to focus on the mystery unfolding throughout the evening. Consider dishes that can be prepared in advance or kept warm during the party, allowing you to interact with your guests and participate in the investigation. This post from FOOD & WOOD covers 18 Make-Ahead Main Courses. If possible, include themed food and drinks that relate to the setting or era of the murder mystery.

TIP: If you’re looking for cocktail inspiration, this website has a nice piece of cocktails from the movies; Mystery on the Rocks: 8 Delicious Cocktail Recipes Inspired by Our Favorite Fictional Detectives.

Step 5: Set the Scene

Create a captivating atmosphere by decorating your venue or dining area to match the theme. Use appropriate lighting, props, and music to immerse your guests in the world of the murder mystery. For instance, if your theme is a 1920s speakeasy, decorate with art deco accents and play jazz music in the background. It’s the small touches that really can elevate the experience and make it even more enjoyable.

Most games you buy will come with a script or even a recording to set the scene so guest can stay at the table. However, if you’re up for taking a ‘stab’ at actually acting out the scenes, this can be a lot more entertaining. In Murderous Decisions at the Christmas the body is found at a duck pod, which we recreated with a Harry Potter Owl and some cushions. It’s all about a little creativity if you go down this route!

Step 6: Familiarise Yourself with the Game

As the host, you’ll need to familiarise yourself with the Murder Mystery game thoroughly. Read through the script and clue cards, understand the plot, and know how the story unfolds. This way, you can guide the investigation and keep the flow of the party smooth.

DO: Research the game before your purchase and read reviews, the quality of the scripts really do make a difference to the game. I was a little disappointed with the scripts from our game, some were funny but the motives were harder to follow (especially after some cocktails to die for!). 

Step 7: Kick Off the Party

Once your guests arrive, welcome them in character, set the scene, and explain the rules of the game. Hand out character profiles and clue cards, allowing each participant to start gathering information and solving the mystery. Encourage your guests to interact and engage with one another, forming alliances, and unveiling secrets as the story unfolds.

DON’T start the game until everyone understands how it works. Stopping to ask questions and getting in and out of character can take from the flow!

Step 8: Let the Mystery Unfold

Most games will be designed in rounds to match Starter, Mains and Dessert – so you’ll have one round of script reading for each course. Throughout the dinner, encourage your guests to play their roles, ask questions, and gather clues from one another. As the host, you can introduce unexpected twists or revelations to keep the suspense building. Remember to maintain the party’s pace, you don’t want your mains going cold because you’ve spent too much time analysing clues. 

Step 9: Reveal the Solution

As the evening progresses, the pieces of the puzzle will start coming together. Once everyone has had a chance to share their theories, gather everyone for the grand reveal. Allow each character to explain their actions and motives, leading to the unmasking of the murderer. (This is always the most fun part) Announce the winner who correctly identified the culprit or motives.

So that’s it, gather your pals,  channel your inner detective, and prepare for an evening of mystery and intrigue!

Scroll to Top