Murder Mystery Party Kit Details
Your guests are going to be playing the roles of the largely dysfunctional members of the Stout family, who have gathered at their ancestral home for a family reunion, hosted by the elderly Malachai Stout. None of the Stouts have ever gotten along particularly well with each other, but the promise of a substantial inheritance has encouraged them to at least put on their friendly faces and attend Malachai Stout's occasional gatherings.
Now, however, something awful has happened. This morning, when you came downstairs for breakfast, the door to Malachai's bedroom was ajar, and Malachai's lifeless body was crumpled upon the bed, his contorted purple features a mute testament to the fact that he had been smothered in his sleep. Further, the wall safe in Malachai's study has been opened, and the precious Stout family jewels are missing!
Solving the Mystery
The obvious course of action would be to phone the police or travel to the nearest town, but last night's storm has knocked out the phone lines, and the tremendous rain has washed out the mountain road to town. It appears that it will be up to the guests to solve the mystery of Malachai Stout's murder!
There are 8 primary characters in this game. Read the "How to Play" section for instructions on how to play this game with more than 8 people.
- Grandma Winifred Stout: Stately and stern, Winifred Stout, Malachai's wife, isn't the sort of grandmother who bakes cookies for the little ones; she's more the sort to scream at them to stay off the furniture.
- Penelope Clarington: Icy cold and snobbish, Penelope Clarington, Malachai's daughter, is far more concerned with maintaining proper appearances than anything else.
- Harrison Clarington: Penelope's husband Harrison is a drunkard and a cad. He never got along with either Malachai or Winifred, and he's only here because Penelope insisted.
- Mortimer Stout: Malachai's son and eldest child, Mortimer is stuffy, conservative, and driven primarily by his own financial interests.
- Monica Stout: Mortimer's trophy wife, Monica is a bubbly, talkative, sweet-as-saccharine woman who has always done her best to stay on good terms with all of her in-laws.
- Sabrina Stout: Mortimer and Monica's only daughter, Sabrina is a spoiled-rotten college student who is more interested in partying than in anything to do with her father's side of the family.
- Uncle Edwin Stout: Malachai's brother and the black sheep of the family, Crazy Uncle Eddie was never quite right after the war. He has lived on the Stout estate with Malachai and Winifred for years, keeping almost entirely to himself.
- Sebastian Seward: Malachai's long-suffering and much-maligned butler, Mr. Seward is responsible for keeping the Stout household running smoothly and putting up with nearly endless mistreatment from Malachai and Winifred.
- Investigator: If you have more than 8 players, additional players have the option of playing the role of "Investigators". In this role the players are not suspects and do not have character backgrounds but can question the suspects and try to solve the mystery along with the other players.
Our line of 30 Minute Mysteries is specially designed for fast setup and easy play. All you need to do to get started is:
- Print out the party guide
- Gather a group of players
- Hand out character sheets and name tags
- Follow the party guide instructions
Best of all, the party facilitator can choose whether they join in the game and solve the mystery along with the other guests!
Playing the Game
While this mystery has 8 primary characters, it is designed to accommodate any number of additional players. See the "Expanded Game for Large Groups" section below if you have more than 8 players.
Each of the players will be assigned a character and given a character sheet that explains who or what their character is, what information their character knows, and how their character should respond to events that occur during the game.
The game will progress in rounds.
Round One will start with the party's host or hostess reading a script that explains the nature of the mystery that is afoot. After the introduction is read, each player at the table will share a piece of information from their character sheet, and all the other players will have an opportunity to respond to that piece of information.
Round Two begins with the host sharing a clue that should shed further light on the mystery. After the clue is revealed, the players will once again go around the table, providing another piece of information and then responding.
Round Three, the final round, begins with the host sharing the last clue. The players then go around the table a final time, sharing their last piece of information and responding to each other.
By this point, the players should have learned enough information to be able to piece together a theory about who was responsible for the murder. Each player (or team) will say the name of the person who they think is responsible. The host will then read the final page of the mystery aloud, revealing the culprit. Any player or couple who correctly guessed the identity of the killer is declared a winner.
From start to finish, the entire game should generally only require half an hour to complete.
