By Chester Campbell
I participated in a murder mystery party game last Friday night at the Barnes & Noble store in Brentwood, TN. Robbie Bryan, the Community Relations Manager, had asked my help in getting some Sisters in Crime members to take part as suspects. I had never been to one of these events and had no idea what it was like. As it turned out, it was a lot of fun.
No one knew the identity of the murderer but Robbie and me. He had sent me an email advising that I would be the killer. I was Papa Vito, an old Italian (age 81, a little younger than me) who had been brought over many years ago to work in the vineyard by the victim's grandfather. I was resentful, but that was a clue I could not divulge unless asked directly. We were not supposed to lie in answering the questions.
Robbie played a DVD that came with the game. On it a "Miss Bordeaux" introduced the game, then commented after each of the three sets of questions. The comments and questions brought out a variety of accusations against the characters, who included a cousin of the dead man and now operator of the winery, his sneaky wife, a rival vineyard owner, a Marilyn Monroe-type former Hollywood star, and a German involved in shady business dealings.
At various points in the dialogue, one of the characters would reveal a clue (included with our booklet) that would accuse someone of skullduggery. They included such things as handwritten notes that had been discovered. After the final round of dialogue, the audience was allowed to ask questions. Then Robbie took a vote on who everyone thought was the murderer. Opinions were varied. A couple of people picked me. Then he played the final part of the disk that revealed what had happened to the dead man.
The real purpose of the event was to advertise the interactive murder mystery games that could be purchased at the store. Robbie held a drawing and presented the game set to the winner. Besides all the materials, it included invitations and envelopes that could be sent to invite friends to the party. But as far as that game was concerned, the set given away was the last one available.
The mystery game was quite entertaining and would be a great idea for a party with friends. Have you ever attended such an event? What did you think of it?