Murder Mystery Party Kit Details
The guests play a mixed group of characters who have been invited to a Mardi Gras masquerade hosted by Marshall Inglewood, the Governor of Louisiana. The party will be held at the governor’s posh New Orleans mansion. Everyone is expecting an elegant evening with hor d’oeuvres, drinks, and dancing, but as it turns out, something mysterious is afoot!
This mystery is divided into two primary segments. During the first portion of the evening (Act One), the partygoers will have the opportunity to eat, drink and mingle at the governor’s mansion.
At the midpoint of the evening, a blackout occurs, and one of the players makes a terrible discovery: someone has been murdered in the middle of the party!
Solving the Mystery
Act Two will begin with the grisly discovery of the victim’s body. In the area around the body, there are clues that point to what must have occurred prior to the death. It will now be up to the guests to figure out what happened.
There are 25 primary suspects in this game,however only 12 are required to play the game. The host or hostess will play the role of Tony Cour, the Head Caterer. Read the "How To Play" section for more information on how to play an expanded game with more than 25 guests.
- The Governor - Marshall Inglewood - Governor of Louisiana who is hosting a Mardi Gras party. He’s well known in New Orleans for his constant fundraising and elegant parties.
- The Sheriff - Jacques “Jack” Le Boeuf - Sheriff Jack is a fixture in New Orleans, as he investigates most crimes in the city. He’s known for his down home approach.
- The Deputy - Jeremy “J” Porter - Deputy J is a notorious playboy, but is very loyal to the Sheriff’s Office and his city.
- The New Man - Raymond Downings - Raymond recently inherited a large estate on the outskirts of the city and just moved back to town.
- The Club Owner - Derek Nordhart - Derek owns “Fantasy” a very popular club that is known for its exclusive parties and open dance floor.
- The Good Guy - Harvey Daniels - Harvey manages the day-to-day affairs for Leon’s construction firm and is known for his “good ol’boy” attitude.
- The Architect - Leon D’Loupe - Mr. D’Loupe runs the largest construction firm in town and is largely responsible for most of the restoration to the city as it recovered from Hurricane Katrina.
- The Preacher - Joseph Grant - Reverend Joseph is the preacher at the Sacred Heart, a rapidly growing mega church.
- The Bodyguard- “Jack” - Heather’s bodyguard, he doesn’t say much.
- The Head Chef - Noel Bellenuit - Chef Noelle is a dramatic, flamboyant and difficult man, but his food is so good even the most conservative members of high society don’t complain.
- The Chef - Rene Le Boeuf - Rene served in the war and returned home recently where he got a job as a chef.
- The Voodoo Queen - Dominique LaBranche - Well known in New Orleans for her many “reading” parlors and Hoodoo supply stores. Her readings are said to be very accurate.
- The Queen Bee - Blanche Le Boeuf - The reigning social queen of New Orleans elite society. She is a member of the prestigious Le Boeuf family and is well known for her iron fist inside a lacy glove.
- The Lawyer - Gabrielle Le Boeuf - Miss Gabrielle is known to be sharp as a tack and a terror in the courtroom. She’s utterly ruthless behind her sweet Southern manners.
- The Hippie - Celine “Luna” Schumacher – Deputy Porter’s date, Luna is a big believer in “green initiatives,” but appears to legitimately like Deputy J.
- The Bouncer - Sarah Corrington - Bouncer at “Fantasy,” many underestimate her in her high heels, but she’s broken plenty of bones.
- The Socialite - Eloise Daniels - Harvey’s mom is a well known socialite who always has a bit of gossip to share.
- The Preacher’s Wife - Lettie Mae La Terre - Reverend Joseph’s wife, and a member of his church. There are hints of some sort of scandal in her past.
- The Showgirl - Amelie Belle - Amelie is a rising star on the stages of New Orleans and is famed for her long legs and graceful demeanor.
- Investigator (male or female): 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.
Follow these steps to host this mystery:
- Each guest will each assume the role of a particular character
Mystery Parties involve a combination of improvisational acting, storytelling, and creative problem solving. Each guest will play the part of that character throughout the course of the game. Each character has specific personality traits, goals, secrets, and information, all of which are included in the character sheet; a big part of the fun is getting into character and taking on a new, exciting role.
