Murder Mystery Dinner

Murder Mystery Dinner party theme - thumbnail image

A group of us were to attend a two day business conference in a country hotel. Some of our company's clients from the USA would also be present .Our company management decided to liven things up with a murder mystery dinner on the final night of the conference.

I have to say that as a fan of detective novels, particularly period mysteries, I was quite excited about the prospect, rather fancying myself as a female Sherlock Holmes kind of character!

The Murder Mystery Company we contacted asked for various background information about our company and the guests, so they could design a script specifically for us. i.e. what we do, juicy office gossip, nick names for staff members etc. etc. The Murder Mystery Company would attempt to incorporate some of the information into the designed plot.

The hotel we were staying in had been chosen based on the fact that they also hold murder mystery weekends and dinners. The hotel had once been an 18th century coaching Inn. The building had retained all its original character and ambience but obviously had been upgraded to include all the modern facilities hotel guests now expect.

When the day's meetings complete at about 5.00 pm, there was plenty of time to shower and change and then meet in the hotel bar at 7.00 pm. Some of us felt we needed a bit of 'Dutch Courage', especially as none of us had attended this kind of thing before. Prior to our departure to the conference we had been given some background information and costume instructions. The Murder Mystery theme was an Agatha Christie type plot entitled 'Murder in the Manor House 'set in 1928. We were therefore requested to dress in the Flapper Fashion of the roaring twenties. I hired a period dress, beads and hat from a costume supplier recommended in the instructions. I completed the effect with a classic long cigarette holder.

At the bar we were to meet 'the characters' of the plot for pre- dinner drinks. They included Sir Giles, Lord of the Manor, James the butler, Lizzie the Chamber Maid, the local vicar and various other characters from the fictitious village of Little Harpington.

During dinner a series of dramatic scenes were played out by the characters. Suddenly there was sound of a gunshot and Lord Giles fell dead to the floor. It was our task, through questioning the suspects, to root out the villain 'whodunit'. As dessert was served we were given sheets of paper to present who we thought was the murderer. Over coffee at the end of the meal the terrible truth was revealed in a re-enactment. I was delighted that I had correctly deduced that Lord Giles's son Rupert was the culprit.

The plot, acting and humour were far more sophisticated than I had imagined they would be. The actors in particular were first rate and delivered the script in a totally believable manner. Our American guests thoroughly enjoyed this light hearted end to the conference and it gave all of us the opportunity to gather and communicate in a social setting.