Murder Mystery Party Kit Details

Murder in Manhattan - Mystery Party Kit

Price:
£29.95



Preview Game Kit

Murder in Manhattan

£29.95
Add intrigue to your next party with this murder mystery game, set at a Manhattan cocktail party.
Format: Mystery Party Kit
Setting: New York cocktail party
Players: 10-25 (Standard Game)
26-100+ (Expanded Game)
Time: 90+ minutes
Ages: Adult
Story
Gossip, treachery & murder at an upscale NYC party…

Backstory

You and your guests have been invited to the anniversary bash of Mr. Francis Fisk, a noted businessman. The attendees include a number of Fisk’s high-society friends, family members, and business associates. These high society sophisticates live in a world of intrigue, gossip, treachery and endless jockeying for social superiority.

Murder!

Things take a turn for the deadly when a rolling blackout provides someone with the opportunity to advance their social agenda in a more brutally direct fashion than most of the guests are familiar with. When the lights come back on, a grisly crime is discovered!

Solving the Mystery

Reputations are at stake and no one at the party wants to risk the scandal of press and police involvement. Now the guests must work together to sift through the evidence and identify the killer in their midst!

Characters

There are 25 primary suspects in this mystery, however only 10 are required to play the game. The host or hostess will play the role of Taylor Walker, the head caterer. Read the "How To Play" section for more information on how to play an expanded game with more than 25 guests.

Male Roles

  • Alexei Siranov - Security: Doorman at Fisk’s building and security for the party, Alexei is in charge of making sure none of the lower classes get into the celebration.
  • Chester Fisk - Playboy: The debauchery and indulgence of the life of the upper class run hand in hand with this well-known playboy, younger brother of Jonathon and Francis. He owns the Castle, a hotel known for ruining the reputations of many celebrities and socialites.
  • David Kreig - Author: David published a biting satire on Upper East Side personalities—recently at the tope of the New York Times bestseller list—which everyone suspects is based on actual socialites.
  • Francis Fisk - Real Estate Tycoon: This party is being thrown by Francis in celebration of his company’s twenty-five years of success in real estate. He is very well known and always throws the most elegant parties.
  • Grayson Kreig - Rock Star: A one-hit wonder, Grayson was once part of the band Eagle’s Rose, which has long since broken up.
  • Isaac Corrington - Retired Senator: Although retired from government life, Isaac is the head of the politically active Corrington family. Easily the king of the Upper East Side socialites, Isaac has played the social and political scene for years.
  • Jesse Corrington - Journalist: Editor of a biting online gossip site, Jesse is known for only publishing verifiable rumors. He comes from one of the most powerful families on the Upper East Side.
  • Jonathon Fisk - Outcast: Jonathon runs Fisk Enterprises in Australia and has been invited back to New York for his brother’s big celebration. Rumor says he left due to some scandal that was covered up.
  • Richard den Waldern - Philanthropist: A young but prominent philanthropist, he is known for giving generously to children’s charities around the country. He was recently in Florida on vacation.
  • Sam Lily - Lawyer: Sam is an entertainment lawyer known for his famous clients and sharp sense of humor.
  • Zachary Wellington - Architect: A board member of Fisk Enterprises from Chicago, he is attending the event with his daughter Candice.

Female Roles

  • Ashley LeBois - Editor: Up-and-coming queen of the younger generation, Ashley is the editor of Runway, a popular fashion magazine. She rules the younger generation with well-timed rumors and vicious social takedowns.
  • Candice Wellington - New Girl: Candice is both Zachary’s daughter and his assistant. This is her first time in New York.
  • Davana Gudriov - Housekeeper: Ashley’s maid and housekeeper, Davana has been looking out for Ashley since she was a little girl.
  • Francine (Frank) Rose - Debutante: A cousin of the den Walderns from Florida, Frank recently arrived in New York and is making her debut among the upper class.
  • Gwen Kreig - Rising Star: New to the social scene, Gwen is a fashion designer with cutting-edge style and swift social-climbing ambitions.
  • Helen LeBois - Designer: Helen owns and designs her own line of haute couture fashion, catering only to the rich and fabulous.
  • Irene den Waldern - Party Planner: Irene runs a very successful public relations firm that caters to the Upper East Side and numerous celebrities and socialites. She is throwing this party for Francis.
  • Jo Chase - Filmmaker: New to the scene, Jo makes documentaries and is filming the party for a new documentary.
  • Mercy Neist - Scheming Socialite: A well-known socialite, Mercy mysteriously left New York a few years ago and has only just returned from traveling abroad. She is a troublemaker and a schemer who used to give Ashley a run for her money.
  • Rose den Waldern - Queen: Queen bee of the older socialites, Rose rules the Upper East Side with an iron fist inside a silken glove.