Note: As the host or hostess, there are certain times when you will be called upon to read aloud passages from this booklet. Passages that are meant to be read aloud will be clearly labeled and contained in a gray box.
What Do I Need in Order to Play?
Our 30 Minute Mysteries are specifically designed to not require very much in the way of supplies. All you really need is:
- a table to sit around (or a large playing area where the guests can sit in a circle)
- a group of players (minimum 8 people)
- a printed copy of this booklet
- a pair of scissors (to cut out nametag placards for each character)
- pencils or pens for each player
- Scratch paper (for players to take notes on)
- Folders (to help players conceal their character sheets)
If you wish to do so, you may also choose to provide prizes for the winner or winners (any players who accurately identify the culprit). Some suggested prizes might include candy, bath and body products, homemade treats or any other small, inexpensive gift item; remember that it is possible for multiple players to win, so if you choose to offer prizes, make sure you have enough on hand!
Expanded Game For Large Groups
If you have more than 8 players, there are three ways that you can accommodate everyone:
- Investigator Role - Using this method, eight guests play the primary characters while the remainder of the guests each play the Investigator role. Players in this role are not suspects and do not have character backgrounds but can question the suspects and try to solve the mystery along with the other players.
- Teams - Each primary character can be played by 2 or more people that work together as a team. This works well if you've invited several couples to your event, but also works if you break up your guests into eight larger teams of 3 or more guests.
- Multiple Groups - If you have 16 or more guests, you can break them up into groups of 8 players and run multiple instances of the game on their own. This method is best for large events (e.g. fundraisers) where each table of people can play through the game independently. This method goes well with the Investigator method, which allows you the flexibility to add more than 8 people to any group.
You can choose whether you'd like the Standard or Expanded version of a game when you add it to your cart.
Malachai Stout's Family Reunion is a 26-page downloadable PDF file that you print at home. It includes the following features:
- An introduction that explains the basic principles of running a 30-Minute Mystery
- A detailed party guidebook that will walk you through the event in a simple, easy-to-understand format
- Nametags and character sheets for each player - the character sheets include special goals and information unique to each character
- Step-by-step printing instructions
- And much more!
- This was a 7th grad advisory activity and the kids loved it! They really got into character! There were 8 students and myself so it really worked out-number-wise. The timing was perfect because our group spent about 45-50 minutes on this and that was about how long the period is.
- No menu or food
- We did not dress up or have a theme.
- We had a blast! I did this with a group of junior college church group students. With St. Patrick's Day approaching, I made that our theme. We were a dysfunctional Irish Catholic Family. On one of Malachi's trips to Ireland, he stole a pot of gold from a leprechaun. It was hidden somewhere on the family estate. They had to find it. We will definitely do some more of these!
- All green snacks and a green cake, even green Hi C.
- St. Patrick!s Day theme described above.
- I am an activity coordinator for a retirement home. This is the first mystery game we have played for an activity. I wanted something different to do for our Mardi Gras party, and I was hoping this would do the trick. And, boy did it! I changed the location of the mansion to outside of New Orleans to go along with the party theme. It was a great time for all, and my residents want to do it again. They really got into their characters and there were a lot of laughs. I have to keep the time down from the longer stories due to the fatigue factor of the residents if an activity is too long. So, this story was perfect. We are definitely looking forward to doing another one in the future. Thanks!
- We served King's cake.
- We played at a Youth Group meeting. Since it was our first attempt at this sort of activity, we followed the directions given. I was not sure whether to play along and not read any spoilers or read all the material before playing. I chose to try to play along with the group. The group absolutely loved the event and we will plan another night like this. One downfall for us was one player did not read their directions thoroughly. Ironically, it was the guilty party and it did impact the eventual outcome. I am not sure if this could have been addressed discreetly if I had read all material before starting. We had players that are naturals at this type of event and they made their characters come to life for us.
- We invited them all in to a room setup for the event. There were snacks in place and sparkling cider to drink. It did set a dinner party atmosphere, which seemed to set a very positive mood right from the beginning.
- We used this party for a youth group session one Sunday evening - had 32 youth play (split up 4 per character) and had a BLAST! I let them pick their role and hid Clue #1 and Clue #2 to get up and search for, but the rest was done sitting in a big room and it was great. The best part was at the end, EVERY single person had a different theory on the killer - so all 8 characters were on the chopping block!