- A mysterious Event will occur
At some point during the party, an Event will occur that will force the players to come together in order to solve a problem or unravel a mystery. Traditionally, the Event in question will be the murder of one of the characters (as played by a guest), but the parties crafted by Playing With Murder often use this basic framework to accommodate different types of Events, thereby ensuring that your guests will be surprised and entertained (even if they are veteran murder mystery party players).
- Solve the mystery!
Your guests will need to use the information that their characters know (as well as additional clues that are provided during the game) to solve the mystery or overcome the problem posed by the Event. Typically this culminates in the guests voting on the identity of the murderer, but again, different parties will have different specific goals. All of our parties also come complete with additional subgames (treasure hunts, unique character goals and special puzzles) that are guaranteed to keep the action intense and your guests motivated and focused.
Expanded Game For Large Groups
If you have extra players, there are two ways that you can accommodate everyone:
- Investigator Role - 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. Expanded Games include a PDF guide that explains how to use the Investigator role, as well as printable character sheets and name tags for anyone that is playing an Investigator.
- Multiple Groups - It is also possible to break your guests up into groups and play multiple instances of the game at the same time. The game will more or less happen the same way; the host makes announcements and each group moves their game forward simultaneously based on the host's instructions. It's good to have one assistant in each group to answer questions and facilitate gameplay within the group. This method provides a more intimate experience for your guests, who get better acquainted with a smaller group and participate in a more digestible story.
Please contact us if you'd like more information about how to run your party using the Multiple Groups method.
You can choose whether you'd like the Standard or Expanded version of a game when you add it to your cart.
First time hosting a murder mystery party?
Visit our How to Host a Mystery Party page to get step-by-step instructions on how to prepare for your murder mystery party.
Mardi Gras, Masks, Murder! is a 155-page downloadable PDF file that you print at home. It includes the following features:
- An introduction that explains the basic principles of running a mystery-party and provides specific tips on props, menu items, sound effects, and special tips to help make your party exciting, memorable and easy to run
- Step-by-step instructions on how to prepare for your party
- A detailed party guidebook that will walk you through the event in a simple, easy-to-understand format
- Instructions on how to run the party for a large group
- Nametags and character sheets for each player - the character sheets include tips on costuming and role-playing, as well special goals and gossip unique to each character
- Fully customizable invitations, complete with RSVP cards and guest lists
- 14 illustrated clue cards the players can use to solve the mystery
- Voting sheets
- Customizable awards for your guests
- And much more!
With your purchase of Mardi Gras, Masks, Murder! you will also receive the following:
- A separate “Customizable Documents” file that includes all of the invitations and awards in an editable format
- Step-by-step printing instructions
- Two mp3 audio effects for use with your party
- Instructions on how to use these audio clips to best effect
The audio files for this mystery include a full length Jazz mix that includes the background sounds of a posh party, and a clip of the scream and thud of the murder victim.
- When getting together with friends, we decided it would be fun to have a murder mystery party to bring in the new year. All together we had four adults and nine teenagers. We purchased Mardi Gras mask to represent each of the characters in The murder mystery. We followed the directions of the game by allowing everybody the opportunity to read about their character and the important information that they were to share. After time to get oriented to the game, the fun begin!
The most enjoyable part of the evening for me was watching all of the teenagers and adults get into their characters. The interactions between all of the players was very genuine and there were some actors in the group I didn't know about! In the end, as a group no one was able to solve the murder. This did not discourage anyone and the conversations about what each person was thinking were quite interesting. When the game was over, the adults were relaxing and could still hear the teens.talking about how much fun they had. We enjoyed making this memory as a group..teens and adults! We have already decided to do another murder mystery party next year!
- We already had New Year's menu planned when we decided to host the party in the future, I would enjoy making food to match the party theme!
- As described earlier, every character had a party mask. Because each of the party players were staying the weekend at our house we also rated any old Halloween boxes and closets for additional materials that would make the game more fun. We used real objects and taped pictures of the missing objects during the murder mystery. This was a suggestion given in the game. I am not sure that it was necessary, but it was enjoyed anyway
- We hosted our party as a New Year's Eve Party. None of the guests had ever done a murder mystery before, so it was new to everyone. We had a blast!! Some of our characters went all out with costumes and playing their parts and it added so much more to the whole game.
- Our menu included Steaks, Cajun Chicken Breasts, Jambalaya, Roasted Red Skin Potatoes, Salad, Rolls. Appetizers, Desserts, drinks
- Decorations included beads, masks and mardi gras themed colors.
