Uncategorized Archives

5 Chilling Christmas murder mysteries to read this holiday season

If murder mysteries are your passion, you’ll love these classic murder mystery books that’ll tide you over the festive season to your next murder mystery evening. If you enjoy your murder mystery novels with an amateur sleuth finding the truth about dead bodies, surviving peril in a large country house and a cast of eccentric, secretive characters, these books will be perfect for you! Get into the festive spirit with our favourite murder mystery classics.

Hercule Poirot’s Christmas – Agatha Christie
There are few detectives as beloved as Hercule Poirot, and in this novel, he solves the murder of the tyrannical Simeon Lee. Christmas Eve sees the Lee Family Reunion disrupted by the almighty crash of furniture and a wailing, high pitched scream. Simeon Lee is found upstairs with his throat slashed and in a pool of his own blood.

Poirot is staying in the village for Christmas with a friend when he hears about the murder and offers to help solve the mystery, but rather than finding a mourning family, there’s an air of suspicion, suggesting everyone had a reason to hate, and a motive to murder, Simeon Lee.

Mystery in White – J Jefferson Farjeon
Heavy snowfall causes a train to halt near the village of Hemmersby, where several of the cold and tired passengers decide to take shelter in an empty country house. Only, this country house still has a fire lit and the table set for tea. The passengers are trapped together for Christmas so decide to uncover all the secrets of this empty house when a murderer suddenly strikes. This Christmas mystery will send shivers down your spine!

Murder for Christmas – Francis Duncan
A Benedict Grame has invited amateur sleuth, Mordecai Tremaine to spend Christmas at his country retreat in the sleepy village of Sherbroome. Tremaine arrives on Christmas Eve to find everyone’s enjoying the party, but as the clock strikes midnight, a dead body looking uncannily like Father Christmas is found under the tree, along with the presents.

With a relatively small number of characters and suspects, you’ll really enjoy figuring our whodunnit, whilst you warm to the unassuming and quirky amateur sleuth in this classic and wonderfully written country house murder mystery.

A Christmas Party – Georgette Heyer
Heyer’s A Christmas Party is the perfect Christmas country house locked room mystery, complete with an elderly Scrooge character! Christmas at Lexham Manor is ruined when six guests find themselves as the prime suspects of murdering the elderly miser who owns the estate.

The motive of this Christmas murder is clearly inheritance, but the real mystery is how anyone could’ve entered the locked room and stabbed the victim in the back.

Crime at Christmas – CHB Kitchin
Stock-broker and amateur sleuth Malcolm Warren resolves to solve two violent murders that occur at Beresford Lodge in Hampstead. Could the murderer really be one of the relatives or close friends at this glamorous Christmas party?

Murder Mystery Parties are Perfect for Hen Parties!

We all know that planning your wedding is a time-consuming and stressful event where you have to find the perfect venue, the perfect dress and make sure all the seating arrangements, food and invites are organised for your special day. Many brides’ hen parties are made up of women who may not know each other, causing for an awkward and quiet start to your hen party and nuptials.

Successfully breaking the ice at the start of your hen party is essential to make sure that everyone feels comfortable around each other and minimise the chance of rifts occurring within your bridal party – that would be the worst thing to happen on your wedding day. Murder Mystery parties will ensure that your bridal party are all working together and learning to trust each other throughout the evening, as everyone works to find the murderer and solve the mystery.

The complete murder mystery experience

Throughout the evening, you can be sure that our team of professionals will get everyone talking and interacting with each other. We’ll put on the complete murder mystery experience, so your hen party will be involved with everything from the murder onwards. They’ll have to work together to examine clues and collect evidence, and we’re sure that they’ll all enjoy themselves and get to know each other as the evening progresses.

Have fun at your Hen party

At Murder Mystery, it’s our aim to ensure that everyone has as much fun as possible and feel comfortable at all times, so don’t worry about putting on an Oscar-worthy performance. Our expert team will create a fun and easy to remember universe, so you don’t need to worry about remembering lots of little, insignificant facts.

At the same time, we have a number of different settings, from Star Trek, to Cowboys and 1920s Chicago.  You only have one Hen night, so Murder Mystery dinners will give you and your party the chance to properly dress up and try out some outrageous costumes and hairstyles.

Being Murder Mystery Dinners, a lot of the conversations your group will have to determine the identity of the murderer will take place around the table. This means that not only will all of your bridal party spend the time together they need to get to know each other as a group, you don’t really have to worry about having plenty of space or a large venue.


