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Mar 13, 2014

How To Throw A Murder Mystery Party

As we've mentioned a few times here on BombPop, last weekend I hosted a murder mystery party for my birthday. It's something I've wanted to do for years, and it completely lived up to my expectations. Though throwing a murder mystery party takes a little bit of planning, it's entirely worth it! Especially when you have friends that like to dress up and aren't afraid to act a little silly.

Here's what you will need:

A Game: There are lots of options online for murder mystery games, but we went with  (1) Murder at the Four Deuces, which allows up to 20 players and is set in a speakeasy/brothel in the 1920s. The characters are gangsters, politicians, gamblers, and other disreputable types that I thought our friends would have fun bringing to life. 

Drinks/Barware: Because the game is set in a speakeasy, booze was a very important element to the party. My brother-in-law was kind enough to act as the bartender for the evening. We set up all the fixings for a few of my favorite classic cocktails (below) on our bar cart so everything he needed would be close at hand.


2. Ice Bucket from Crate&Barrel
3. Martini Glasses from Target 
4. Bar Cart from CB2
5. Bar Set from Amazon

Decor/Favors: Our guests had the opportunity to win prizes, not only for figuring out who done it, but also for collecting the most (fake) money. Games of chance, like poker, roulette, or even darts helped get the money (and the guests) circulating.

6. Dart Board from Zazzle
9. Casino Game Set from Overstock
Fake money (Monopoly money would be perfect)

The secret to creating a speakeasy ambiance is low lighting. You'll want lots of candles. If you don't have a lot of votive holders the ones below are cute and inexpensive, or you can try your hand at making your own with this easy DIY. I also found some cute casino-themed decor options at Party City that were festive without being expensive or time-consuming to put together. Retro candy, like Charleston Chews, makes a great party favor.

7. Votive Holders from Koyle Wholesale
8. Charleston Chews from Old Time Candy
10. Fluffy Decorations from Party City
11. Casino-themed decorations from Party City
Notepads and pens for writing down clues
Prizes (I recommend silly props from Party City, like a giant dollar sign necklace for the person who wins the most money)

A Costume: While many of our guests, like Samantha, creatively crafted their costumes from a mix of vintage and new pieces, I purchased a flapper costume from (12) Target. It got the job done.

Food:  Italian food seemed to go with the gangster theme, and it is relatively easy (and inexpensive) to prepare for large groups.


Music: Music is a huge part of creating ambiance, especially when you are trying to evoke another time period. I created a Spotify playlist for the party. Artists include Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Jelly Roll Morton, and Cab Calloway.

I hope this post has inspired you to host your own murder mystery party! It was definitely a night I will not soon forget.

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