- We used this murder/mystery as a fundraiser for my son's memorial fund. This was our very first one, and we had over 100 people in attendance! I purchased the extended party, but we did omit a few of the non-essential roles.
Can I tell you that we had so MUCH fun, and received such rave reviews that we are already planning next year's event???!!
First, we held the event in a renovated barn on the property of a local lobster bakes & bbq caterer. It fit the "mardi Gras" theme, since lobster was the closest we could come in the Northeast to craw fish. The barn was split into two rooms, by "half walls", so that worked out well for having a room to display the objects we needed as part of the mystery. This room also held all of our raffle items, our photo booth, and our bar...so it was well visited. I assigned roles to certain people that I knew would "play it up" and act the part. They surely delivered! I think the key with these things is to make sure that you give the right roles to people who will really ham it up, and give lesser roles to people who are a bit more subdued as a whole. Any one who was not playing a role was a detective, and the tables were each "teams" of 6 detectives. We taped a small favor bag of gold doubloons under one seat at each table. Whoever sat in that seat was the lead detective for that table, and also won the centerpiece! That person was in charge of filling out and turning in the who done it part of the paperwork.
Having to play the caterer, Tony Cour, was the perfect role since running around and making sure everything was going smoothly was perfect. Thanks for writing it that way!
The governor was played SO well in our version of it, that some people didn't even know who he REALLY was until halfway through the night! Our Sherrif and his deputy played their parts to perfection, and even actually carried the dead body out of the room! One waitress handed out prayer cards all night, and another had real "guest checks" in her apron pocket that said, "You know you just ate chicken, right?" Every person who was assigned a role really went the extra mile! The hints on how their particular character would dress/act really gave them an edge!
- We began the party with simple appetizers on a table, and a bar for guests to all arrive and get to know each other. Remember, we had over 100 people in attendance, so as we checked people in, we gave them nametags and table assignments. I made a few announcements as myself (regarding the fundraising aspect of the evening) and then went into character and began the "welcome" message. At that point, we began the dinner.
Being from the Northeast, we do "lobster" instead of shellfish. We offered guests their choice of lobster, chicken & ribs, or for some, a vegetarian plate. (I had to accommodate several palates, here!)
We also offered corn, potatoes, rolls, tossed salad, cole slaw. Iced tea and lemonade were available, as well as beer and wine. We did not do mixed drinks because of the large party.
We offered a buffet for dessert which included all New Orleans Mardi Gras favorites: King cakes (in various flavors!) macaroons, mini chocolate-pecan pies, and banana bread pudding with foster sauce.
- To set the mood, I made my own chandeliers using hula hoops, string lights, and tulle. They came out pretty cool, and I made one in green, purple, and gold. When the lights went out, they provided a nice touch to the party! We also of course, used green, gold, and purple balloons. For the centerpieces, I bought fish bowl shaped vases at the dollar store, filled them with green, gold, and purple gumballs, and then put feathers in each one! Everyone loved them, and wanted to be the one who one the centerpiece. For table linens, all the tables were done with gold satin, and we alternated green and purple satin runners. We also used street signs all over the place. Every guest was handed a mask to keep (the cheap cardboard ones with feathers that you can buy in bulk) by the governor, and welcomed to his mansion when they arrived.
Our DJ played Jazz music, and also had the sound effects we needed for the appropriate times. We hired a photo booth, and he had terrific Mardi Gras theme items for guests to take pictures with!
We carded each person in attendance, and if they were over 21, we "beaded" them. If not, we gave them a glow bracelet to wear. Each time a guest got a beverage, they got another set of beads.
Our governor, our queen bee, our voodoo queen, and our sheriff and deputy went ALL out with their costumes! It was a phenomenal time!!
- This party was really great! We loved the natural feel of interaction between characters rather than a scripted/task oriented night. Aside from the few self-induced hiccups we really enjoyed the game. The best part was undoubtedly the fact that everybody nailed it on their masks!
- Cajun: fried shrimp, Mac and cheese, alfredo, grilled shrimp. Also included a very interesting take on monte cristo's bite sized!
- We liked the music with the theme but for sure hit up Apple Music for even more ambiance to set the mood. Our main room included streamers of black, gold, green, and purple going from the fan out to the edges of the room. It really made the room feel a lot bigger!
- We decided to do something different for a 10th wedding anniversary so why not a murder mystery! Everyone had a great time and I was surprised how much effort people put into acting their character and dressing up. I think it was really important for the host to make an effort (I tried my best new Orleans accent) to make guests more comfortable playing their own characters.