Our Murder Mystery parties are the perfect Hen Party entertainment, and after solving this exciting mystery and having a delicious meal together, you’ll all be ready to hit the town and celebrate your last night of freedom!

For more information about our Murder Mystery Parties, don’t hesitate to contact us online or call 011 896 5810 today!

Simple improvisation tricks for murder mystery beginners

At Murder Mystery, all our stories are designed to be highly enjoyable to first time sleuths and experienced detectives alike, which means that there are various parts of the night where you’ll need to improvise your way to the truth (or, indeed, hide it). It’s simply a fact that people either love or hate improvisation – you may find it thrilling or you may end up flustered and stuttering. If you belong to the second category of people, we’ve compiled some simple improve tricks that’ll help you remain cool under the pressure.

If you’re a beginner to murder mystery dinners, we’ll generally find you an easy character to play. This character is usually an outsider to the situation, with little or no relationships to the other characters involved. Whilst this means you have to build up relationships between characters on the go, it does mean you don’t have to worry about remembering pre-existing facts.

The most important rule when it comes to murder mystery dinner improvisation is do not make anything up about another character that the person playing that character doesn’t know about. This can end up creating an awful mess for a wide range of characters. Instead, why not work with the murder mystery team to create a full back story that could give you resources for solving the mystery, whilst still ensuring everyone’s having fun?

Many murder mystery characters are respectable members of society, such as solicitors, businessmen or even nobility. As the story goes on, few characters are what they seem, and if you need to keep people off your back, you can use deflection to excuse times when you’re not in the room or even your actions. Some examples of this include:

  • Doctors and lawyers can claim patient/client confidentiality to withhold information
  • If your character is an alcoholic, you can claim you blacked out during a particular event
  • Businessmen can turn away enquiries from other characters by simply stating they have staff members who will deal with it.

This gives you vital time to talk to a member of the murder mystery team to ask their advice on what to do next. Something you should remember is that not every character will take the brush-off, so try to have some excuses to back up your actions, or lack thereof. Experienced murder mystery attendees love these moments, because they get really interesting, and can even lead to them winning the game!

One of the best ways to make progress with the game, however, is to work with other players to take down who you think is the murderer, or to get vital information from an unwilling party. Pooling your knowledge helps you to build a fuller picture…..but then again, who can you really trust?


Contact the Murder Mystery team today to organise your murder mystery party.

Essential Staples You Need to Create Any Costume

Some people are put off by murder mystery dinners because the thought of buying everything you need for a costume, just for one night, can be expensive. At Murder Mystery, we know you don’t have to buy a special costume for every murder mystery event you go to. Instead, by building up a box full of staple costume pieces, you’ll find that you soon have a costume ready, no matter the theme or setting. You can also raid it for Halloween and birthday parties!

Face paint or costume make-up

Face paints and costume make-up kits are indispensable, whether you want to redden your cheeks, add freckles or give yourself a monobrow, there’s no easier way. If you go for costume make-up, you can create dramatic looks to finish off the rest of your costume.

Plastic toy guns

Whether a number of murder mystery dinner set in the 1920s or the American Wild West, many different characters can be finished off with a plastic toy gun. Cowboys, 1920s gangsters and spies all have access to at least a pistol. Not only will it finish off your costume, but it could soon become an indispensable prop you can use to win the game.

A smart suit/ little black dress

Similarly, a number of characters wear some sort of smart suit. Rich businessmen, spies and 1920s gangsters all dress smartly to not only look good, but to sometimes give themselves an extra air of respectability.

A little black dress is an incredibly versatile piece of clothing. Whether you’re playing an investigative journalist, a 1920s flapper, a rich heiress or a lady of luxury, the same little black dress can be used time and time again for great effect. Just make sure you have a number of different accessories to finish off your look.

Velvet corduroy clothing

If your murder mystery is set in the hippy hey-days of the sixties and seventies, velvet corduroy clothing will help you to really feel part of the era. You can also use it if you’re playing an eccentric academic, lady or gentleman or a journalist.


Obviously, the more items you add to your fancy dress box, it’ll be easier for you to quickly piece together a great costume without having to buy new clothes. Whatever the theme, Murder Mystery will guarantee your murder mystery dinner is thrilling for everyone.

Call 011 896 5810 or contact us online to book your murder mystery dinner today.

4 Crime Novels You Need to Read before a Murder Mystery Party

When you come to a murder mystery dinner, you’ll quickly become aware how crime novels and popular culture shape the mysteries you enjoy. From small references and ‘easter eggs’ to utilising an entire style of plot, the influences of great crime novels can be experienced throughout the evening. Anyone who loves murder mysteries will love these points in the evening, so make sure you read the classics of murder mystery fiction before your big event.

