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A Night of Wine, Cheese and Murder

Have a night in with friends and a murder mystery cocktail party.

I love to throw a house party. Toss in a theme and it's even better. I've done sushi parties, scavenger hunts and Mother's Day brunches but never a murder mystery. After my trip to Amish country, I had enough food and drink to throw a soiree, and figured it would be a good time to bust out a game night with friends.

At Christmas, I received a murder mystery party game and never had the chance to tear into it. I'm sure this can be found in the board game section of retail stores or online from a variety of websites.

As far as cocktails and hors d'oeuvres, I decided to keep it simple so as not to overshadow the real reason for the get-together, murder! I featured a spread of six different cheeses and meats, assorted crackers, fruits, nuts, olives, and an array of wines from dry to dessert.

I also set out some chocolate biscotti for when guests got a sweet tooth later in the night. Keeping the menu limited yet hearty actually freed up my time. Instead of being chained to the kitchen, I kept all the cheese in bricks and set out a marble slicer for everyone to pick what they wanted and slice it as you go. I had no waste of food and very little clean up afterwards.

The game is designed around six "in play" characters and two "non play" characters. The murderer is within the "in play" group, with the extra two included for convenience. Since my fiancé and I had never played it, we decided to keep it to six players so we could be in on the action. Next time we can be the "non play" characters since we know who the killer is now.

The instructions suggest that all the guest get really involved and dress the part they are going to play. I have a hard enough time with Halloween, let alone dressing up in costume just to dress up. I also had concerns with the men attending. I wasn't quite sure how well they were going to play dress up. So, I came up with a compromise. With all the free time given to me from my simplistic menu, I decided to create some props for our players in the spirit of their characters. I made a tiara, flags, a headband of flowers and purchased removable tattoos for the bad-boy character.

I was nervous if anyone would be willing to put these on, but to my delight everyone got really into it. The game comes with scripts that you can read from or improvise. Once we got the dialogue down and a flow going, it became a wild time. As wine was flowing, so were the impromptu German and Italian accents, spirited acting, lots of laughing and frenzied accusations of who was the killer. If you are looking to have a few friends over for snacks and games, and are bored with Monopoly and Taboo, a night of murder mystery will definitely have your guests asking who did it?

Sarah Eates May 18, 2011 at 05:39 PM
I LOVE these parties. I have thrown 5 of them. Two of them I did when I was in High School for my B-day party. They were HUGE hits. I've done them in college and post college. I think they are the best parties. When I host them, everyone HAS to be in costume. That is a must. I like to make the food and have the drink that goes along with the setting of the 'story.' I'm huge on setting the mood for these. You really do need to set the mood and invite the right people that will get into it. The people are what make it great. I'm so glad you got to enjoy it! They are so under-rated!

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