Male or Female Roles

  • Callaway Lee - Bartender: Callaway was hired by Irene to be attentive and discreet as well as to keep the drinks flowing.
  • Jamie Lavigne - Caterer: Jamie was hired by Irene to be attentive and discreet and to make sure the party runs smoothly.
  • Sydney O’Connor - Caterer: Sydney was hired by Irene to be attentive and discreet and to make sure the party runs smoothly.
  • Taylor Walker - Head Caterer: (Played by the Host/Hostess) Taylor was hired by Irene to be attentive and discreet, as well as to run the staff and make sure the party goes as planned.

Extra Players

  • 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.
How to Play

Follow these steps to host this mystery:

  1. 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.

  2. 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).

  3. 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.

Both the standard and expanded games are included with the purchase of any game kit.

Read more about Expanded Games here

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.

What's Included

Murder in Manhattan is a 171-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
  • 13 pages of gorgeously illustrated full color props and clues for use during the scavenger hunt
  • Voting sheets
  • Customizable awards for your guests
  • And much more!

With your purchase of Murder in Manhattan you will also receive the following:

  • 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
Audio

Playing With Murder offers several audio files for use with each of our Mystery Party Kits. The audio clip below provides a sample montage of the sound effects included with Murder in Manhattan.

Play audio sample:

 

Alternative content



The specific audio files for Murder in Manhattan include:

  • The background sounds of a spirited cocktail party
  • The scream of the murder victim

Mystery Party Reviews
Overall Average Rating:
71 reviews
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20 03 201909:32 PM
  • Game Rating:
60th birthday party!
We had 15 guests at the Murder Mystery Party. Everyone stayed in character for the entire evening and five guests correctly guessed the murderer! We served the food cocktail style so everyone could mingle as recommended and this was definitely the way to go over a sit down dinner party.
  • Served dinner cocktail style. Started with a charcuterie board set out on table, served shrimp cocktail in martini glasses, cucumber & strawberry salad cakes, beef tenderloin and chicken on skewers, mini macaroni cheese cups, and fresh veggies/dip served in a glass, carrot cake cupcakes for dessert
  • Created special invitations, sent everyone their characters 3 weeks prior to party
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20 03 201904:49 AM
  • Game Rating:
Great
Tis is a great murder mystery pack, very detailed. It does require a lot of preparation and input from guests and is complex. Overall a good party was had.
  • Suits, ties, bowties, etc
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16 02 201910:08 PM
  • Game Rating:
A blast for a birthday party!
This was a great murder mystery! I’ve done several but enjoyed the fact that this wasn’t “scripted.” Fun to play with a group of friends who we knew well and could push a little for more information!

My husband spend probably 2-3 hours prepping the “mystery” and I did all the invites/food prep. Loved it!
  • I made mojitos, red velvet cupcakes, homemade caramel corn, meatballs, and Hawaiian roll ham sliders!
  • Used fancy disposable ware - crystal plates, glasses, etc. NYC Spotify playlist and records. Tons of candles and most of the lights were off.
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31 01 201906:24 PM
  • Game Rating:
Murder, Intrigue, Suspense, and FUN!
It went wonderfully. Everyone was so engaged in their characters, and the story seamlessly led to a lot of funny interactions and mystery. I held a party for about 25 people, and there was not a dull moment.

