All amateur sleuths have to start somewhere and for many, this involves taking part in a murder mystery for the very first time. Whilst this is undoubtedly daunting, it can also be a brilliant learning curve, the more events you attend, the better you become at solving crimes.

Along the way you might make the odd mistake but that’s all part of the fun, you’ll trip up over the odd red herring, but this will hone your sleuthing skills, and make you a better detective in the long run.

Most people are clueless when they attend their very first murder mystery party and whilst they try to figure out whodunit, more often than not, they make these basic mistakes.

Not thinking of false identities

When solving a murder mystery it’s best to consider all options and to keep an open mind. Take the idea of fake identities for instance. Some characters could be using an alias or simply pretending to be somebody they are not. Agatha Christie used this trick to good effect in her mystery novels. She often had characters disguising themselves as other people and even had twins that switched roles to deceive the detectives working the case.

Trusting too many people

Don’t be gullible if you are trying to solve a murder mystery. That sweet old lady might be telling the truth or she could be telling you a pack of lies. Treat everyone as a suspect and there’s less chance you will make a mistake and get the identity of the killer wrong.  One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to believe everything that people tell you and to take the information they provide you with on face value, murderers lie and they do a good job to conceal their tracks.

Not looking at the bigger picture

Who has most to gain from killing from the victim? Have you interviewed every character in the room? Could the lead detective in charge of the case be hiding a sinister secret? When you are solving a murder mystery you have to consider every single option, not matter how ridiculous it might seem.  Try to think outside of the box as you compile your list of suspects and scribble down your clues, look at the bigger picture to reveal the identity of the culprit.

Mixing up motives and opportunities

Just because a suspect doesn’t have a motive for murder, or it seems impossible they have committed the crime, that doesn’t mean to say they’re not the guilty party. Use detective skills and the motive for the murder should become apparent. Next think about any opportunities they had to kill the victim(s), could they be working in partnership with somebody else for example? Classic murder mysteries involve all types of trickery, establish a clear motive and consider all the opportunities they had to murder somebody as well.

The more mystery evenings you attend the fewer mistakes you make, and the better you become at amateur sleuthing.

Filed under: Murder Mystery Tips

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