Solve a Mystery

Solve a Mystery party theme - thumbnail image

I recently went to my nephew's 10th birthday party. John loves mystery books, stories, games and TV programs, so his mum, Rachael, created a mystery party for him.

I gladly agreed to help Rachel with the setting up. The invitations had Sherlock Holmes on the cover. Inside Rachel wrote, "Help John solve the mystery."

The decorations were the usual balloons and streamers, but we had hidden clues for the mystery inside some of the balloons and hung them in all the rooms of the house and in the garden.

When the five school friends of John arrived they were each given a fact about the murder mystery they needed to solve. They could either share with the others or keep it to themselves. They all decided to work together so the mystery would be easier to solve. The facts led to clues in the balloons throughout the house. It didn't take them long before the mystery was coming together.

The clues were challenging, but clear enough for them to follow. After about an hour or so, they figured out who had killed Adam the butler and where and what the murder weapon was. The prize was a set of Sherlock Holmes novels by Arthur Conan Doyle.

Lunch was Chinese takeaway that Rachael had ordered. We all stuffed our faces. The barbecued pork ribs and spring rolls were particularly good. After lunch Rachael brought out the cake. It was decorated with a Sherlock Holmes's deerstalker and calabash pipe in sugar art. It was quite an intricate design. Rachel served it with ice-cream and the boys loved it.

After dessert, Rachel gave each boy a fortune cookie. Earlier, Rachel had carefully removed the fortunes from the fortune cookies and replaced them with a riddle that gave clues to a special prize. Three of the boys found their prize right away so Rachel and I gave subtle hints to help the others. I took a lot of photos of the boys searching the house for the prizes.

The boys played the board game 'Cluedo' after they had found their prizes. John won two of the three games they played. It must be all the practice he gets reading his mystery books.

Rachael brought out a couple of spy cameras she had rented from an audio visual shop. The boys created their own adventures with them. Rachel hooked them up to the VCR and boys got to keep their own footage.

A mystery theme was a great idea for a party. Next time we'll make it a little harder to solve. Maybe reading some "Sherlock Holmes" mysteries will give me some ideas.