Frequently asked questions about hosting mystery party games

How much do the mystery party game kits cost?

Our mini versions start at $19.95US. Our small standard bundles and play versions cost $29.95US. The larger standard versions cost $39.95. The meet and mingle kits for up to 30 guests cost $39.95, for 50 guests they are $49.95US and the kits for up to a 100 guests are $69.95US.


What does each kit contain?

Each kit contains:

  • a host’s guide which includes decor and menu suggestions (rather than actual recipes which are easy to find on the internet), prop suggestions, instructions for the host on how to run the party, rules for the party etc.
  • invitations – in Microsoft Word format (where you can type in your parties details and then print in color or black and white), Adobe Acrobat (PDF) format and in JPG format (just the kit picture so you can email it to guests).
  • clue files which include an overview, character descriptions and costume suggestions for each guest, clue booklets for each main character explaining what they must reveal in each of the three acts for the kits in standard format and clue pages for each suspect in the meet and mingle format kits and clues to divide up amongst additional guests.
  • a description of who did it and why and how they did it, with a warning page beforehand so you don’t read it by mistake.

Each clue file is small in size and the kits are about 23-50 pages in length depending on the number of characters.

The mysteries are subject to copyright and must not be copied and distributed. Merri Mysteries Inc. grants you the non-exclusive right to use and perform the purchased kit. However, you can only make one printout of the clue pages and lamination of the clue pages is not permitted. Commercial users and educational users (eg schols) can only use the kit for one year. Please do not place your order unless you accept this requirement.


How can I pay for the kit? What if I have problems ordering? How can I contact you?

To order the kit, please use our secure online order system. All data is sent to us in an encrypted format and credit card details are transferred straight to the bank. We do not get to see your credit card details. We maintain your privacy and we do not give your details to anyone.

If you would prefer not to send your order over the internet, you can phone or fax through your order (see our Contact us page). Please do not send cash. We do accept checks and money orders made out to Merri Mysteries Inc and sent to 204 1/2 Burlington Ave, Suites 1 and 2, Fairfield Iowa 52556 USA. Or you can pay directly from your bank account via PayPal. Log in to your PayPal account and click the “Send Money” tab and send the payment to [email protected]. You can enter the details of the kit in the Special Instructions To The Seller section in PayPal.

Please note that in order to use our secure order form you must be using a recent browser. These browsers are free to download. You also have accept Cookies in your browser settings. You may like to change these settings just while you order.

You should receive an email with the download instructions at the end of the process. If you don’t, it may mean your order has not gone through properly. Please send us an email via [email protected] if this is the case.

If our system does not accept your credit card for some reason, try ordering once again, this time making very sure you complete all the fields on the credit card window and that the card number you enter is correct and that the expiry date isn’t one that has already expired and make sure you select the country the card was issued in. If the system once again rejects your credit card,please pay via www.merrimysteries.com/problem. Once we receive your payment, we will email you the files for the mystery kit you wanted (we can see your failed and incomplete orders) generally within 24 hours. If you do not receive the files or the download instructions, please send us an email via [email protected].

The mysteries are subject to copyright and must not be copied and distributed. Merri Mysteries Inc. grants you the non-exclusive right to use and perform the purchased kit. However, you can only make one printout of the clue pages and lamination of the clue pages is not permitted. Commercial users have to pay twice the price for the kit but they can use it for more than one event. Please do not place your order unless you accept this requirement.

Although we endeavor to make our kits as error free as possible, we make no guarantees to that effect. If you are not totally satisfied with our product/service, send us an email via [email protected] and we will exchange the item or refund your money.


How will I receive the kit? What if I have trouble receiving the file? What if I have trouble opening or downloading the files?

Our kits are supplied in Adobe Acrobat format. You can download the files immediately after you receive your login instructions via email or wait to receive the bundle versions of the kit that you have ordered via email.

Once you order online and your credit card has been approved, you will receive your download instructions via email.

Then all you have to do is print it (black and white is fine). The files are in Adobe Acrobat format Version 4 (ie PDF files) so that our formatting, fonts and graphics are maintained. The kits are designed to be half-size pages so they will take less space on your table. You create these by cutting each page down the middle.