- We started the evening by pulling characters out of a hat (guys and gals). There were 16 people including the host and hostess. We took half hour breaks between sets. I bought some silly costumes a cane a walker ect. Lots of accusations. Lots of laughs. Only one person guessed the murderer. It was a great evening.
- We just had appetizers. But I ve done them in the past with a dinner. It is great to do.
- I made a picture frame photo op for everyone as they arrive. I do it for every murder mystery. It makes for great memories.
- We had approx 12 teens and adults present for this murder mystery morning. It was part of a Christian caravan park holiday program and it went really well. I did not have much time at all to plan, probably about 1 day. But the pack was so straight forward and self guided that there was no issue at all. I prepared some costume props for each character and that was all! The teens were about 14 and initially weren't excited when they heard it was a murder mystery. During the game they paired up in teams or played alone and by the end they all said they were surprised how fun it was. Including set up and game play it took about 45mins to an hour. We actually played outside in a park and it was no trouble. Highly recommend!
- We had cereal because I called it a 'cereal killer'.
- Used costumes and had spooky music playing in the background.
The kids did not have an invitation because we set it up right there and then and let them choose their character.
- Neighborhood progressive dinner with 8 couples. Found the body at one house. Introduced characters at 2nd house. And enjoyed the clues and character discussions and questions at 4th house
Characters enjoyed dressing the parts. The investigators had many questions
- Our dinner had an Italian theme.
- We were celebrating my Father-in-Laws 80th Birthday at a local restaurant. All the characters were covered with real family members - we had family members from 8 - 80 years old.
- We ordered family style Greek platters so we could concentrate on the gane instead of the menu!!
- Our 7 sons and their wives like to do these murder mystery parties every year around Halloween. This year we kind of strayed from the original theme.
Everyone had to call me a couple of weeks before to tell me who they were coming as. Since this is our family Halloween party, the children greatly influenced what their parents dressed as. We had Bugs and Lola Bunny, the old guy Carl and the little boy Russell from Up, the Hulk, Super Man and Super Girl, etc.
I took a few liberties with the game, hope the creators don't mind. Things like our daughter-in-law, who came as Little Red Riding Hood, played the part of the spoiled college student, Bugs Bunny, instead of being a drunk, was addicted to carrots. The Hulk, was the crazy uncle, so instead of an injury during the war, he had an accident in the lab.
It was hilarious, we stretched it out to last about an hour, since all my kids and their wives like to really get into character.
Our family loves your mysteries and we will continue to buy and use them.
- Nothing special. Everyone always just brings their favorite foods to share at our family gettogethers.
- Watch my video
- Our club presented your Malachau Stout's Family Reunion at our fun night meeting this month. It was quite a success with very few simple props and no advance notice to our characters.
Didn't know we had so many terrific actresses in our club. They all really got into their parts and our investigators asked some terrific questions. Out of 19 characters and investigators, only four picked the correct culprit. It was a great evening. Thank you.
Photo of our actresses follows.
- I had a family party for my grandson's 10th birthday party. The 12 guests ranged in age from 8 to 65. Everyone had fun and my grandson said it was the best birthday party ever. The game was easy to administer and was fun and funny. Everyone came dressed up as their character which put them in the mood for the mystery. I highly recommend this company.
- We had 30+ middle school students experience several different mystery related themed rooms throughout the evening, One of the rooms was Malachai Stout's Family Reunion. So, we had 4 different groups of 8 experience this same mystery. Each group had a max of 25 minutes to solve the mystery. The students absolutely loved it. At the end of the night this room was voted most fun by the students. The story mad sense, flowed easily and had the kids interactivity a lot. I will note that this one is a little simple to solve. All four rooms got it right with out much difficulty. But, the goal was fun and this story was definitely accomplished that.
- We decorated a class room like a dinning room. Also, we recreated the bed where malachi's body is found. We used a chalk outline on the bed. We also had a tv with a fireplace on it going the whole time. The host dressed up in a suit and tie and played the role of a PI.
- Our high school was hosting a girls night. The event went very well. The students really got into their characters and loved solving the mystery.
