I love a good Murder Mystery. Not a real one- they’re too messy and complicated. The fake ones are a lot more fun. For those of you who haven’t done one before, you get a box based on a theme filled with character cards, menu choices, clues, scripts and props (they vary). The idea is that you send out the character cards to people you want to invite with a brief description about who they will be and any costume suggestions that might help them. After that, it’s up to you how seriously you take it and to what level you turn your house into a movie set.

On the night itself, each character has a script they have to follow for the plot to progress and then you are free to ad lib the rest. Sometimes the murderer knows it was them from the beginning, and sometimes they find out later in the game. Eventually everyone has a guess about who it is and that person is arrested and taken to jail (or you just forget about it and drink more wine).

When they first became popular we did… a few. I’ve been a rich widow, a showgirl, a Chinese maid, a ghost reporter and a brothel Madame. Good times.

However, these were all a long time ago now. A little while back we were reminicing about them and I said how much I’d love to do another one. My fabulous husband then made the excellent decision to organise one for my birthday. This is what I received in the post:

I was extremely excited. Not only was it Shakespearean, it was also Blackadder themed. Two of my favourite things. I was that annoying person in school constantly quoting Blackadder and doing impressions of Queenie! It was perfect!

Everything else was kept a complete surprise. I didn’t even know who else was coming. I ordered a hugely flammable costume from eBay and made myself a ruff from some old net curtains I’d kept (I knew they’d come in useful one day).

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My parents were staying with us at the time so I was pretty sure they would be involved. However, not only were they part of the mystery, they also helped with all the preparation and food. The dining room was decorated to look like A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Rob had ordered tankards and goblets for the drink. There was even a fake fire burning on the TV.

As the guests arrived, I was blown away by the effort everyone had put into their costumes.IMG_2051

Not only that, but they also stayed in character brilliantly. I don’t think I’ve laughed so much in a long time. I thoroughly enjoyed threatening to remove everybody’s heads and drinking Prosecco from my fancy goblet.

This murder mystery was a little different from ones we’ve done in the past- in this one you pick a card at the beginning to find out if you are the murderer. You then follow a different script depending on whether you are guilty or innocent. I was lucky enough to be the murderer this time which meant I didn’t have to try and work anything out. I would be interested to see how it would change if someone else was the murderer next time. The script was full of terrible jokes and not very many clues, but I don’t think any of us cared. It seemed like we might all be guilty but even I was very suspicious of the Nurse and her menacing ladle.

Once food had been devoured and mysteries solved (and too much alcohol had been consumed), karaoke began. I believe we mostly shouted along to songs rather than singing and danced until we realised everyone else had gone home. This is how the end of the night looked:

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Thank you to everyone who came and made it such fun. I loved every second of it. A special shout out to my main manservant Boulders for organising the whole thing. One of the many reasons I love you (even when covered in mud).IMG_2029