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June 09 Winner - 1920’s Murder Mystery in Camden, TN

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June 09 Winner - 1920’s Murder Mystery in Camden, TN

Postby cressie » June 29th, 2009, 2:39 pm

1920’s Murder Mystery Dinner Party in Camden, TN June 27, 2009
June 2009 Contest Entry
Host: Cressie (Madam MeMe)

I could not wait to host my Four Deuces party. I started getting the “buzz” up about it 4 months ago. I thought this was a perfect way to re-connect with high school friends and it was!

Preparation:
I purchased the online mature version of Four Deuces and then discovered I had a terrible printer at home. I then purchased the “upgrade” so I could have hardcopies of everything. This worked out so much better since everything was already organized (with labels) in a nice, neat box. It was also great to have a digital copy so I could print out information that characters lost and print additional nametags for the goodie bags/place settings. The online RSVP system was a great time saver as well. I am really happy that I purchased both the physical box and the download.

The decorations were collected over a period of several months. Most of the plastic table were/paper products were from the Nashville Flea Market’s party store guy (he is only present during the Spring/Fall flea markets). The “mugshot” background was made with butcher paper and black ribbon a couple of hours before the dinner. The large tent welcome sign is 2 large foam boards placed back to back and held together with ribbon.

The wall decorations were from Oriental Trading and various party stores in Huntsville, AL, Bowling Green, KY and Nashville, TN.

We had 3 main rooms- a mugshot/blackjack room, a movie/roulette room, the kitchen and a hallway connecting all of them. The upstairs “brothel” was closed.

We ate and displayed evidence in the movie/roulette room and played the 1929 classic “Broadway Melody” on the big-screen TV. I draped red fabric on the TV to make it look like a theater curtain.

About 3 weeks before the party, I sent out teaser messages through the RSVP system with the following weekly topics: Costumes, 1920’s slang and parking/map details.

Menu:
My Mother is an award-winning dessert chef, so I left the menu up to her. Everything was homemade (except the chicken salad). We made some items the weekend before our party so we could freeze them and bake the day of. The desserts were made the night before. A wonderful Aunt of mine helped to change buffet courses/serve drinks. We served the following:

    Appetizers:
  • - Murderous Meatballs in a crock pot – from Dinner and a Murder online recipes
  • - Nachos
  • - Fruit tray
  • - Mini Sausage muffins
  • - Chicken salad mini-croissants
  • - Fruit Punch
  • - We also had homemade soft pretzels but forgot to put them in the oven

    Main Course:
  • - Salad
  • - Lasagna
  • - Baked Chicken w/ angel hair pasta casserole
  • - Homemade rolls

    Desserts:
  • - Dirt Cake
  • - Oreo Balls- crushed Oreos mixed w/ cream cheese covered in chocolate
  • - Pecan pie
  • - Chocolate oatmeal cookies

Everyone seemed to really enjoy the food and I ended up with few leftovers so I took that as a good sign.

Costumes:
Since I make costumes for Ren Fairs and Sci-Fi conventions I wanted to at least make my own costume for the event. I used Butterick 4093 pattern for my peach gown with satin fabric, ivory lace and beaded peal trim from Hobby Lobby.

About a week before the party, I decided to make some extra dresses in case anyone needed them (and they did). I used McCall’s M5877 view B to make the black sparkle dress and the teal peacock dress with fabrics from Textile Fabrics in Nashville. I also made all of the headbands by sewing on feathers and a fancy button to fabric covered elastic circles.

The fringe flapper dress displayed on the dress-form in the hallway is a costume I made in 6th grade for a 4-H competition. One of the scavenger hunt items was hidden on it.

The Game:
To my surprise we only had 1 no-show, which wasn’t a big deal as he was a secondary player. We also had a few people running late but since we had 30 minutes for appetizers this wasn’t a big deal.

Everyone received red “popcorn bags” – from Dollar Tree with their character descriptions, pen, notepad and mini-magnifying glasses when they arrived and were directed to mug shots, which Don Wannabe (a professional photographer in real life) took in the blackjack room.

We did have a few glitches with the first staged murder- we couldn’t turn out the lights b/c it was still very light outside at 6:30pm. So we had Jim go to kitchen for a drink re-fill before making his announcement. In the kitchen, Mom banged pots together and everyone ran to the kitchen to witness the commotion and discover the body. After the body was removed and he was given a new character a buffet dinner was served.

I handed out the confidential packets for everyone to read during dinner and then we did the scavenger hunt. All but one of the weapon cards was found.

The blackjack tables, roulette and dessert buffet was opened after the hunt to allow people to mingle. But sadly all of the guys immediately flocked to the blackjack table and remained there the entire evening with the exception of a few dessert trips.

Since the girls continued to play and act in character, only one additional murder occurred since the guys seemed to be too occupied in their blackjack game.

We also hit a problem since the original murderer was murdered in our only subsequent killing. This caused some problems since the guest being murdered was the original killer and they wanted to ask me if it was OK for them to die. I didn’t know what to do, but I allowed the murder to occur.

When things started to wind down, I handed out the whodunit worksheets. To my surprise only one person guessed the murderer correctly. Most people thought that a dead person couldn’t have been the original killer. So that really confused everyone. I just told them that justice was served in the course of the evening??

All in all, we had a great time!!! It was wonderful to see all of my high school buddies again! We would love to do it again!

    Pros:
  • - the online RSVP system was great! With one exception- see below
  • - I enjoyed having the electronic and box versions of the game, both were handy to have.
  • - Everything was nicely organized and easy to use!
  • - Everyone in attendance, including myself, had never been to a murder mystery before but it was still easy and fun to do.

    Cons:
  • - The online RSVP system was great! But 2 guests received my messages but not their character descriptions with the program. I had to attach them in my own e-mail client program. Thank goodness I purchased the downloaded version!
  • - The original killer died in a subsequent murder, which made people not guess that person.
  • - I forgot that the inspector did not have a confidential booklet, but a quick computer scan of the confidential folder on the downloaded version solved that mystery (I also noticed it was noted on the page before in the host guide)
  • - Once the blackjack table opened, the guys pretty much stopped trying to figure out the killer. I should have opened that table after everyone solved the murder.


Photos:

Here are my pictures:
http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2193142&id=12801563&ref=share

Here are the mugshots that Don Wanabe took:
http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=131636&id=40699570750


Thanks for creating such a fun game and giving us an excuse to party!!!
-Cressie
Attachments
the girls resize.jpg
Mugshots by Don
roulette resize.jpg
The girls playing roulette.
carrie and alcapone resize.jpg
Carrie and Al Capone. Al won best costume and Carrie won best performer
blackjake resize.jpg
Guys playing blackjack the entire time
the group resize.jpg
The entire group
cressie
 
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Joined: June 4th, 2009, 12:42 am

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