Red Dragon, Thomas Harris (1981)

Red Dragon is an amazing book, and introduces us to the insanely clever cannibal and psychiatrist, Dr Hannibal Lecter. FBI agent Jack Crawford needs to catch a serial killer known as ‘The Tooth Fairy’, who seems to kill random families on a full moon. Will Graham, responsible for capturing Lecter, is brought in by Agent Crawford, to help catch The Tooth Fairy.

He ends up calling on the keen mind of Lecter for his assistance in capturing the killer, but things quickly become a lot more dangerous for Graham and Crawford as they get ever closer to capturing the brutal and terrifying Tooth Fairy.

The Hound of the Baskervilles, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1902)

This classic mystery novel tells the story of attempted murder, using the legend of a diabolical and fearsome hound as its inspiration. Family curses, long-lost relatives and intrigue are all part of what makes The Hound of the Baskervilles such a classic mystery. Follow the enigmatic Sherlock Holmes and Dr Jonathan Watson as they unravel a tangle of secrets, lies and deceit to solve the curse of the Baskervilles.

Upon reading this book, you’ll find yourself understanding a wide range of pop culture references, across TV, film and books. You may even notice it during your murder mystery dinner.

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, Agatha Christie (1926)

Hercule Poirot is enlisted to find out who murdered the wealthy widow, Roger Ackroyd, who is mourning following the death of his fiancée, Mrs Farrars. This seminal book by Agatha Christie is a staple of crime writing and will constantly keep you on your toes as you try to figure out the identity of the murderer.

One of Christie’s best-known and controversial books, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd has a delightful plot twist at the end, with the book having an everlasting change on the way crime fiction is written, even today.

Stangers on a Train, Patricia Highsmith (1950)

Patricia Highsmith’s psychological thriller and crime novel is the classic story of two men meeting on a train and swapping murders to evade capture. Adapted into the successful Alfred Hitchcock film just a year later, this story has been retold in countless ways since it was first published.

A cuckolded man and a psychopathic playboy meet on a train and end up plotting to kill for each other, reasoning that the murderer will have no connection to their victim- the perfect crime. Whilst the cuckolded man feels guilty and doesn’t actually want to commit murder, he has to as the other man has on his behalf.

Despite this, a keen detective is on the case, building up a case for arresting the men. Strangers on a Train is a classic crime novel, constantly being updated for modern audiences. Its longevity speaks to just how influential this book is on murder mystery dinners and other forms of popular entertainment.

The 3 Types of Character Murder Mystery Dinners Need

When you sign up for a murder mystery dinner, you’ll be given a character you (hopefully) find interesting, entertaining and you look forward to playing. Depending on the setting of the game, different character archetypes will be sent out to players for them to play.

Despite this, there are four kinds of characters that are always used in a murder mystery dinner. These character types add intrigue and plot twists, allowing you, the player, to fully immerse yourself in the evening and become invested in the outcome of the night.

The character with a grudge

This character was slighted by another or maybe they’re simply jealous of another character’s success, but a character with a grudge to bear instantly adds an air of tension and provides a great place for you to start investigating.

They’re usually the character with the most obvious motivation to kill, and are essentially the same as the character at the dinner for revenge. This character is perfect if you want to ensure you’re at the centre of the action and get to talk to everyone.

Just be warned that you’ll also be accused of committing the murder a lot, even if you didn’t.

The character looking for their big break

Maybe you’re a freelance journalist, maybe you’re a struggling author….whatever you’re struggling to do; everything is in an attempt to get your big break. Often, this character is materially poor and using this event as a way to get sponsorship or a patron to support them.

With so much wealth so close, how far is your struggling character willing to go to get their big break?

Playing this character is a lot of fun if you want to constantly chase people and appeal to their better nature. Aspiring journalists in particular can be expected to ask a lot of intrusive questions of other characters and often reap their rewards when someone else messes up their answer.

The criminal character

This character may be part of the mafia, an old thief or even a bodyguard with a short temper. Like the character with a grudge, they’re often one of the first characters to be suspected of the murder. Despite this, they’re often likely to have lots of connections to the other characters, have blackmail material or just have favours owed to them.

Usually not very clever, this character is great to play if you want to let loose and act before you think. You’ll get to confront lots of other characters and your forthright manner may just cause the murderer to lose their cool.


