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May 2010 Winner: Grad School Murder Mystery

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May 2010 Winner: Grad School Murder Mystery

Postby wave2525 » April 15th, 2010, 1:39 pm

I hosted “Murder at the Four Deuces” with a group of friends from grad school, and it was such a great way to relax and have fun away from the pressures of school! The forum was very helpful, and I took a lot of suggestions from other people who had previously hosted the game. For example, a few days before the party, I e-mailed a riddle out to all the guests, which they were told they would have to solve in order to figure out the password to get in. When they got there, I had the guest who played Al Capone act as a bouncer, and anyone who didn’t know the password had to bribe him to be let in. The riddle was:

I am a two-word phrase, and I was very popular during Prohibition. My first word is something that can be found in everyone's house, and you might relax in me after a long, stressful day. The second word could be a three letter nickname for anyone with the same name as the director of our grad school program [whose name is Virginia]. [Answer: Bathtub Gin]

Once guests arrived, they had their “mugshot” taken with a homemade placard that said “Murder at the Four Deuces” and had a “case number” (the date of the party) at the bottom. We also used this sign to take a group mugshot at the end of the evening.

I was surprised how many people really got into their characters! Everyone came dressed in full-on 20s gear, was speaking gangster lingo, and were really shining in their roles (even those who tend to be on the quieter side). The Baroness was HYSTERICAL, as she had no problem acting as “royalty” and was certainly lording it over everyone in her pink boa and tiara. Big Jim also really got into his character, and had a blast with all of his confrontations. He and I arranged a cue before the party, and when he gave his speech, I turned out all the lights on the fuse box and popped a balloon (thanks for the suggestion!). Everyone was really shocked, and there were some very believable displays of grief.

Just prior to dinner, we had a mini-disaster in which the main entree (baked ziti) exploded in the kitchen because the glass pan it was in was placed on the stove, and the burner got turned on. Thankfully, we had a second entree that someone brought, so the dinner turned out very well!

After we had dinner (buffet style seemed to work out best for us), guests were given their Confidential booklets, and soon after, I handed out clues to the weapons cards. I didn’t end up using the clues that were provided with the kits, as I live in a one-bedroom apartment and was challenged with the ability to hide 4 weapons cards in different areas without guests knowing when someone found a card. So I created my own 4 clues and hid 2 cards in the apartment, one right outside taped to my car, and asked a downstairs neighbor to hold the other one and expect a knock on the door asking for it (she was very excited to help out!). The guests really enjoyed the clues, but found them challenging, as only 2 of the weapons cards were found. Here are the clues I used:

Clue #1:
Should you seek to find the recipe for an extra dry martini, you may also stumble upon a weapon card, on the flip side, in the bottom right corner. [I had a large framed picture in my kitchen that had a painting of a martini at the recipe at the top, so I taped the weapon card to the back of the painting – this was found]

Clue #2:
If you are looking for this weapon card, ask not I, for it is not hidden in the place in which you now stand. Instead, seek the mistress who dwells in this building, within the unit that is a prime number whose digits sum the hour at which the price is right. Be not afraid of her, for she is very friendly and is wise to the part she plays in our puzzle. A circle of flora adorn the entrance to her abode. [This was the card hidden with my downstairs neighbor, who lived in Apartment 29 (9+2=11, at the Price is Right comes on at 11am local time) and had a floral wreath on her front door]

Clue #3:
The wife of Snow White’s father would know just where to look for this weapon card. Once you figure out the object, look not inside it for your treasure; instead, you’ll find it hidden on the outside portion, on the side that corresponds with a former classmate’s last name. [This card was hidden on top of the mirror in my bathroom. One of our former classmate’s last name was North].

Clue #4:
I take your host where’er he wishes to go, but the letter “E” marks my slumber. I will not wake again until my belly is filled. You can distinguish me from the others because I am marked by the state of gardens and match the shade of a superstitious feline. You will find what you seek on the piece of me that makes objects seem greater in size than they are in reality. [This was the card taped to my car, on the rearview mirror. I drive a black car (the shade of a superstitious feline), and my license plate is from New Jersey (“the state of gardens”)].


I was worried about hosting a party in such a small space, but it turned out very well! As some other hosts have noted, not many people looked at the evidence after I presented it (I played Inspector Nutella). But two people were able to figure out the correct murderer! I really enjoyed all of the different intersecting stories – it was so well written! We also had one secondary murder – Vicky Ravioli was murdered by the Congressman. But before she was murdered, she was going around stealing everyone’s money! There was a lot of thievery and underhandedness going on at the party – it was wonderful!

Thank you for writing such a wonderfully fun (and detailed) game. We were all so impressed with how well-done it was! And we will be surely be having a reunion with “Murder at the Four Deuces 2”!
Attachments
Group.jpg
The whole cast!
Solving.jpg
Gangsters and Flappers trying to solve the murder of Big Jim after dinner.
flappers.jpg
Carrie Crooner-Ravioli, Rebecca Ravioli, & Mary Toosteal.
Baroness Mugshot.jpg
The Baroness' mugshot (Winner: Best Costume!)
Al & Vanessa.jpg
Al Capone and Vanessa Crooner pose for a picture.
wave2525
 
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Joined: February 8th, 2010, 5:56 pm


Re: CONTEST ENTRY: Grad School Murder Mystery

Postby 2coolbaby » April 25th, 2010, 9:13 pm

Thanks for your review and compliments.

My condolences on your whacked ziti. I suspect someone secretly turned on the stove just to take it out. A good way to make it look like an accident. My suspicion would fall upon the person that just 'happened' to bring a main dish! :lol:
Mary Lee
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Dinner and a Murder Mystery Games
For murder, intrigue, extortion & back stabbing with no scripts to read!
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