The party in total took about 2 and 1/2 hours, but it could have gone longer. Unfortunately I didn't do that good of a job hiding the clues and they were found easily. Amazing and intricate party game and I'd recommend it to anyone looking to have a fun evening.
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31 01 201902:22 AM
  • Game Rating:
Thirty two people totally engaged in character.
Murder in Manhattan
I invited people I play tennis with for something fun to do in January. I have hosted many parties of which maybe half invited will attend but every time I host a murder mystery everyone comes! I was overwhelmed by how much effort everyone put into their costumes and how hard everyone worked at solving the crime!
  • Meatballs with basil leave and cheese, Shrimp wraps, Lemon caper parmesan potato salad, cheese dreams, caramelized onion apple bites, creamed spinach
  • Tables decorated in gold and silver , flower arrangements of gold and silver, hanging lights and poster prints of Manhattan highlights
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30 01 201905:15 AM
  • Game Rating:
A dapper murder
We threw a surprise birthday party and combined it with a murder mystery. Everyone was in oe it except the guest of honor. We choose the Murder in Manhattan storyline so we could all dress up in our swankiest outfits and asked people to dress in their best 20's-40's garb.
Once the guest arrived we sang Happy Birthday and brought out the cake that said "There's been a murder..." and then we were off and running with the story.
With the exception of one of us, none of us have ever done a murder mystery and we all had a blast. We even recruited some last minute attendees the day of the party and it all worked splendidly. Despite most people being a little apprehensive about what to do, people got into character quickly and stayed in character. We had the best heated argument during Act 2, so much so, the murderer got away with it!
Since out group was mostly women, I had hoped to genderbend characters but for some it just wasn't possible. We rolled with it anyway. We also had a photo backdrop to take pictures with at the end and gave away homemade trophies thanks to some of the other reviews on here.
Can't wait to do another event from Playing with Murder!
  • We made it a potluck so had a little bit of everything. There was cheese and crackers to be passed around and some guests brought murder inspired goodies like Arsenic and Old Lace cookies.
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28 01 201907:48 PM
  • Game Rating:
Lots of work but worth every second
We had a great time hosting this party, even better than expected. Our guest list included all 25 parts and everyone loved the experience.
Here are some things we did that might help other hosts:

1. The preparation for the party is quite a bit of a commitment. I estimated about 40 hours went into making it go smoothly for me. Between script edits, invitations, assigning roles, preparing materials, hiding clues, making foods and decorating. It was worth every minute, but it took hours of mental and physical organization.

2. Costumes were encouraged to be gaudy more than glamorous. Many created things from their closet or thrift stores. I wanted folks to be over the top, so they would be more distinct and memorable.

3. Our guests came from many different circles of friends & family. We chose our guests based on who would fully participate and enjoy themselves, not on who had real life connections. It worked out great. After the party was over, many finally introduced themselves by their real names, and at that point, they were very comfortable around each other.

4. Based on other suggestions, I created a character key on a wall, with each person’s normal photo and character name as a reference. This was used often during the party.

5. I rewrote the backstories for the catering staff to give them more interaction with other guests. I also updated the character sheets of the other guests to include these factors. (ie. One was trying to break into the fashion industry and used the party as a way to show her design styles to the fashionistas in attendance. Another caterer was really a hitman there to bribe the senator, and be available for hire, if the need arose.)

6. I wrote final statements to be read at the end of the party, after voting was completed. The victim read a list of hidden grievances and reasons that people might have wanted them dead. Then the murderer read a confession statement and explained the motives.

7. I kept close tabs on the clock. The first portion ran about 75 minutes and the second half took about 45 minutes. We took a five-minute intermission before the second act, but I had to stop the characters from moving forward (so I could read the script). They would have taken off without me!

8. The goal was do finger foods/ appetizers so people could move around. No one had time to eat! Most felt rushed to get to speak to everyone, and at the end of the party, I had about 80% of the food left. Next time I will just do some party mixed nuts and mints, with lots of drinks.

9. I put the clues inside of small matching gift boxes. That way as folks were hunting for them, they could be assured they were finding a clue (and not a sheet of paper). The hunting for clues lasted about 15 minutes. I left the guests who found the clues, open and read them for everyone.

10. Everyone spent the bulk of the evening standing. I intentionally created multiple seating areas and semi-private spaces for folks to have conversations. I tried to help move people around to smaller spaces, but realized most wanted to be in ear and eyeshot of the other guests.