- We played this mystery at our church senior adult banquet. It was a great success. We introduced the characters (played by some of our church staff) before the meal was served. After everyone was served and seated, the plot was read and the round one informations was shared by each of the characters. The characters then circulated among the tables to greet and answer questions .Each table of eight was an investigator and competing to solve the mystery. Everyone enjoyed the event. There were 120 in attendance, so it can be fun for large groups too.
- Chicken Cordon Bleu, roast beef, sweet baby carrots, green beans almondine, waldorff salad, rolls, chocolate cake
- For my teenage daughter's winter formal event, we hosted the dessert and game portion of a progressive dinner. We had sixteen teenagers who had never participated in a murder mystery before, but they all had a blast!
They had just finished their main course at the previous home, so we jumped right into the murder mystery. After Act II, we paused for dessert, but they kept in character and continued discussing possible suspects and pointing an occasional finger!
Since they were all new to this type of game, we had them paired up so that two people played one character. This led to many laughs at "split personalities" and sudden voice changes.
- Since this was the dessert portion of a progressive dinner, we had an ice cream sundae bar with all the toppings, as well as cupcakes.
- We chose a winter theme to go along with the winter formal event, but it all worked well together with murder mystery as they were dressed up
- My daughter had requested a party incorporating something from all her birthday parties. As she had a Murder Mystery for her 13th, we decided to use the 30 minute script.
As everyone arrived in Black TIe and we had a sit down meal to seal her 18th, we run the murder mystery alongside the 3 course meal...
- We served cocktails/mocktails during the sit down meal, to add to the theme. We had a set menu that everyone chose before they came. Setting up an event on face book made it easier to collect info. The only people that knew about the murder mystery were the characters allocated before the event, who were sworn to secrecy!
Most of the 3 course meal was ready prepared and I made mini cheese cakes and gateaux for dessert. https://www.facebook.com/buzzfeedtasty/videos/vb.1614251518827491/1701992736720035/? type=2&theater everyone love the food.
- As most of the guests were performing arts students it added to the atmosphere, we hadn't prepared how much they would ad lib, made more effective by how they took on the characters.. We had a piano and open mic which guests tapped in to .A great night and comments included best murder mystery I have ever been to...
- This was our first "young adult" fellowship for your church so we really didn't know how well this idea would go, but it was a huge success
We had 28 people and we selected the 8 main characters by placing envelopes around the tables with the word "man or lady".
We set up the area like a banquet room and played each round asdinner was served. We had one person play the part of a "cousin" that found the body.
It was great - actually it was hard to end it because everyone kept asking questions.
Thanks for a great Party
- We had an appetizer table set up as people came in. This helped set the mood before everyone sat down.
We also had our teenagers serve as waitresses which added to the fun.
- The room was decorated like a banquet room. We had candlelight so it made the room feel so different than just dinner in our fellowship hall.
We also greeted everyone as they came in and tried to get them into the theme of the reunion.
- I planned a surprise party for my boyfriends birthday. We are both into card games, board games all sorts of games. I had all the guests/characters waiting and he had no idea, he was really surprised. I set the mood for the game in an old family house. The murder scene had Malachai's lifeless body crumpled upon the bed and the empty safe. It was a lot of fun. Our friends still talk about it. I made the game more interactive. As the host I was able to slow the game down and have the characters mingle and check out the murder scene and clues. I would recommend a murder mystery game to anyone who like games.
- Drinks and finger foods worked great.
- set up the murder scene to get the charters in the mood. As the host its always good to control the pace of eth game and allow adequate time for each character to speak OR to cut them off if they are talking too much.
- The Pinochle Club at our DelWebb community sponsored a community dinner. We all brought casseroles and salads; afterwards each of the eight tables with eight characters each played the game. I tweaked the dialogs by changing the murderer's paper so that he/she did not know his/her guilt. After Round Three, the members had to discuss "who did it," and the first table to bring me the correct answer won the $10.00 per person prize. Everyone loved the activity and can't wait for us to do it again.
- Assorted casseroles, salads, and desserts.