When it came time to review the clues everyone had very quickly guessed the murder so I spent time going around the room casting suspicion on every other person in the room, this helped create more discussion and confused people so we ended up with wrongly accused which I think made it a bit more fun.
Everyone had a fantastic time and said how nice it was to do something different - I will definitely host another murder mystery party!
- We had a buffet, highlights included cajun shrimp, hurricane cocktail, yellow, green & purple cupcakes and jello shots
- We were celebrating a 40th birthday for a dear friend. We wore masks and dressed up. Jazz music played in the background. Simple decorations of masks, beads, a street scene and table runners. It was a fun and folks loved looking for clues.
- We served appetizers including hot crab dip, shrimp chowder, and meatballs.
- We used a street scene and street signs as well as masks and beads.
- It was easy to set up and everyone had so much fun! We were talking about it for weeks! It is a must buy if you are having a Mardi Gras party.
- We didn't have a special menu. :(
- We all went costume shopping together which added a lot of fun and made such everyone had a costume. We just used party city Mardi Gras decorations.
- I threw this party for my 30th birthday! There were 15 people who came and we had a blast! I sent everyone their character packages two weeks before and everyone came in character and stayed in character throughout the night! The men really stole the show during the night as they really tried outdoing each other in their roles. It made the game so entertaining!
- I served appetizers, no dinner, for the party. A lot easier to do to allow more time to decorate and such before the party began. I served cream cheese pinwheels, shrimp, meatballs, bacon wrapped water chestnuts, taco dip, chips and veggies.
- I decorated with streamers, balloons, street signs and handmade pompoms, all sticking with the typical green, purple and yellow Mardi Gras colours. I used the audio file that was included with the party download and it was actually perfect background noise!
- This was the first time I hosted a murder mystery party. The night was a great success and the guests really enjoyed themselves. The party was for 15 people. The package is well organized. Since I was emailing invites and character info I had to copy and paste from the pdf into emails which was a bit time consuming, so if there was some way to make it email friendly, I think that would be a great plus. I used the background music with no problems.. it was a great way to add to the atmosphere..
- We did a seafood boil with corn, shrimp, corn and sausage. Along with some Lousiana Fried Chicken (aka Popeyes lol)
- We had mardi gras masks and beads for the guests to choose from. I found some cardboard street signs and lamps at an online party store. We hung some green and purple tableclothes to create a room divider.
- For my bday I wanted to put on a murder mystery dinner...my first one but I already knew I didn't want to do one that was highly scripted. So I found this one, it had good reviews and was really well priced for doing a party for 15 people. Their info is very well laid out for how to plan the party, this extra detail was awesome....I've planned lots of parties in my past but I felt that the extra bits about how to assign characters was really helpful.
The only issue I had was there are no gay characters...and this really isn't an issue per say, I was able to very easily re-write one of the couples to be a gay couple by changing the name and tweaking the background story. My only other comment is that I wish that the info you provide your guests came on a template for printing off on index cards...full 8x11 sheet paper is not ideal and it's a LOT of info for people to memorize. I ended up putting on index cards for easy portability.
- My husband lived in Baton Rouge,LA for 13 years so we didn't use the menu suggestions outside of the drink suggestion. He did say that for the most part they did get the right idea on what is truly Cajun inspired although some he really thought something crawfish should have been included.
- Flickering lights to mimic the old house losing power during a storm, thunder/flashing light set up outside so every time someone walked up to the door it appeared to be storming.Then heavy drapes hanging up to mimic a lush mansion feel.
- Ten high school classmates rented a beach house in Florida for a week. We did the Murder Mystery dinner one stormy night. It was great the characters had their parts ahead of time to find costumes and decorate masks. It was a blast and would plan to do another one if we have another reunion. Some of the "male" roles had to be played by women, was the only hitch. The scavenger hunt went well, but trying to put those clues together was difficult for some.
- We made the King Cakes and a couple of the other suggested recipes. The Hurricanes drinks were strong, but made for a fun evening.
- We used the downloaded music, but had to use a different computer to get it to work. Since we were traveling, we were limited to small decorations such as Mardi Gras beads. Some went to a second-hand store the day before and bought some costumes. We used empty wine bottles filled with sand and prepared labels ahead of time with "Murder on my Mind", "Hapless Victim", and "Falsely Accused and Convicted" as the prizes.