If you don’t have a printer, forward the emails we sent (with their attachments) to a friend or copy the files on to a disk and take it to your local copy shop and ask them to print it for you.

If you have trouble downloading the files or opening the files sent via email, often this problem is caused by your having more than one version of Adobe Acrobat Reader on your computer. Please use Start – Control Panel – Add/Remove Programs and remove any old versions and just leave the most recent version. If you don’t have Adobe Acrobat Reader, you can download it for free from get.adobe.com/reader/.

Note: Please download the kit by clicking the “Download Files” link in the email you receive. If this doesn’t work, please send us an email via [email protected]. Please let us know the name in which the order was placed, the month and year of the order and which bundle of versions of the kit you ordered you require (ie for how many guests, “standard” or “meet and mingle” etc).

Although we endeavor to make our kits as error free as possible, we make no guarantees to that effect. If you are not totally satisfied with our product/service, send us an email via [email protected] and we will exchange the item or refund your money.


Printing the kit:How do I print the file? What if I don’t have a printer? Do I need a color printer? What if I have trouble printing the file?

We supply the files in Adobe Acrobat format via email after you order. You need Adobe Acrobat Reader Version 4 or greater. You will have printing problems if you use an older version of Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Tip: Make sure you print the kit in Landscape format. The kits are designed to be half-size pages so they will take less space on your table. You create these by cutting each page down the middle.

If you have trouble printing the file, on the Print window try selecting “Fit To Page” (an option under Page Scaling) or “Print As Image” (an option on the Advanced Print window). This can sometimes solve the problem.

If you have trouble, it could be because the file hasn’t downloaded properly. You may like to return to the download page and download it again. You can return to the download page as often as you like within the next 6 months. There is no extra charge for this.

If you have further trouble printing, please send us an email via [email protected] as we may be able to find a solution. Please let us know the name in which the order was placed, the month and year of the order and which version of the kit you require (ie for how many guests).

If you don’t have a printer, you may like to ask a friend to print it for you or you could copy it on to a disk and take it to your local copy shop and have it printed there.

Note: Some people may like to print the invitations in color or on colored paper, but it isn’t essential. You can print them on a normal black and white printer instead.


Existing clients: How can I upgrade my kit? How do I receive my discount? How do I enter the photo competition, decoration competition or video competition?

To upgrade your existing kit, see www.merrimysteries.com/upgrade.

If you have forgotten how to receive the 15{c5404b481ce54bf7e831d425bbd6654f08f6a552062b7046152ce561291ec381} discount you deserve as an existing client, send us an email via [email protected].

If you would like to enter the current photo competition, please see our photo competition page for details.

If you would like to enter the current decoration competition, please see our decoration competition page for details.

If you would like to enter the current video competition, please see our video competition page for details.


Can the mystery party host participate?

Yes as host, you can participate! Or you can choose not to, if you want. It is up to you. But as long as you are careful not to read the “Who Did It?” pages at the end of the kit, there is no reason why you shouldn’t participate. There is a warning page before the “Who Did It?” pages, telling you not to read the rest of the pages in the kit, so it is easy to avoid losing your innocence.


Do you know who the murderer is at the beginning?

Most of our kits are structured so that the murder has taken place before the meeting. Everyone is then a suspect (or a witness in large kits). No one knows who did it, till the end of the party – even the murderer doesn’t know they are the murderer!

We structure our kits in this way because if the murderer were to know they were the murderer, they may accidentally give it away to someone.

In some of our kits, the murder takes place during the party – generally towards the end of the party. For example, a body may be found.

Some of our kits don’t involve a murder at all, but they still contain a mystery. The solution to the mystery is not revealed till the end of the party.


Do you have a mystery party dinner?

We do provide menu suggestions and directions as to where you can find recipes on the internet. But it isn’t essential to provide a meal. That is up to you. However, you may still like to allow a few breaks so people can have a glass of water or some nibblies or whatever.


How is the best way to run the mystery party for a large group?