- The 39ers, a church group of senior citizens, presented this murder mystery as a program for our potluck dinner. Not only the participants but also the audience enjoyed the mystery.The parts were distributed a few days before the dinner, and the characters were well prepared for asking questions and responding to statements about themselves. Some members of the audience occasioally made comments, and there was much laughter. Even though this was a murder mystery, the audience thoroughly enjoyed the funny comments and antics of the participants. I would definitely recommend "Malachai Stout's Family Reunion" for a home dinner party or for a larger group such as ours.
- This was a potluck dinner; we had everything from fried chicken to homemade icecream. At a family reunion, people often have potluck dinners.
- We made signs for the characters to wear. It gave the name of the character and the relationship to Malachai. The man playing the part of the drunkard carried a brown paper sack with a bottle inside; he occasionally took a sip.
- This was my sisters 30th birthday partyand she really wanted to go to a murder mystery show in the city but limites funds would not allow it. I decided to try to find one we could do at home with little to no props. This game was awesome! The party guests really got in to character and we laughed so much. It was tons of fun. Whem my sister reflected on the party she said this was her favorite part. As if that wasnt great enough several of my guests said they had a ball playing and they want to do it again!!
- We had a cocktail party with bite sized finger style foods including finger sanwhiches, wings, spinich dip and broclli bites. We also served shrimp pasta im martini glasses and non alcoholic cocktails.
- Our theme was Mardi Gras masquerade. The guests were asked to wear masks and dress up in their finest cocktail attire.
- Half way thru the Mystery the 80 year old asked if someone had died. The 8 year old relished her part as did the others and after some of the questioning we laughed till we cried. We had a new guest at the family gathering so the part of facilitator was perfect for her and made her feel comfortable with easy to follow instructions.
Looking forward to our next party and a new mystery.
- Thank you so much. I run a small senior citizen activities center. Some of my clients have mild cognitive impairment and this murder mystery was easy for them to follow and understand. They had a lot of fun.
I liked that there was no props needed. I was looking for an after lunch activity after a cancellation and this was easy to download and easy to lead.
Thanks so much for saving the afternoon, we'll definitely do another.
- The game instructions were clear and the kit had just about everything we needed. We ended up buying props for folks so that they could really get into character. My experience as host was excellent. I did not play a character but instead had fun revealing clues and setting up rounds.
One piece of feedback I got a few times was that the killer was so obvious that folks didn't pick that person (they thought it was too easy to be true, so a lot of folks picked someone else). It didn't stop everyone from having a good time.
- We had 75 people at the Reunion. We made “each table” a character” . For the 2 extra tables. We made them detectives. Everyone got really into it. It just so happens everyone got a GREAT laugh…because when I read the characters…the “drunk uncle”. The REAL LIFE “Drunk Uncle” was a that table! It was hilarious!
I really liked your packet, it was simple and easy to use. Our people ad libbed and really made it fun. Everyone commented on how nice it was.
We played in a hotel banquet room. It was an ALL AGE event. After we played, we had each person at each table introduce themselves and who exactly they “belonged” to in the family.
What I found interesting is that people REALLY WERE trying to figure it out… They got real serious at one point. It was comical.
I would definitely recommend this one for other families.
- We bought “Malachai Stout’s Family Reunion” for our daughter’s 13th birthday party. It worked really well and everyone had a lot of fun!
We dressed up as the servants and ran the game. The girls did a champion job of getting dressed up, and although the boys didn’t (of course!) everyone got into character and had a great time!
We took our time with the game: going through a clue while they were snacking initially, then another clue during dinner, and one during dessert. And in-between there was a lot of random madness on the kid’s part (elsewhere in the house!) but that just added to the fun.
The kids had a blast and it was a really nice way to have boys and girls at a party and have enough cool things to do, and bring everyone together often as a group. And as it was a game, it meant no-one was left out, everyone had their part to play. Our younger child even got to play the part of the dead body! Which of course meant he got to have lots of fun as well (and he got dressed up in a suit for the part, which he enjoyed).
It was a real blast, and it was so convenient to be able to buy the script and instructions!
- We covered the dining room table with a white tablecloth and bought a collection of candlestick holders from the op shop (second hand shop). It looked fabulous! We also downloaded some storm music (thunder, lightning and heavy rain) to add a bit of atmosphere. That worked really well too.