Murder Mystery dinners are a great way to socialise with your friends in an entirely new way. Find out new things about your friends. To book your murder mystery dinner, call 011 896 5810 or contact us online today.

The Four Best Real Life Detectives

Part of any great crime story is the detective, who against all odds, manages to find the villain and restore justice. We all love fictional detectives like Sherlock Holmes and Columbo, but there are plenty of amazing real life detectives who’ve saved lives, seen deadly criminals receive justice and generally made their cities safer places to be.


America’s first female detective

Kate Warne is reportedly the first female detective in the USA. Hired by the Pinkerton’s in 1856, she soon rose to become the supervisor of the Pinkerton’s Female Detective Bureau.

Warne worked on numerous cases, and was considered unbeatable when it came to disguises


The firearms expert

Calvin Goddard really rose to fame with the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, an event where seven men were lined up in front of a garage wall in Chicago and killed with machine guns. He was already known for his expertise in ballistics and firearms, and determined that the men had been killed by the infamous Al Capone and his gangsters.

A detection laboratory and school were set up and Goddard accepted a position as its director. He then brought in experts to teach at Northwestern University, the USA’s first independent forensic science crime laboratory. From its opening in 1931, the school taught classes on blood analysis, fingerprinting and firearms.


The initial Director of the FBI

John Edgar Hoover (1895-1972) was appointed to help found the FBI in 1935. Many of his practices are still used and many people have credited him for building the FBI into what it was today.

Along with Calvin Goddard, he worked hard to establish a fingerprint database, vital for solving thousands of crimes across the USA.


The first full-time detective

Eugène François Vidocq (1775-1857) is one of the first, if not the first, detective to become famous from his profession. Vidocq opened the world’s first private detective agency, and his life was full of the drama, disguises and romance we expect from detective drama today.

The police at the time didn’t trust or like Vidocq, but they often needed his assistance. In 1832 he was made the chief of the detective department, but soon dismissed. Despite this, he was constantly hired by private clients to solve their mysteries.


By looking through the history books at the great detectives of the past, you can get plenty of inspiration on how to build your character for your murder mystery dinner. To book your murder mystery dinner, call us on 011 896 5810 or contact us today.

How to Host Your Murder Mystery Party

Murder mystery is one of the most popular themes for a group gathering. They can be scary, interesting and fun, or can be a massive flop! We are here to help so you can organise the best murder mystery and have a right old scream in the process.


Arguably the most important part of the murder mystery process is in the preparation, this is where all your ideas get put into practice. The first part of the preparation is choosing the theme, whether you want to experiment with something innovative, or go for a safe theme is up to you. The main thing is to pick a theme you know you’ll enjoy and that’ll come through in your execution of your party.

1. Venue

The venue is another decision you have to make; the right amount of space, the right lighting and the general ambiance of the room is a massive factor into the venue you decide to use. Having the right venue can massively improve your party, and it’ll help to create the right mood for the murder mystery.

2. Props

Now you’ve decided what theme you are going for and chosen the venue, your next decision is picking the props you need to pull off your amazing night. It is a fine line with props. Too many can be overkill, too little and it’s just not enough! Pick props you know will enhance the experience and you can’t go wrong.

3. Menu

Finally, think about the menu you choose. The food choice should be something you and your guests are guaranteed to enjoy, having good food that suits the style of the theme, or the tone of the evening, is a nice little touch to the menu.

On the day

Once you’ve established the theme, menu, props and venue you’ve still got to pull it all off. Whichever venue you choose, get down there early to set it all up. There’s always more than you think you need to do, you’ve got to set up the clues, lay out the props and dress the venue in time. It’s best to get all this stuff done earlier so you are not rushing just before your guests arrive.

Your guests arrive and you’re having tons of fun, but what happens at the end of the evening when someone solves the murder mystery? Well obviously you have food and drinks, but what does the winner get? It’s not a bad idea to have some form of prize. This creates a competitive edge to an enjoyable night, and incentives amateur sleuths.

Reward hard work and hand out gifts to the guests that have managed to work out whodunit.


So there you go, a few tips to get your murder mystery party sorted. I f you don’t fancy organising all of that, check out our website, we have oodles of mysterious themes we can offer you!

How to Sleuth like Sherlock

Sherlock Holmes might have been a fictional detective but his creator, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, armed Baker Street’s finest with a multi-array of skills, enabling him to use deduction, and solve the most complex of crimes.

Learn some of these skills and you might just find they come in handy the next time you attend a murder mystery dinner, which adds to the fun factor, and makes you look like a master sleuth. Read the rest of this entry