Some of our kits are in meet and mingle format and these are structured especially for large groups. They work best with cocktail party food or a serve-yourself arrangement. They are informal parties which are generally held in a lounge or outside.

Here is how to use the meet and mingle version for a seated party:

  1. Read out the rules, introduce the suspects and let everyone mingle for 20 to 30 minutes before they are seated.
  2. People will continue to talk to the people seated near them and to pass on information.
  3. Allow the 4 or 5 suspects to move around during each of the breaks between courses so that they can answer questions from people (so they all get a chance to move but not all at the same time).
  4. Give everyone including the suspects a couple of new extra clues during the end of their main course.
  5. Read out the reports during dessert.
  6. Then have everyone cast their vote and have the suspects read out the “who did it” pages.

Just try and make sure everyone has a similar amount to say.

If you are having more than 100 guests:

If you are having more than 100 guests, you can have multiple lots of suspects (eg 2 lots) and multiple lots of all the smaller roles (ie 2 groups of 90). Use different colored name tags for each group, and tell them to only ask questions to suspects with the same-colored name tag.

Or you could use a standard kit and have tables and have each table dress as a character (or in the case of “Mystery in the Library” or “Who Stole The Cookies?” as characters from the same book). Then have each table elect their representative to read out the clues for their table. For example, for 150 guests you would have 15 suspects and 15 tables with 10 guests on each table.

Or you could have each table doing the same mystery at the same time and just come together at the end to guess who did it. But this is very noisy.

Or you could use a smaller kit and perform it in front of the whole group and have everyone guess at the end. Some of our kits are also available in play format.

Whichever option you use, at the end of the party you can either have each individual write down their guess as to who did it or have each table decide on who they think did it, how, and why. Then the ‘Who Did It’ pages are read out to the whole group.


How long do the mystery parties take?

Most of our parties are structured to take around two and a half hours, but this can vary depending on how much time is spent taking photos at the beginning and how much people ad-lib and how long you make the breaks between acts. If you are running short of time, you can always continue reading out clues while people are eating. With the meet and mingle kits, you control how long you let people mingle so you can run them in less time if you want, but you will need at least an hour. The mini versions can be done in 30-40 minutes.


What if the number of guests coming to the party changes?

With our standard kits there are a number of versions to suit a range of guest numbers and you receive a bundle of these versions. So if your number of guests changes, you can just print the correct file. Some of our kits cover a range of guest numbers (eg the play kits and the meet and mingle kits) and these are very flexible in terms of the number of guests.


What are the different types of kits?

With all our kits, you read out the rules to the whole group, then you introduce the suspects and have them read out their descriptions. After the clue portion of the party, you have everyone write down who they think did it and how and why they did it. Then you have the suspects read out the “who did it” pages and award prizes (optional).

There are four types of formats of our kits (also called “Brands”):

  • Mini – this is a quick version where you have everyone read the clues for a short play and then you have the report(s) read out to the group. See all our mini kits.
  • Standard – with each of the versions you receive in this bundle, the lines are read out to the whole group, but they can generally be said in any order, unless otherwise specified. You start with Act One. You generally go around the circle and say your first clue, then go around again and say your next clue and so on. Sometimes a detective starts the ball rolling. There are three acts. See all our standard bundles.
  • Play – with this version, the lines are spoken in a set order. It is more straight-forward than the standard version. You pass around the script and say your lines when it is your turn. But you don’t need a stage – you can use it around a dining table or you can sit on sofas etc. There are three acts. See all our play versions. See all our school play versions for up to 30 guests.
  • Meet and mingle – with this version, you give everyone a clue(s) and let them mingle. Sometimes a clue may be a question to ask a suspect. The suspect has the answer on his/her clue page(s). Once they start mingling, they will find out other information they can pass on. Word will spread about anything that sounds important. Then you have a report or two are read out to the whole group. This works better for large groups of 17 or more guests. See our meet and mingle kits for 17 to 30 guests, 17 to 50 guests or 17 to 100 guests.

Some kits are available in more than one format. Although the words are written so you can read them as they are, you can still say the lines in your own words and adlib as long as you don’t change the meaning.