If your idea of a good read is curling up with a riveting cloak and dagger novel, and you like a bit of panache in get-togethers with your friends, then you'll love a suspenseful murder mystery party with themed games. Various game companies market ready-made mysteries for you and your guests to solve. However, if you're feeling creative, spin a little web of your own for your guests to unravel and incorporate some themed ideas to make the bash extra stylish.
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Grapes of Wrath
If you don't want to write a mystery yourself, there are plenty of games on the market that provide everything from party planning tips, recipes, invitations and place cards to plot and character exposition. The "Grapes of Wrath," by "Murder Mystery Party," provides a wine-themed twist on the murder mystery party. The kit includes a guide to party planning, a menu and recipes, background on characters, invitations, place cards, clues and a CD to prime you on how to stage the event. As of September 2010, the set sells for £16 and is designed for eight players.
How to Host a Murder
The "How to Host a Murder" game series offers complete kits for hosting various themed murder mystery parties. Themes include a 1920s Chicago, a teen vampire barbecue, a Transylvanian Halloween and a Wild West "whodunit". The game is designed for four- to five-hour parties with eight guests. Each set comes with a party planning manual for the host, complete with suggested menus and recipes; a guided CD, complete with music from the themed period and information about the murder; invitations and envelopes; name tags; individual player manuals; and a sheet of secret clues. As of September 2010, each game costs £20.70.
Dinner and a Murder
Another similar collection, "Dinner and a Murder," offers boxed party sets with unusual themes, with names like "The Santa Clause" and "Death by Chocolate." One of the best-selling games in this set, "Murder at the Four Deuces," takes place at a Chicago speakeasy and brothel. "Dinner and a Murder" also has a tame version of "Murder at the Four Deuces" for younger players. "Death by Chocolate" is designed for hen nights or sweet-toothed groups. Each game includes character booklets, confidential instructions for each guest, a host guide, invitations, a set of "weapon" cards, name tags, evidence, the evidence presentation, solution and game money. As of September 2010, all of these games sell for £38. Alternatively, you can download any of the games for immediate play for just £25.
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