Hosting a murder mystery dinner or a mystery party game

Watch our short video on how to host a great mystery party:

These ideas will help you prevent your party being too much of an ordeal and help you enjoy your party.

There are the following sections on this page:

How to be the perfect host

Good preparation is the key to success. Before you begin, read the host guide of the kit. These are available on the details page for each kit which you can access from the Our mysteries page by clicking on the title of the kit.

Take plenty of time to plan your party and send out the invitations preferably at least 2 weeks in advance. Ask people to RSVP at least a week before the party.

If any of your guests are having trouble working out what to wear for their character’s costume (after having read the suggestions in the kit), you can refer them to fancy dress for ideas. If your guests would like some help in preparing to take on their character, you can refer them to drama tips.

After everyone has RSVP’d (or you have contacted them to ask them if they will be attending if they haven’t RSVP’d) and ideally at least a week before your party, print out the mystery party clue file that suits the number of guests who will be attending.

Cut the pages in half and prepare the clue pages (for the meet and mingle kits) and clue booklets (for the standard format kits).

If you are using a meet and mingle kit, print extra copies of the page to attach clues to for the guests playing optional roles, divide up the extra clues and attach them to the clue pages.

Before the party, buy all the necessary supplies (ie ingredients for the recipes you want to cook, drinks, decorations etc). Buy the prizes. See prizes for ideas.

Decorate the areas where you intend to hold the party and you may also like to decorate outside your house or the entrance to your house according to the theme of the party. Read the host guide and decorating ideas. You may like to do this the day before the party or on the day of the party.

Get the music read to play as people are arriving. See party music ideas.

On the day of the party

Prepare the food for the party. See party food ideas.

We recommend that you prepare food that can put in the oven during the beginning of the party so that you aren’t trapped in the kitchen. Try and serve dishes that are easy to prepare or get a caterer to help. Or asks your guests to bring a plate of food. This is fair as you are providing the mystery party game entertainment.

At the actual party

There are suggestions in the host guide for each kit as to how best to run the party. See the list of all our kits and click on “More” button to see more details and to access the samples and host guides.

Take photos as guests arrive and do a group photo as soon as everyone has arrived. This way you get to see them looking the best they can. Start your party early otherwise people won’t be interested in working out who did it as they will just want to go to sleep. Begin by reading out the “Rules” section at the end of the “Host Guide” and then introduce the suspects.

Put people’s names on their drink glasses so that people don’t keep getting a new glass for each new drink and creating a million glasses to wash! Train your guests in how to rinse dishes and put them in the dishwasher. Don’t drink too much alcohol! Drink plenty of water.

Don’t let your guests ruin your evening. Get them to leave at a reasonable hour. Give them hints (eg talk about how early you have to get up tomorrow etc). Don’t stay up cleaning everything. Go to bed and do it in the morning. The next day, sleep in and after you finish tidying up, take it easy.

How to participate and still be the host

Our mystery party games are designed so the host can fully participate. Just be careful when you are printing out the kit not to read the pages towards the end of the clue file after the warning page. These pages are the “Who did it” pages and you should fold them without reading them and put in an envelope and have the suspects read them out at the end of the party. It is easy to participate if you have arranged easy to manage food.

We have lots of murder mystery games to help you inject drama, fun and intrigue into your dinner party, birthday or corporate event. Have a look at our full range of mystery kits.