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Dec 2009 Winner: Murder at the Four Deuces - Atlanta

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Dec 2009 Winner: Murder at the Four Deuces - Atlanta

Postby jennyuga » December 7th, 2009, 3:58 pm

We planned our party in 18 days! So it’s possible to do this, even if you’re short on time. I included in this post the 5 pictures I thought would be most relevant to party planning, but there are 65 more at http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2635044&id=4910689&l=27960e2810

Invitations
Our group of friends is more likely to come to something if they get an invitation in the mail. So, I had my husband (the birthday boy) dress up like a gangster, stuck a cigar in his mouth, and built the invitation around the photo. Here’s how it read:

The boss demands your presence at a
Murder Mystery Party
Watch your back—murder likely.
Saturday, December 5th at 7:30pm
The boss gets angry when people are late.
Four Deuces Speakeasy
(aka the residence of Firstname “Birthday Boy” Lastname)
Our Street, City & State
Hors devours and drinks served.
Visit this link for more information and to RSVP. After you RSVP,
you’ll be emailed your character assignment for the evening.
http://www.dinnerandamurder.com/rsvp/4deuces/ourpartylink
Dress like your character, but general 1920’s attire is recommended.
Women: flapper dresses, evening dresses, long pearl necklaces, boas
Men: pin-striped suits, black or white ties on a black shirt, gangster hats
Visit Party City for cheap gangster hats, boas, and long pearl necklaces.


Food & Drink
I made 5 appetizers for the evening: (1) Murderous Meatballs, (2) Flapper Fruit, (3) 1920’s Deviled Eggs, (4) Speakeasy Spinach Dip, and (5) Baked Ravioli in Honor of the Raviolis.

We bought bottled beer, soft drinks, and bottled water and put it all in the bathtub for a true speakeasy feel! On the vanity of the bathtub, I had a metal tub filled with the Pink Murder Bathtub Gin recipe from this website, and it turned out great! We only made half the recipe, and it was plenty for 17 people. I used Michelob Ultra as the beer.

For the cake, I had Publix grocery store make an 8” cake with white icing on the top and black icing on the sides. I decorated the top with knick-knacks I got around town, such as miniature guns from the toy section of the dollar store, a feather, a gold dollar sign from Party City, and dice. I bought 6 extra black and white cupcakes just in case an 8” cake wasn’t enough for 17 people, but turns out, it would have been fine.

Decorations
A friend gave me the brilliant idea of putting red light bulbs in all the light fixtures upstairs to give a brothel feel. Also upstairs was the bathroom with the booze in it and a poker table. This really opened up the party and gave people a reason to go upstairs. I borrowed a fog machine from the same friend and had it going downstairs to create a lounge feel. Besides that, we decorated with black and white balloons, gangster die cuts that I got online from http://www.partycheap.com, and some of the printouts from this website. I took the suggestion from someone else on the forum to print out pictures of actors from the 1920’s and used them as decoration near the cake. To make poker tables, I bought green felt and cut it to fit on top of 2 round tables. I borrowed a poker set from a friend and split the chips up between the 2 tables. One was upstairs and the other was downstairs. I told the guests to assign whatever value to the chips they wanted, and “buy in” as they saw fit. It seemed to work out fine, although people didn’t play too much poker.

Party Tricks
When everyone arrived, they were given a packet of information. I made these by taking a piece of black cardstock, folding the bottom 3” up, and then folding the whole thing in half. This made a miniature folder. I photocopied the sheet of nametags and then cut each character’s name out to put on the front of the folder. I tied the whole thing up with a piece of black ribbon. On the left inside pocket was a notepad, a pen, game money, their character background packet (in case they hadn’t read it), and any other information necessary for their character. On the right inside pocket was a printout that said: “To get something to drink, go to where booze would be hidden at a speakeasy. (If you can’t figure it out, just wander around… you’ll find it.)” I also attached the actual nametag to inside right flap, as you can see in the picture.

For a fun photo opportunity, I bought a gangster car photo prop from http://www.partycheap.com, and a brick scene setter for the background. I took pictures of each guest “driving” the car for fun memorabilia.

Due to other posts about guests not reading the evidence, I posted it on a main wall in the party area. More people read it than probably would have otherwise, but a lot of people still didn’t read it.

I almost didn’t do the weapons hunt because we didn’t have 1 of the things the weapons hunt led you to, and the other thing would have potentially involved people going through our drawers, which I didn’t want! But I ended up redoing the weapons clues. I used 2 of the clues provided, but added 2 more. One of the ones I added was a word jumble for “sailboat,” and the weapon was hidden behind a picture of a sailboat. The other clue was a riddle for candle, and it read as follows: “My life can be measured in hours, I serve by being devoured. Thin, I am quick, Fat, I am slow, Wind is my foe.” I’m glad I didn’t abandon the weapons hunt because it turned out to be one of the best parts of the night!

Next Time I Would…
I used the 1920’s Radio Network for background music for my party. I wish I had listened to it ahead of time to get a feel for what they played. The first hour was fine, but at about 9 o’clock, they started playing a 1920’s conversation between 2 people. I didn’t really listen to what it was about, but it definitely wasn’t music. It provided the necessary background noise, but would have been better if it was music. Next time, I would download 1920’s tunes from iTunes and make my own soundtrack.

Be ready for the fact that these games are very well written and include lots of information. It’s difficult enough to keep up with all your character is supposed to be saying, and not saying, let alone analyze the information coming in from other people. The good news is guests don’t really get bored because there’s so much to do! The bad news is it’s hard to solve the murder—we only had 1 lucky person guess correctly. If you really want people to focus on solving the murder, then make sure you invite the right people. But if having fun is the most important part, this game is perfect! We're thinking about doing Part 2 for my birthday in July. Thanks, dinnerandamurder.com! My husband’s birthday was unforgettable.

Again, check out more pictures at: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2635044&id=4910689&l=27960e2810
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jennyuga
 
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Re: Murder at the Four Deuces - Atlanta

Postby 2coolbaby » December 13th, 2009, 1:49 am

Super creativity. I love the cake, invitation and the guest packets also. Thanks so much for sharing this!
Mary Lee
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Dinner and a Murder Mystery Games
For murder, intrigue, extortion & back stabbing with no scripts to read!
http://www.dinnerandamurder.com
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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