  • Small finger foods that could be carried around easily. Included: cream puffs, bbq meatballs, antipasto tray, peanuts & candies, fresh vegetables, puff pastry bites, dips & crackers, and cookies.
  • Theme was black and gold, which included a balloon garland, door fringe and candles. We moved furniture into storage and allowed lots of room for movement.
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    • @40CrystalD%C2%A0 do you still have the scripts for the changes you made%3F
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24 01 201906:39 AM
  • Game Rating:
Staying in Character
We had a team building event with our company and we chose the murder in Manhattan murder mystery. this mystery kept everyone in character and discussing the case until long after the party was over
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16 01 201909:25 PM
  • Game Rating:
A night of gossip, secrets and a murder
First of all, THANK YOU SO MUCH Playing with murder! It was my first murder mystery party, and I was quite nervous about it, but the PDF really provided all the information I needed to make the party successful. I must say, it was the best party I have ever thrown. The characters were so charming with full of secrets and their own objectives (not just solving the murder), and some of them really reminded me of gossip girl characters! My friends loved playing their characters, and we were all excited about it weeks before the party. It was one of the most memorable parties I have ever had, and for many of my friends it was the same case. They LOVED their roles and we all laughed so much all night and talked about it weeks after. Such a great story line with full of gossip and crazy fun objectives. Thank you so much again for an incredible night. I had the best time ever thanks to you guys xx!
  • Roasted beef (steak), roasted potatoes, salmon, chicken and waffles, vegetable fritters and of course some fancy cocktails
  • At a nice restaurant with a private room and reception area with "fancy upper east side" clothes. We also had access to the bar with actual bartenders
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15 01 201903:59 AM
  • Game Rating:
Ringing in the New Year with Murder
I hosted a New Year Eve Party and to make it more exciting I did the Murder in Manhattan with 12 of my friends. We all had a great time and it was a New Year Eve to remember.
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12 12 201812:35 AM
  • Game Rating:
A ton of fun!
Halloween Party! We used Murder in Manhattan and had close to 40 people! I ended up duplicating a number of the roles so more people could play, and it didn't impact the game at all, so it was great for multiple people! We all had a blast, the murderer was apprehended, but just BARELY!
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25 11 201810:12 PM
  • Game Rating:
Fantastic event
I did Murder in Manhattan for a college club social event. There were 40 people at the party, and everyone was having a good time. People said that it was the best event in their four years in the club.
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25 11 201803:02 PM
  • Game Rating:
Finally took a stab at hosting a murder mystery
I have to admit to being quite nervous about hosting one of these parties. I had wanted to do a murder mystery party for years but always wondered if I would be able to pull it off and if my friends would play ball and commit to their characters. My friends were nervous too, none of us are actors or had done something like this before. Most didn't know each other either. But actually it worked perfectly. The kit was very comprehensive and easily altered to be a 50's era cocktail party as I wanted. So it was easy for me to set up and because they were talking to each other as characters the ice was broken very easily too and people got into it so much faster and intently than I was expecting. Everyone had so much fun and pretty much everyone asked me to do it again some time.
I didn't want anyone to be suspicious about the blackout, so although I mentioned it at the beginning I had a plan set up too. I got the "Jo" character to ask everyone together for a group photo, so everyone would be in the room, including me. I got my parents to sneak in whilst that was happening to turn the power off. Most people actually thought it was a power cut and the confusion was very authentic. No one knew how I pulled it off and everyone thought it really added to it all.
My one major thing I would've changed about how I did it was the interval. I let it run too long and people started to get get tired and distracted. They were all so into it before the interval and they still were after, but not to the same extent.
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11 10 201801:17 PM
  • Game Rating:
Fun characters for 20 people
This party went over pretty well with a group of 20 Phd students as an afterwork activity. The characters were fun and easy to get into character and had a nice diversity. Our setup options were quite limited as we had to use a room on campus, so it didn't fit the Manhattan socialite theme as well. Also, compared to other mysteries, the game goals and secrets were difficult to spread around and understand (i.e. characters were unsure about giving information away, who to talk to etc.). Other mystery packs from different companies have been a bit clearer (this was my third time hosting a murder mystery party, first time using Playing With Murder). Most people kept having to refer to their character sheets constantly and wasn't as easy to get into a flow, maybe also because there were so many of us. Not to give away spoilers, but being the host was also not as fun as in other games...
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11 06 201806:03 PM
  • Game Rating:
Fabulous Fortieth Birthday
My friends and I did the Murder in Manhattan murder mystery for my 40th birthday. I still wanted a 1920s feel and I didn’t want to have the theme be a speakeasy, so Murder in Manhattan worked out perfectly. We had an absolute ball. I had to tweak some of the characters because there was only ladies at the party, but my friends and I had so much fun. This is something that I will definitely plan to do again. I have friends that are in different groups that don’t really know each other, so this gave them an opportunity to mingle with people they only see in pictures on social media. My mom and best friend made it for the party from out of state which made it that much better. Best party I’ve ever had!
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